This article was first published on IOTA - Medium
With the Coordicide specifications nearing completion, the research department has been communicating the specifics of the new protocol to the engineering department, external researchers, and the community. This communication requires simple and standard terminology for the new components. However, until recently, researchers, including myself, have mainly used potentially confusing “in house” and ad hoc names.
So, several researchers and engineers began devising proper terminology. Recently, we have completed this task and wish to share these names with you in this blog post.
The new IOTA Protocol is divided into three layers: the network, communication, and application layers. There are parallels between our layers and the top layers of the OSI model, although we caution the reader from deep comparisons. The network layer manages the connections and packet transmissions between nodes. The communication layer creates a standardized platform for storing and communicating information. Developers are then free to design decentralized applications on the application layer while abstracting away the lower layers.
The network layer
This layer manages the lower layers of internet communication like TCP. It is the most technical, and in some ways the least interesting. In this layer, the connections between nodes are managed by the autopeering and peer discovery modules and the gossip protocol.
The communication layer
This layer stores and communicates information. This layer contains the “distributed ledger” or the tangle. The rate control and timestamps are in this layer too.
In the communication layer, we see many new features of the protocol. First, our signature “tangle” will be renamed the message tangle, and objects called messages will replace transactions and bundles. Messages have a flexible format of variable size which are more efficient than bundles of fixed-sized transactions. Also, we will retire the names “trunk and branch”: each message references two other messages which we now call the parents.
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IOTA - Medium