Thus far in this book we have discussed the signal processing necessary for digital communications from one point to another over a communications medium. The remainder of the book will begin to address the realization of a digital communications network in which many users simultaneously communicate with one another. One of the key issues that must be resolved in moving from a single digital communication system to a network is how we provide access to a single transmission medium for two or more (typically many more) users. In moving from a single transmitter and receiver to the sharing of media by multiple users, we must address two primary issues. First, how do we resolve the contention that is inherent in sharing a single resource. This issue is discussed in this chapter. Secondly, how do we synchronize all the users of the network as an aid to resolving the contention. We have discussed synchronization of a point-to-point link in chapter 15, but now we must extend these concepts in chapter 17 to the synchronization of many users. In chapter 18 we describe one particular multiple access technique based on signal processing called echo cancellation that is specifically used for full-duplex transmission.
KeywordsMultiple Access Tributary Stream Packet Switching Circuit Switching Output Link
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