What are communication protocols?

  • A communication protocol defines a set of rules to be followed between two communicating entities for a specific purpose. For example, there are communication protocols for different purposes : like a set of protocols for packet transmission, frame transmission, bit transmission etc.
  • It is similar to a human language or a computer language in that each protocol defines its own syntax (format of messages) and semantics (meaning of each message).
  • Each protocol can be represented in the form of a finite state machine (FSM) with a set of valid states and events
  • It also defines actions to be taken when the communicating entities transmit or receive specific messages
  • Standardization of communication protocols facilitates inter-operability among equipments of multiple vendors.
  • There are a huge list of communication protocols, with each layer having its own set.
  • Some examples of communication protocols are: TCP, IP, FTP, HTTP, SMTP, Ethernet.

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