COMP20081: Computer Networks (2009-2010)
In today?s connected world, phones, PDAs, computers, .. all share information. In reality, it?s the applications running on these devices, e.g. picture messaging and e-Commerce, that share the information. This course unit examines the principles involved in making this sharing possible, efficient and secure. In particular, it looks at how networking can mask many of the imperfections of interconnection technologies from applications; allow applications to share communication mediums; and potentially give Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees to applications. At the end of the unit you?ll appreciate how different applications can place different demands on the interconnection infrastructure and conversely how technology can limit the types of application that can be run.
This course unit aims to build on the ideas gained in the first year course unit Fundamentals of Distributed Systems. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the techniques that networking protocols use to achieve error detection and recovery, multiplexing and security protection. To also seeks to show students how the limitations of communication media can limit what applications can achieve. Equipment with the skills needed to go out and setup networks in small and medium sized organisations.
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.
Introductionnetwork elements, network structures, protocols, service models, encapsulation, sharing, performance measures
Applicationsnetworking elements of an application (multiple protocols, clients, servers, meaning of data, data encoding), styles of protocols, relationship of control and data, distributing information, caching
Securityattacks, authentication, confidentiality, integrity, non-repudiation, encryption/decryption, keys, key distribution, digital certificates, implementing secure systems (IPSEC, TLS), firewalls
Multimedia networksIP multimedia, VoIP, streaming and buffering, jitter, multimedia error recovery, RTP, content distribution networks, peer-to-peer, bit torrent, multimedia QoS
Inter-process communicationservice models, reliability (acknowledgements, retransmission, variable timeouts), flow control, congestion control, RPC, discovery (port mappers)
Host-to-host communicationforwarding, mapping to physical networks (address, fragmentation), address managment (sub-netting, cidr)
Node-to-node communicationerror detection (parity, crc), framing, bit encoding, wireless transmissions
Convergencerelationship mobile phones and data communications
Core TextTitle: Computer networks: a systems approach (5th edition)
Author: Peterson, Larry L. and Bruce S. Davie
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
A book book for explaining the issues that must be addressed/solved by each part of the network protocol stack.
Title: Computer networking: a top-down approach (6th edition)
Author: Kurose, James and Keith Ross
Publisher: Pearson Education
The structure of this text is similar to that used in the lectures.