Lost Messages and System Failures

1996-01-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Philip Koopman

Lost or delayed messages are common in networked communications, and require a change in thinking to avoid designing systems that are too brittle. If you fail to anticipate the loss of multiple messages in a row, you can experience system failures. This article discusses the potential severity of the problem, and shows how to predict system failures based on the likelihood of message losses, with Ethernet and Echelon's LonTalk used as examples. The article discusses sources of message losses and steps you can take to reduce or eliminate problems.