What is packet switching? Like the development of
packet switching is an idea that seems to want to have been discovered,
within a few years by two different people separated by one of the earth's
largest oceans. The revolutionary concept formed the foundation
for the design of the ARPANET, and then
led to the success of the Internet today.
The packet switching concept was a radical paradigm shift from the prevailing
model of communications networks using dedicated, analog circuits primarily
built for audio communications,
and established a new model of discontinuous, digital systems that break
messages into individual
that are transmitted
independently and then assembled back into the original message at
the far end.
The conceptual breakthrough advantage of packet switching was "enabling
more with less" through packet-level multi-tasking -- routing multiple
communications over the same wire at the same time -- enabling the construction
of data networks at much lower cost
with greater throughput, flexibility, and robustness. The following sections
provide more information.