When describing telecommunication systems, it is often important to note whether it is a simplex, half-duplex, or a full duplex communication.

In trying to explain this variable or attribute, I couldn't find an appropriate word to describe these types of communications.

Is there a common term that engineers use to describe the 'simplexity' or 'duplexity' of a communication scheme?

I'm thinking along the lines of transmission direction or transmission type, but both of these descriptions suffer from being potentially incorrect or too vague. It seems there isn't yet a practical, nor concise, way of explaining this communication attribute.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Direction? ...Simplex transmission flows in only one direction. Duplex transmission flows in both directions. Half-duplex transmission flows in both directions, but not at the same time. \$\endgroup\$ – MarkU Aug 25 '16 at 10:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, perhaps you see my dilemma in choosing a term. \$\endgroup\$ – Nicholas Miller Aug 25 '16 at 10:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could say communication format/scheme/protocol? The main issue is that simplex/duplex/half-duplex defines so little of the protocol that I don't think we have a word for just that part of it. \$\endgroup\$ – Puffafish Aug 25 '16 at 10:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was at college many years ago and IIRC half-duplex/duplex was just 'transmission mode'. Direction makes some sense, but transmission direction seems to make no sense as it is a transmission which explicitly has a direction, or the protocol is working at a lower level. I think transmission type was already used as a different attribute e.g. data vs control e.g. acknowledge. \$\endgroup\$ – gbulmer Aug 25 '16 at 14:48

Well, perhaps I should've browsed the web a bit longer.

I've found multiple sources that use the following:

  • transmission mode
  • data transmission mode
  • transmission mode type

Some sources:




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