What are the elements of Transport Protocol?

To establish a reliable service between two machines on a network, transport protocols are implemented, which somehow resembles the data link protocols implemented at layer 2. The major difference lies in the fact that the data link layer uses a physical channel between two routers while the transport layer uses a subnet.

Following are the issues for implementing transport protocolsāˆ’

Types of Service

The transport layer also determines the type of service provided to the users from the session layer. An error-free point-to-point communication to deliver messages in the order in which they were transmitted is one of the key functions of the transport layer.

Error Control

Error detection and error recovery are an integral part of reliable service, and therefore they are necessary to perform error control mechanisms on an end-to-end basis. To control errors from lost or duplicate segments, the transport layer enables unique segment sequence numbers to the different packets of the message, creating virtual circuits, allowing only one virtual circuit per session.

Flow Control

The underlying rule of flow control is to maintain a synergy between a fast process and a slow process. The transport layer enables a fast process to keep pace with a slow one. Acknowledgements are sent back to manage end-to-end flow control. Go back N algorithms are used to request retransmission of packets starting with packet number N. Selective Repeat is used to request specific packets to be retransmitted.

Connection Establishment/Release

The transport layer creates and releases the connection across the network. This includes a naming mechanism so that a process on one machine can indicate with whom it wishes to communicate. The transport layer enables us to establish and delete connections across the network to multiplex several message streams onto one communication channel.

Multiplexing/De multiplexing

The transport layer establishes a separate network connection for each transport connection required by the session layer. To improve throughput, the transport layer establishes multiple network connections. When the issue of throughput is not important, it multiplexes several transport connections onto the same network connection, thus reducing the cost of establishing and maintaining the network connections.

When several connections are multiplexed, they call for demultiplexing at the receiving end. In the case of the transport layer, the communication takes place only between two processes and not between two machines. Hence, communication at the transport layer is also known as peer-to-peer or process-to-process communication.

Fragmentation and re-assembly

When the transport layer receives a large message from the session layer, it breaks the message into smaller units depending upon the requirement. This process is called fragmentation. Thereafter, it is passed to the network layer. Conversely, when the transport layer acts as the receiving process, it reorders the pieces of a message before reassembling them into a message.


Transport Layer deals with addressing or labelling a frame. It also differentiates between a connection and a transaction. Connection identifiers are ports or sockets that label each frame, so the receiving device knows which process it has been sent from. This helps in keeping track of multiple-message conversations. Ports or sockets address multiple conservations in the same location.

Updated on: 06-Sep-2023

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