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Communication protocols describe the steps that the communication end-points must take in order to achieve a common goal. In practice, networks often contain mid-points, which can relay, redirect, or filter messages exchanged by the end-points. A mid-point can enforce a communication protocol: it forwards the messages that conform to the protocol, and drops them otherwise. Protocol specifications typically define only the end-points' behavior. Implementing a mid-point that enforces a protocol is nontrivial: the mid-point's behavior depends on the end-point's behavior, and also on the behavior of the communication environment in which the protocol executes.
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