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Today, people predominately rely on the Internet and cellular network, as well as the plain old telephone system, to communicate with each other. Typically, these communication services are built from fixed wired or wireless infrastructure, where the "Next hop" is known in advance, well engineered and its performance in terms of delay, throughput, and loss characteristics has been well studied. Over the last decade, a new paradigm in end-to-end communications has emerged, mostly in academia and industrial research laboratories, based on the notion that the next hop between a sender and receiver is not known in advance.
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