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Even though networks have been growing more complicated, they should be getting easier to dissect and understand as systematic formalization and layering become more pervasive in the implementations. One reason for persistence of complexity is that, until now, the architects have carried a heavier burden than is commonly realized of maintaining compatibility with individual software and hardware product offerings that antedated the evolution of systematic, clearly layered sets of network protocols. These earlier offerings are gradually disappearing or in later releases are adhering more and more to the strict terms of the architecture. The modularization means that new ideas ought to be more easily incorporated without producing system-wide disruptions. continuing research will provide such new ideas.
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