Standard Article

Transport Layer

  1. Ao Tang1,
  2. Lachlan L. H. Andrew2,
  3. Mung Chiang3,
  4. Steven H. Low2

Published Online: 16 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse439

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Tang, A., Andrew, L. L. H., Chiang, M. and Low, S. H. 2009. Transport Layer. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. 2930–2938.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

  2. 2

    California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

  3. 3

    Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2009


The transport layer manages the end-to-end transportation of packets across a network. Its role is to connect application processes running on end hosts as seamlessly as possible, as if the two end applications were connected by a reliable dedicated link, thus making the network “invisible.” To do this, it must manage several nonidealities of real networks: shared links, data loss and duplication, contention for resources, and variability of delay. In this article, by examining these functionalities in turn, we will provide a brief introduction to this important layer, including its functions and implementation, with an emphasis on the underlying ideas and fundamentals. We will also discuss possible directions for the future evolution of the transport layer and suggest some further reading by the end.


  • transport layer;
  • end-to-end control;
  • TCP;
  • UDP