In computer networks, asymmetry refers to varying data quantities highly in one direction when compared with another. In the case of symmetric network communications where both directions have equal speeds over a given period time frame, this does not apply as much because there isn’t always an advantage for one side or another way around but still something worth noting!
An Example for Asymmetric Networks
In today’s world, data from servers to end-user systems flow through high-speed broadband links while the traffic of information going back and forth between users is sent over low bandwidth cables. The upstream data can be below 54 Kbps, while the downstream data can be more than 1 Mbps.
This is a good example of an asymmetric network. The downstream data consists of graphics, large multimedia, HTML files, and sound. The upstream data from end-users are just of fewer bytes. Therefore, an asymmetric network improves the performance of the internet.
Asymmetry in Wireless Networks
Asymmetric wireless networks send and receive data via varying nodes with different parameters. The asymmetry in wireless networks can be of different types like packet error rate, latency, and bandwidth.
The bandwidth in the forward direction (from server to host) is greater than the backward direction (from host to server). The bandwidth asymmetry in wireless networks is the root cause of other kinds of asymmetries like latency.
Packet Error Rates Asymmetry
In wireless networks, the packet error rates are relatively higher in the wireless parts than the wired parts, resulting in packet error rate asymmetry.
Routing asymmetry happens when upstream packets take varying routes compared to downstream packets.
Media Access Symmetry
The base station has less work distributing data than transferring that information from mobile hosts when it comes to wireless networks.
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