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Theoretical and simulation results are presented for the overheads in packet-switched networks. These overheads arise owing to the operational spects of the network and `blankÂ¿ padding of the last packet of a message. Message lengths have been assumed to be exponentially distributed. Results indicate good agreement between theoretical and simulation results. It is concluded that overheads can be reduced in this case if the ratio of mean message length to packet length is kept high. In such cases, it is also possible to find an optimum packet size such that the combined overheads are minimised, under certain restrictions.