IGNOU BCS-052-Network Programming and Administration, Latest Solved Assignment (July 2023 - January 2024 )


Q.2. Imagine that a two-way handshake rather than a three-way handshake were used to set up connections. In other words, the third message was not required. Are deadlocks now possible? Give an example or show that none exist.

Ans. In a traditional three-way handshake for setting up a connection in a network (e.g., TCP/IP protocol), the three steps are:

  • Initiating Client sends a SYN (synchronize) packet to the Server
  • Server responds with a SYN-ACK (synchronize-acknowledge) packet back to the Initiating Client.
  • Initiating Client sends an ACK (acknowledge) packet to the Server, completing the handshake and establishing the connection.

This three-way handshake ensures that both the client and server are synchronized and aware of each other’s intention to establish a connection, thereby preventing potential issues like deadlocks.

If a two-way handshake were used, where only the first and second steps were present, it could lead to potential problems, including deadlocks. Here’s why:

  • Initiating Client sends a SYN packet to the Server.
  • Server responds with a SYN-ACK packet back to the Initiating Client

At this point, if the Initiating Client doesn’t send the final ACK packet to the Server due to some unforeseen circumstance (e.g., network failure, crash, miscommunication), the Server would be left waiting for the ACK that never arrives. This situation is analogous to a deadlock, where both parties are waiting for each other to take the next step, but neither can proceed. Imagine a scenario where multiple connections are being established simultaneously using this two-way handshake. If any one of them gets stuck without sending the final ACK, it could potentially block resources on the server, leading to a deadlock-like state.

In summary, a two-way handshake could indeed lead to situations that resemble deadlocks, where connections are established but can’t progress further due to missing acknowledgments. The three-way handshake helps to avoid such scenarios by ensuring that both sides are actively participating in the connection setup process.



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