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Communications Model

A montage of wires, antenna and a phone. Source: Microsoft.

Claude Shannon (1948) proposed a model for communications over the public telephone system. Shannon proposed that there were certain key elements that were required. Warren Weaver (1949) made the case that Shannon's model could apply to any data communication system and not just the telephone system. As such, Shannon's model is not perfect but it is a good place to start when examining the components of a communications system.

The Shannon/Weaver model shows data transmission systems being consisted of six components:

  • A sender or source that transmits the message
  • An encoder to code the message
  • The actual message to be transmitted between the two parties.
  • A channel or medium to carries the message
  • A decoder to decode the message
  • A receiver or destination who gets the message

Click on this link to view a comprehensive website on the Shannon/Weaver model.

Next: Data Communications: Example