COMP20081: Computer Networks (2007-2008)
Computer networks have become an essential tool enabling users to obtain information and to co-operate on applications. This course unit aims to give an understanding of the principles of data communication and computer networks. It will cover the principle of network protocols, structures, standard and services mainly concentrating on wired networks but with a mention of wireless in places.
On successful completion of this course unit you will:
Understand the characteristics and applications of various networking technologies. (A)
Understand how a collection of communication protocols co-operate and communicate to achieve the overall communication function. (A)
Have a working knowledge of at least one protocol at each of the main levels of the OSI seven layer reference model. (A)
Carry out network designs using appropriate hardware and software components to provide specified services for a given site. (B)
Be able to calculate message delays and throughput for a given application. (B)
Be able to specify the implementation of a simple protocol. (C)
Understand packet forwarding and the role of routing protocols. (A)
Understand error detection and recovery mechanisms. (A)
Understand how features such as flow control and quality of service are achieved. (A)
For given scenarios, demonstrate an understanding of 6, 7 and 8. (B)
Appreciate how internetworking demands changes in the operation of basic techniques. (A)
Be able to design and implement a program that allows client-server file transfer. (C)
Assessment of Learning outcomesLearning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 are assessed by examination Learning outcomes 6 and 12 are assessed in the laboratory.
Contribution to Programme Learning OutcomesA3, B1, C5, C6, D4, D5.
Communication and network architectures
e.g. the OSI & TCP/IP models. (2)
Data communication concepts and protocol basics
Synchronisation, digital encoding, transmission media, error control, flow control. (3)
HDLC, PPP, Media Access Control (MAC) protocols. (1)
Network (LAN) technologies
The Ethernets series (802.3), Wireless LANs, public data network services (dial-up, digital leased line, packet switching, frame-relay). (4)
Switches, bridges, routers, and gateways. (2)
Addressing schemes, packet formats, packet forwarding, error reporting, scalability of solutions, IP as an example solution. (4)
Static vs adaptive, distance vector vs link state, RIP and OSPF as examples. (2)
Transport layer issues
End-to-end communications, flow control, round trip delays, TCP, UDP and AAL as examples. (3)
e.g. telnet, SMPT, HTTP. (2)
Network level services and network management
Name lookup and DNS, SNMP and RMON. (1)
Core TextTitle: Computer networks: a systems approach (5th edition)
Author: Peterson, Larry L. and Bruce S. Davie
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Both lecturers on this course for 2007/8 will be using this text as the main text.
Core TextTitle: Computer networking: a top-down approach (6th edition)
Author: Kurose, James and Keith Ross
Publisher: Pearson Education
The structure of this text closely follows that used in the lectures.