The main body of this document is organized into two parts, which occupy the next two sections:
Each of these two sections can largely stand on its own. Section 2 attempts to give an informal presentation of the mathematical underpinnings of the algorithm. Note that the presentation follows a "spiral" method. An initial, fairly simple algorithm is described. Then refinements are added to it in successive sections. Section 3 is the actual protocol description. Except where specific references are made to section 2, it should be possible to implement RIP entirely from the specifications given in section 3.