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A standardized set of formal rules describing how to transmit data, particularly when communicating among machines across a network. Protocols allow data to be taken apart for faster transmission, transmitted, and then reassembled at the destination in the correct order. The protocol used determines the way errors are checked, the type of compression, the way the sender indicates the end of the transmission, and the way the receiver indicates that the message has been received. MIDI, FireWire, and USB specifications all describe data transmission protocols.

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