|Died||March 26, 2011 84) (aged|
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
|Alma mater|| UCLA (M.S., 1959) |
Drexel Institute of Technology (B.S., 1949)
|Known for||Packet Switching|
|Spouse(s)||Evelyn Murphy Baran, PhD|
|Awards|| IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (1990)|
Computer History Museum Fellow (2005)
Marconi Prize (1991)
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Paul Baran ( // ; April 29, 1926 – March 26, 2011) was a Polish-born Jewish American engineer who was a pioneer in the development of computer networks. He was one of the two independent inventors of packet switching, which is today the dominant basis for data communications in computer networks worldwide, and went on to start several companies and develop other technologies that are an essential part of modern digital communication.
A computer network is a digital telecommunications network which allows nodes to share resources. In computer networks, computing devices exchange data with each other using connections between nodes. These data links are established over cable media such as wires or optic cables, or wireless media such as Wi-Fi.
Packet switching is a method of grouping data that is transmitted over a digital network into packets. Packets are made of a header and a payload. Data in the header are used by networking hardware to direct the packet to its destination where the payload is extracted and used by application software. Packet switching is the primary basis for data communications in computer networks worldwide.
He was born in Grodno (then Second Polish Republic, now part of Belarus) on April 29, 1926.He was the youngest of three children in a Polish-Jewish family, with the Yiddish given name "Pesach." His family moved to the United States on May 11, 1928, settling in Boston and later in Philadelphia, where his father, Morris "Moshe" Baran (1884–1979), opened a grocery store. He graduated from Drexel University (then called Drexel Institute of Technology) in 1949, with a degree in electrical engineering. He then joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, where he did technical work on UNIVAC models, the first brand of commercial computers in the United States. In 1955 he married Evelyn Murphy, moved to Los Angeles, and worked for Hughes Aircraft on radar data processing systems. He obtained his master's degree in engineering from UCLA in 1959, with advisor Gerald Estrin while he took night classes. His thesis was on character recognition. While Baran initially stayed on at UCLA to pursue his doctorate, a heavy travel and work schedule forced him to abandon his doctoral work.
Grodno or Hrodna is a city in western Belarus. It is located on the Neman close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania. It has 365,610 inhabitants. It is the capital of Grodno Region and Grodno District.
The Second Polish Republic, commonly known as interwar Poland, refers to the country of Poland in the period between the First and Second World Wars (1918–1939). Officially known as the Republic of Poland, sometimes Commonwealth of Poland, the Polish state was re-established in 1918, in the aftermath of World War I. When, after several regional conflicts, the borders of the state were fixed in 1922, Poland's neighbours were Czechoslovakia, Germany, the Free City of Danzig, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and the Soviet Union. It had access to the Baltic Sea via a short strip of coastline either side of the city of Gdynia. Between March and August 1939, Poland also shared a border with the then-Hungarian governorate of Subcarpathia. The Second Republic ceased to exist in 1939, when Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and the Slovak Republic, marking the beginning of the European theatre of World War II.
Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, formerly known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested. Its major economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.
After joining the RAND Corporation in 1959, Baran took on the task of designing a "survivable" communications system that could maintain communication between end points in the face of damage from nuclear weapons during the Cold War.Then, most American military communications used high-frequency connections, which could be put out of action for many hours by a nuclear attack. Baran decided to automate RAND Director Franklin R. Collbohm's previous work with emergency communication over conventional AM radio networks and showed that a distributed relay node architecture could be survivable. The Rome Air Development Center soon showed that the idea was practicable.
RAND Corporation is an American nonprofit global policy think tank created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces. It is financed by the U.S. government and private endowment, corporations, universities and private individuals. The company has grown to assist other governments, international organizations, private companies and foundations, with a host of defense and non-defense issues, including healthcare. RAND aims for interdisciplinary and quantitative problem solving by translating theoretical concepts from formal economics and the physical sciences into novel applications in other areas, using applied science and operations research.
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first test of a fission ("atomic") bomb released an amount of energy approximately equal to 20,000 tons of TNT (84 TJ). The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released energy approximately equal to 10 million tons of TNT (42 PJ). A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds (1,100 kg) can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT (5.0 PJ). A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast, fire, and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins with 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989 and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, which ended communism in Eastern Europe. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars.
Using the minicomputer technology of the day, Baran and his team developed a simulation suite to test basic connectivity of an array of nodes with varying degrees of linking. That is, a network of n-ary degree of connectivity would have n links per node. The simulation randomly "killed" nodes and subsequently tested the percentage of nodes that remained connected. The result of the simulation revealed that networks in which n ≥ 3 had a significant increase in resilience against even as much as 50% node loss. Baran's insight gained from the simulation was that redundancy was the key.His first work was published as a RAND report in 1960, with more papers generalizing the techniques in the next two years.
After proving survivability, Baran and his team needed to show proof of concept for that design so that it could be built. That involved high-level schematics detailing the operation, construction, and cost of all the components required to construct a network that leveraged the new insight of redundant links. The result was one of the first store-and-forward data layer switching protocols, a link-state/distance vector routing protocol, and an unproved connection-oriented transport protocol. Explicit detail of the designs can be found in the complete series of reports On Distributed Communications, published by RAND in 1964.
The design flew in the face of telephony design of the time by placing inexpensive and unreliable nodes at the center of the network and more intelligent terminating 'multiplexer' devices at the endpoints. In Baran's words, unlike the telephone company's equipment, his design did not require expensive "gold plated" components to be reliable. The Distributed Network that Baran introduced was intended to route around damage. It provided connection to others through many points, not one centralized connection. Fundamental to the scheme was the division of the information into "blocks" before they were sent out across the network. That enabled the data to travel faster and communications lines to be used more efficiently. Each block was sent separately, traveling different paths and rejoining into a whole when they were received at their destination.
After the publication of On Distributed Communications, he presented the findings of his team to a number of audiences, including AT&T engineers (not to be confused with Bell Labs engineers, who at the time provided Paul Baran with the specifications for the first generation of T1 circuit that he used as the links in his network design proposal). In subsequent interviews, Baran mentioned how the AT&T engineers scoffed at his idea of non-dedicated physical circuits for voice communications, at times claiming that Baran simply did not understand how voice telecommunication worked.
Donald Davies, at the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom, also thought of the same ideaand implemented a trial network. While Baran used the term "message blocks" for his units of communication, Davies used the term "packets," as it was capable of being translated into languages other than English without compromise. He applied the concept to a general-purpose computer network. Davies's key insight came in the realization that computer network traffic was inherently "bursty" with periods of silence, compared with relatively-constant telephone traffic. It was in fact Davies's work on packet switching, not Baran's, that initially caught the attention of the developers of ARPANET at a conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in October 1967. Baran was happy to acknowledge that Davies had come up with the same idea as him independently. In an e-mail to Davies, he wrote:
You and I share a common view of what packet switching is all about, since you and I independently came up with the same ingredients.
Leonard Kleinrock, a contemporary working on analyzing message flow using queueing theory, developed a theoretical basis for the operation of message switching networks in his proposal for a Ph.D. thesis in 1961-2, published as a book in 1964.He later applied this theory to model the performance of packet switching networks. However, the contribution of Kleinrock's early work as a theoretical basis of packet switching is disputed by some, including Robert Taylor, Baran and Davies. The US National Inventors Hall of Fame, which recognizes inventors who hold a US patent of highly-significant technology, records Paul Baran and Donald Davies as the inventors of digital packet switching.
In 1969, when the US Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) started developing the idea of an internetworked set of terminals to share computing resources, the reference materials that they considered included Baran and the RAND Corporation's "On Distributed Communications" volumes.The resiliency of a packet-switched network that uses link-state routing protocols, which are used on the Internet, stems in some part from the research to develop a network that could survive a nuclear attack.
In 1968, Baran was a founder of the Institute for the Future and was then involved in other networking technologies developed in Silicon Valley. He participated in a review of the NBS proposal for a Data Encryption Standard in 1976, along with Martin Hellman and Whitfield Diffie of Stanford University.In the early 1980s, Baran founded PacketCable, Inc, "to support impulse-pay television channels, locally generated videotex, and packetized voice transmission." PacketCable, also known as Packet Technologies, spun off StrataCom to commercialize his packet voice technology for the telephony market. That technology led to the first commercial pre-standard Asynchronous Transfer Mode product. He founded Telebit after conceiving its discrete multitone modem technology in the mid-1980s. It was one of the first commercial products to use orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, which was later widely deployed in DSL modems and Wi-Fi wireless modems. In 1985, Baran founded Metricom, the first wireless Internet company, which deployed Ricochet, the first public wireless mesh networking system. In 1992, he also founded Com21, an early cable modem company. After Com21, Baran founded and was president of GoBackTV, which specializes in personal TV and cable IPTV infrastructure equipment for television operators. Most recently, he founded Plaster Networks, providing an advanced solution for connecting networked devices in the home or small office through existing wiring.
Baran extended his work in packet switching to wireless-spectrum theory, developing what he called "kindergarten rules" for the use of wireless spectrum.
In addition to his innovation in networking products, he is also credited with inventing the first doorway gun detector.
He received an honorary doctorate when he gave the commencement speech at Drexel in 1997.
Baran died in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 84 on March 26, 2011from complications caused by lung cancer. Upon his death, RAND President James Thomson, stated, "Our world is a better place for the technologies Paul Baran invented and developed, and also because of his consistent concern with appropriate public policies for their use."
One of the fathers of the Internet, Vinton Cerf, stated, "Paul wasn't afraid to go in directions counter to what everyone else thought was the right or only thing to do."According to Paul Saffo, Baran also believed that innovation was a "team process" and avoided seeking credit for himself. On hearing news of his death, Robert Kahn, co-inventor of the Internet, said: "Paul was one of the finest gentlemen I ever met and creative to the very end."
Ethernet is a family of computer networking technologies commonly used in local area networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN) and wide area networks (WAN). It was commercially introduced in 1980 and first standardized in 1983 as IEEE 802.3, and has since retained a good deal of backward compatibility and been refined to support higher bit rates and longer link distances. Over time, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies such as Token Ring, FDDI and ARCNET.
Packet radio is a form of packet switching technology used to transmit digital data via wireless communications. Packet radio uses the same concepts of data transmission using datagrams that are fundamental to communications on the Internet, as opposed to older techniques used by dedicated or switched circuits. Packet radio can be used over long distances without the need for a physical connection between stations. Packet radio can also be used for mobile communications.
Network topology is the arrangement of the elements of a communication network. Network topology can be used to define or describe the arrangement of various types of telecommunication networks, including command and control radio networks, industrial fieldbusses, and computer networks.
The end-to-end principle is a design framework in computer networking. In networks designed according to this principle, application-specific features reside in the communicating end nodes of the network, rather than in intermediary nodes, such as gateways and routers, that exist to establish the network.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was an early packet-switching network and the first network to implement the TCP/IP protocol suite. Both technologies became the technical foundation of the Internet. The ARPANET was initially funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense.
Robert Elliot Kahn is an American electrical engineer, who, along with Vint Cerf, invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the Internet.
Leonard Kleinrock is an American computer scientist. A professor at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, he made several important contributions to the field of computer networking, in particular to the theoretical foundations of computer networking. He played an influential role in the development of the ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, at UCLA.
Donald Watts Davies, was a Welsh computer scientist who was employed at the UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL). In 1965 he developed the concept of packet switching, which is today the dominant basis for data communications in computer networks worldwide, and implemented it in the NPL network. This was independent of the work of Paul Baran in the United States who had a similar idea in the early 1960s. The ARPANET project, a precursor to the Internet, credited Davies for his influence.
A wireless mesh network (WMN) is a communications network made up of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology. It is also a form of wireless ad hoc network.
In telecommunications networks, a node is either a redistribution point or a communication endpoint. The definition of a node depends on the network and protocol layer referred to. A physical network node is an active electronic device that is attached to a network, and is capable of creating, receiving, or transmitting information over a communications channel. A passive distribution point such as a distribution frame or patch panel is consequently not a node.
Lawrence Gilman Roberts was an American engineer who received the Draper Prize in 2001 "for the development of the Internet", and the Principe de Asturias Award in 2002.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to telecommunication:
IEEE Internet Award is a Technical Field Award of the IEEE that was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in June 1999. The award is sponsored by Nokia Corporation. It may be presented annually to an individual or up to three recipients, for exceptional contributions to the advancement of Internet technology for network architecture, mobility and/or end-use applications. Awardees receive a bronze medal, certificate, and honorarium.
Pål Spilling was a Norwegian Internet pioneer and professor at the University of Oslo and the UNIK Graduate Center at Kjeller in Norway.
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science (HSSEAS), informally known as UCLA Engineering, is the school of engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It opened as the College of Engineering in 1945, and was renamed the School of Engineering in 1969. Since its initial enrollment of 379 students, the school has grown to approximately 6,100 students. The school is ranked 16th among all engineering schools in the United States. The school offers 28 degree programs and is home to eight externally funded interdisciplinary research centers, including those in space exploration, wireless sensor systems, and nanotechnology.
The NPL Network or NPL Data Communications Network was a local area computer network operated by a team from the National Physical Laboratory in England that pioneered the concept of packet switching. Following a pilot experiment during 1967, elements of the first version of the network, Mark I, became operational during 1969 then fully operational in 1970, and the Mark II version operated from 1973 until 1986. The NPL network, followed by the wide area ARPANET in the United States, were the first two computer networks that implemented packet switching, and were interconnected in the early 1970s. The NPL network was designed and directed by Donald Davies.
Sharla Boehm, née Perrine, is an American computer scientist who carried out pioneering work in packet switching while working for the RAND Corporation in the 1960s.
Paul Baran conceived the Internet's architecture at the height of the Cold War. Forty years later, he says the Net's biggest threat wasn't the USSR—it was the phone companyStewart Brand's interviews Paul Baran about his work at RAND on survivable networks.
This led to an outcry among many of the other Internet pioneers, who publicly attacked Kleinrock and said that his brief mention of breaking messages into smaller pieces did not come close to being a proposal for packet switching
Authors who have interviewed dozens of Arpanet pioneers know very well that the Kleinrock-Roberts claims are not believed.
The Internet is really the work of a thousand people," Mr. Baran said. "And of all the stories about what different people have done, all the pieces fit together. It's just this one little case that seems to be an aberration.
I can find no evidence that he understood the principles of packet switching.
Baran credited with inventing packet switching in 1960s against military backdrop
Gerald R. Ash and Billy B. Oliver
| IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal |
C. Chapin Cutler, John O. Limb and Arun Netravali