Browse Prior Art Database

The Role of ARPA in the Development of the ARPANET, 1961-1972

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129909D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 11 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Judy E. O'Neill: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This paper describes ARPA's motivations for developing the network and how ARPA and computer science researchers built the first wide-area packet-switching network.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 8% of the total text.

Page 1 of 11

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

The Role of ARPA in the Development of the ARPANET, 1961-1972

Judy E. O'Neill

The use of computer networks is growing rapidly throughout our society Current network technology has its roots in the US. Department of Defense, specifically in the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the ARPANET network, but designed for other than explicitly military objectives. This paper describes ARPA's motivations for developing the network and how ARPA and computer science researchers built the first wide-area packet-switching network.

Today access to wide-area networks is spreading like a wildfire the number of host computers connected to the Internet has increased by more than 3.5 million in the past two years. Networks have changed the communication patterns of many users and have the potential to affect an ever growing number of people through the rapid dissemination of information, data exchange, and interpersonal message exchange or e- mail. In this article I will examine the origins of the Internet's precursor, the ARPANET. As its name suggests, the ARPANET started as the Advanced Research Projects Agency's (ARPA) network. While ARPA provided the funding for the project, the managers within ARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office went well beyond just providing financial support for the project. They conceived and managed the project from within the agency to solve particular problems. While military concerns with fail- safe communications were a motivation for the Rand Corporation's early development of packet- switching ideas, this was not the case with the ARPANET. The network idea existed in ARPA long before the decision to use packet-switching and was unrelated to explicitly military concerns. In this article I will explore ARPA's motivations for developing the first packet- switching network and describe how it used its existing set of contractors to build the first wide- area packet-switching network, the ARPANET.

Licklider's Intergalactic Network

In 1961, ARPA hired J.C.R. Licklider to oversee its new command and control initiative. The mission of ARPA was to investigate new technologies useful to the U.S. military to reduce duplication between the services. ARPA had no laboratories of its own; it provided funds to universities and other R&D centers to accomplish its mission. In 1961 ARPA became interested in command and control, a set of activities undertaken in rapidly-changing military situations. These activities include the collection of data about the environment, planning for options, decision making, and dissemination of the decisions. The military was shifting its focus from human relations to the informational aspects of command and control systems. As part of this shift, the use of computers in command and control systems gre...