CSC 401 — Data and Computer Communications Networks
Schedule of Lectures — Spring 2022
Lecture slides, assignments, and solutions available from the course Moodle space
|Jan 10||1||Overview, goals, logistics|
Introduction: Internet, network edge, packet vs circuit switching,
|Jan 17||—||No class (MLK Holiday)|
Intro (cont'd): delay, loss, throughput, protocol layers, attacks,
Application Layer (AL): principles, HTTP
Chapter 2.1, 2.2
AL (cont'd): HTTP (cont'd), email (SMTP)
AL (cont'd): directory service (DNS), peer-to-peer (P2P) applications
|HW 2, Project 1||HW 1|
AL (cont'd): content distribution networks (CDN), socket programming
Discussion of Project 1
Transport Layer (TL): overview, multiplexing/demultiplexing
|Feb 9||9||TL (cont'd): UDP, reliable data transfer (stop-and-wait) Chapter 3.3-3.4.1|
|Feb 14||10||TL (cont'd): reliable data transfer (go-back-N, selective repeat), TCP functionality Chapter 3.4.2-3.5.2||HW 3||HW 2|
|Feb 16||11||TL (cont'd): TCP functionality Chapter 3.5.3-3.5.6|
|Feb 21||12||TL (cont'd): Principles of congestion control, TCP congenstion control Chapter 3.6-3.7.1|
|Feb 23||13||TL (cont'd): TCP congestion control, evolution of transport layer functionality Chapter 3.7.2-3.8||HW 3|
|Feb 28||14||Network Layer-Data Plane (NL-DP): overview, router architecture Chapter 4.1,4.2||Project 2||Project 1|
|Mar 2||15||Discussion of Project 2 NL-DP (cont'd): Internet Protocol Chapter 4.3.1|
|Mar 7||16||NL-DP (cont'd): Internet Protocol (addressing, DHCP, NAT) Chapter 4.3.2-4.3.3|
|Mar 9||—||In-class midterm exam|
|Mar 14||—||No class (Spring break)|
|Mar 16||—||No class (Spring break)|
|Mar 21||17||NL-DP (cont'd): IPv6, Generalized Forwarding and SDN, Middleboxes Chapter 4.3.4-4.5||HW 4|
|Mar 23||18||Discussion of midterm exam|
|Mar 28||19||Network Layer-Control Plane (NL-CP): link state and distance vector routing algorithms Chapter 5.1, 5.2|
|Mar 30||20||NL-CP (cont'd): OSPF, BGP Chapter 5.3, 5.4||Project 3||Project 2|
|Apr 4||21||Discussion of Project 3 NL-CP (cont'd): SDN control plane, ICMP, SNMP Chapter 5.5-5.7|
|Apr 6||22||Data Link Layer (DLL): services, error detection/correction, multiple access protocols Chapter 6.1-6.3||HW 5||HW 4|
|Apr 11||23||DLL (cont'd): multiple access protocols, LANs Chapter 6.3-6.4|
|Apr 13||24||DLL (cont'd): link virtualization, data center networking, retrospective Chapter 6.5-6.7|
|Apr 18||25||Network Security (NS): introduction, principles of cryptography, message integrity Chapter 8.1-8.3|
|Apr 20||26||NS (cont'd): authentication, securing email, securing TCP connections Chapter 8.4-8.6||HW 5|
|Apr 25||27||NS (cont'd): IPSec and VPNs, operational security Chapter 8.7, 8.8||Project 3|
Students who wish to take this course must have completed a course on Probability and Statistics for Engineers (ST 370 or equivalent) and a course on Operating Systems (CSC 246 or equivalent).
Students must also have good working knowledge of a high-level programming language such as C, C++, or JAVA. The programming projects can be challenging, hence good programming experience is required.
This course deals with the principles and issues underlying the provision of wide area connectivity through the interconnection of autonomous networks. Emphasis will be placed on Internet architecture and protocols as they are today and as they are likely to evolve in the future. Case studies of particular protocols will demonstrate how fundamental principles are applied in practice. They will also provide the opportunity to practice a critical skill: sifting through details for the key idea. The functional requirements of internetworking will be motivated by selected examples of networked client/server applications. The projects are designed to give you first hand experience in building networked applications and/or in analyzing and evaluating the performance of protocols and applications.
At the conclusion of the course you should be able to:
- demonstrate understanding of the fundamental problems, tradeoffs, and design issues that arise in internetworking, as well as identify and critically evaluate internet technologies and solution approaches;
- understand the details of several particular protocols, as example implementations of fundamental principles, and digest descriptions of specific protocols, extracting the fundamental concepts;
- implement complex networked applications using the BSD sockets interface;
- identify and employ appropriate tools for evaluating protocol performance;
- apply basic concepts to new networking environments.
I encourage and expect you to participate actively in the learning process. In particular, I welcome your comments and questions as we cover material in class. One-way lectures quickly become boring, both for you and for me. By asking lots of questions your understanding of the material will be deepened significantly, and the course will be much more fun!
We will follow the top-down approach of the textbook.
Part I: Introduction. A brief history of computer networks and the Internet, edge vs. core, protocol layering, connectionless vs. connection-oriented service, packet switching vs. circuit switching, performance metrics.
Part II: Internet Protocol Layers. The main part of the course will cover the application, transport, network, and data link layers of the Internet protocol stack (layers 5 through 2, in ISO parlance), in this order:
- application layer (web and HTTP, ftp, mail, DNS, P2P file sharing) and socket programming;
- transport layer (UDP and TCP), congestion control;
- network layer (virtual circuits vs. datagrams, router operation and design, Internet Protocol), routing algorithms, routing protocols in the Internet, broadcast and multicast routing;
- data link layer (error detection and correction, multiple access protocols, addressing, technologies), Ethernet, PPP, hubs and switches, link virtualization.
Part III: Advanced Topics. Time permitting, we will address more advanced networking topics, including selected topics in:
- wireless and mobile networks;
- multimedia networking;
- network security.
Students are required to purchase the following textbook:
- J. F. Kurose and K. W. Ross, Computer Networking, 8th ed., Pearson. ISBN: 9780136681557.
I also suggest the following books as reference:
- W. R. Stevens, TCP/IP Illustrated, Vol. 1: The Protocols, Addison-Wesley
- W. R. Stevens, UNIX Network Programming, Prentice Hall
- D. E. Comer, Internetworking with TCP/IP, Vol. 1: Principles, Protocols, and Architectures, Prentice Hall
Students are required to complete all assignments and show all work in order to receive full credit. The final grade will be determined using the following weights:
- 45% — Three programming projects (15% each)
- 10% — Five homework assignments (2% each)
- 20% — In-class midterm exam (closed book)
- 25% — Final exam (comprehensive, closed book)
Attendance: Attendance is not mandatory but strongly encouraged. Students are responsible for making up any course material they miss.
Assignments: No hard copies of assignments or solutions will be handed out. New assignments and solutions will be announced in class and/or the course mailing list, and will be available on the course Moodle page.
Submission: Students must submit their assignments as PDF or Word files using the submit facility. The deadline for submission is midnight (Eastern time) on the day due. Any deadline extensions are up to the discretion of the instructor, and will be announced to the whole class. Extensions may be provided to individual students only in advance of the submission deadline and only under extenuating circumstances.
Late Submission: No late assignments will be accepted and no partial credit will be given for late assignments without a valid excuse.
Cheating: Homework and projects are individual assignments and students are required to submit their own solutions. All students are bound by the University's academic integrity policies (refer to the relevant section below).
Shailaja will hold online office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from
10:30-11:30am using Zoom:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 990 6667 1960
Mithil will hold online office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from
4:40-5:40pm using Zoom:
Meeting ID: 987 5954 8223
Meeting Passcode: 208561
You may also contact Shailaja or Mithil by email or arrange to meet outside these hours at a mutually convenient time.
Feel free to contact the TAs for any questions about the course.
My office is in Room 2306 of the EB II building.
My office hours are 2:45-3:45pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Students are required to respect the NC State academic integrity policies.