Notes and Study Materials

Flow Control and Error Control



Flow Control:

Flow control coordinates the amount of data that can be sent before receiving an acknowledgment and is one of the most important duties of the data link layer. In most protocols, flow control is a set of procedures that tells the sender how much data it can transmit before it must wait for an acknowledgment from the receiver.

Any receiving device has a limited speed at which it can process incoming data and a limited amount of memory in which to store incoming data. The receiving device must be able to inform the sending device before those limits are reached and to request that the transmitting device send fewer frames or stop temporarily. Incoming data must be checked and processed before they can be used. The rate of such processing is often slower than the rate of transmission. For this reason, each receiving device has a block of memory, called a buffer, reserved for storing incoming data until they are processed. If the buffer begins to fill up, the receiver must be able to tell the sender to halt transmission until it is once again able to receive.

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Error Control:

Error control is both error detection and error correction. It allows the receiver to inform the sender of any frames lost or damaged in transmission and coordinates the retransmission of those frames by the sender. In the data link layer, the term error control refers primarily to methods of error detection and retransmission. Error control in the data link layer is often implemented simply: Any time an error is detected in an exchange, specified frames are retransmitted. This process is called automatic repeat request (ARQ).


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