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store and forward

store and forward A method in which information is passed from node to node in a communication network, pausing in each node until sufficient resources (bandwidth, buffer pools, etc.) are available for the next leg of the journey – called a hop. In computer networks the information being passed may be messages, packets, or cells (small fixed-structure packets), and may be self-contained with regard to the store-and-forward network (datagrams), or may depend upon the maintenance of state information (flow control, routing paths, etc.) from previous messages or packets. A store-and-forward network is based upon the tradeoff between the cost of memory and computational resources in the store-and-forward nodes, and the cost of the transmission lines between the nodes. See also message switching, packet switching.

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