CS 671 - Advanced Computer Networks

Bulletin Description

This course is intended to provide students with a solid understanding of the state of the art in computer network systems and protocols. Topics are covered in some depth, including both abstract and concrete aspects. The course begins with a study of implementations of the current Internet Protocols (TCP, UDP and IP); this provides a concrete backdrop for the rest of the course. The emphasis is on learning by doing, with programming and other hands-on assignments associated with most topics.


CS 571 or consent of instructor.

Expected Preparation

A basic understanding of computer networks and Internet Protocols (e.g., CS 571). Moderate to advanced programming skills are required. Ability to think abstractly and analytically about network systems. Mathematical background needed (calculus) to understand basic queueing theory.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will gain a thorough understanding of the design of modern computer networks and protocols, including the Internet. They will understand the workings of at least one actual TCP/IP protocol stack, and will be able to apply this understanding in modifying it or implementing additional protocols.

Syllabus Information

Week by Week Course Outline:

This is a sample outline. Exact outline will be determined by the instructor offering this course.

Weeks Topics
1 TCP/IP Implementation Overview.
IP Code Walkthrough.
2 UDP/TCP Code Walkthrough.
3 TCP Implementation Walkthrough.
4 Simple Queueing Theory.
5-6 Modeling Networks. Network Simulation Tools.
7 Multimedia Applications. Digital audio and video.
8 High-Speed, Integrated Services Networks. ATM, Label Switching.
9-10 Mechanisms and protocols for QoS.
11 Multicast Routing Protocols.
12 Web Performance Issues
13-15 Various Topics: ALF, ILP.

Examinations and Grading:

Exact details about examinations and grading will be determined by the instructor offering the course. Typically the emphasis in this advanced course will be on projects more than examinations. There may be a comprehensive final. Specific details will be made available in the syllabus at the start of each semester in which the course is offered.

Possible Textbooks:

G. Wright and W. Stevens,
TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2,
Addison-Wesley, 1996.

(The text will be supplemented extensively with readings from the literature.)