BGP PA define different characteristics about NLRIs associated with a PA. Each PA can be described as well known or optional.
Well known PAs are either one of the following:
- Mandatory: the PA MUST be in every update
- Discretionary: the PA is not require in every update
For example, the ATOMIC_AGGREGATE PA is a well-known discretionary PA, which means all routers must be able to understand this PA, but its not necessary in every update.
BGP classifies optional PAs into one of two categories:
- Transitive: The router should silently forward the PA to other routers without needing to consider the meaning of the PA
- Nontransitive: The router should remove the PA so that it is not propagated to any peers.