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I understand how sliding window protocol makes the network reliable. But how can it control the flow of data?

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Jake - can I ask you to re-read our FAQ and look at the other questions on this site as I'm not convinced there's a perfect fit going on here - you seem to ask a lot of homework-style questions and can't have used any other search systems first before asking. – Chopper3 Jan 27 '11 at 8:35
It's not a protocol, it's a mechanism. – joeqwerty Jan 27 '11 at 10:40
Also, it doesn't make the network reliable. It controls the flow of packets between 2 hosts. It may indirectly make the connection between those 2 hosts more reliable by reducing or eliminating packet drops because of a full recieve side buffer. – joeqwerty Jan 27 '11 at 11:41

Both sides of the conversation set the window size they're willing to allow. That by itself helps control flow. As one side gets congested with data it negotiates a smaller window, which slows things down. Congestion clears, it opens the window up again.

Congestion in this case is usually buffers on the receiving side of the data transfer, not actual network congestion en-route.

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The reciever sets the window size. Both sides advertise their window size but only the reciever adjusts it. The sender doesn't as it has no need to as it's not recieveing data. – joeqwerty Jan 27 '11 at 10:40

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