[SIGCIS-Members] Bärwolff dissertation: "End-to-end arguments in the Internet"

Thomas Haigh thaigh at computer.org
Wed Dec 8 21:38:21 PST 2010

[Forwarded from Dave Walden, who is one of several members having difficulty
sending to the list in recent months. If you get messages sent to the list
unaccountably bounced, please forward me a copy of the transmission failed
message. Tom]

To the SIGCIS list:
Below is a message from Matthias Bärwolff about 
the availability of his recently finished 
thesis.  While it may not be a traditional 
history-of-technology PhD thesis, there is a ton 
of material in it about the history of how and 
why the Internet's end-to-end mechanisms 
evolved.  To help you understand "is this 
relevant to me", Matthias provides an outline in 
the PS to his message below (a message to the 
Internet History list), and the whole thesis is 
freely available on the net as a PDF.  (I 
recommend sampling various parts of it to get a feel for the whole thing.)
Yours truly, Dave Walden

>Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 12:16:04 +0100
>From: Matthias Bärwolff <mbaer at cs.tu-berlin.de>
>To: internet history <internet-history at postel.org>
>Dear all,
>it is my pleasure to announce the release of my PhD thesis on
>"End-to-end arguments in the Internet" as a self-published book on
>CreateSpace.com (https://www.createspace.com/3498028). Of course there
>is a perfectly fine free PDF version on my website, too
>This is also an apt opportunity to thank all you folks for the feedback
>on many of my questions here on this list over the last two years. So
>without further ado, I'll let you go. If you have any feedback or
>questions about the book, just send me an email.
>P.S.: Some further asides for the not-too-hurried reader. The thesis is
>basically split into three big parts:
>- Part 1 reviews the genesis of the end-to-end arguments as a design
>principle of sorts, going back to early 1960s contributions by Paul
>Baran and running all the way to more timely elaborations of the merit
>of minimality of common shared spanning layers. I have not given too
>prominent a consideration to the notion of net neutrality; some
>footnotes go into that (tracing the notion to a 1999 Saltzer note, and,
>slightly more adventurously, to early 1970s Pouzin papers), but I have
>not given it a section of its own.
>- Part 2 then discusses the evolution the end-to-end arguments as a
>functions of actual networking (as opposed to theoretical reasoning)
>from the Arpanet to the Internet, along with aside notes about Alohanet,
>Ethernet, etc. The contribution of this part is somewhat less tractable
>than that of Part 1. At the very least, it brings a whole lot of
>instructive and somewhat novel data points to the table -- e.g.
>elaborating the inner structure of the Arpanet; the eventual "frazzling"
>of the Arpanet edges (VDH interface, TIPs, etc.); and the history of
>Arpanet raw messages as a somewhat direct predecessor to the later IP
>- Part 3 wraps up the thesis by adding some looser discussion about the
>merit, useful scope, limitations, and proper articulation of the
>end-to-end arguments. It somewhat defeats a two-sentence summary (and is
>also strictly speaking off-topic for this list) so go and read it for
>In all, the core of the thesis runs 160 pages; plus 277 pages of
>endnotes; plus 89 pages of literature; plus prelims and tables (toc,
>tof); plus, last but not least, a really cool index of interesting
>asides. While all of this jazz makes the most sense in the PDF version
>which features all conceivable hyperlinks forth and back; the links may
>also easily be followed manually (even from the endnotes and literature
>back to the main text).
>While the PDF is free, the book is $25, has a neat cover, and is
>available on CreateSpace as of now; it will also hit Amazon.com at
>around new year's eve, and eventually it will be on the international
>Amazon sites some time next January. Being the author, I can order
>copies of the book for some $12 and have them shipped to any US address
>of my choosing; so if you think that there is a good reason for you to
>have me get the book to you in some sort of out-of-band mutual deal,
>drop me an email.
>Matthias Bärwolff

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