Circuit switching communication is based on the negotiation and construction of a unique and exclusive path from machine A to machine B when setting up a dialogue sequence between these two machines. The path created in this way exists until the dialogue it carries is terminated. The path is called a circuit, hence the name of this method of communication.
The circuit switching technique, which is widely used in telecommunications, was for a long time obtained using telephone exchanges that physically created the connections when creating the circuits, initially by telephone switchboard employees making pairs of connections on an electric switchboard, and later automatically. The trend is now towards virtual circuits built on packet switching networks.