EE434/534 Principles of Networking

EE434/534 Principles of Networking


Telecommunication networks play a key role in the development of our society. The remote interconnection of all types of devices, ranging from personal computers, cellphones and tablets, to data centers or distributed sensors, are at the basis of many of our daily activities. In this course, the fundamental concepts of telecommunication networks will be introduced. A bottom-up layered approach will be used to explain how the performance requirements of telecommunication networks have been traditionally solved. In particular, the functionalities of the physical layer, e.g., information modulation, coding and transmission; data link layer, e.g., medium access control, error control and addressing; network layer, e.g., information routing and forwarding; transport layer, e.g., end-to-end reliable transport and QoS provisioning, and application layer, will be discussed in detail. In addition to the theoretical lectures, guided experimental assignments with advanced network simulation and monitoring tools will be conducted to better illustrate the concepts learnt in the class. This course will provide the students with the necessary knowledge to understand current data communication networks as well as to contribute to the development of next generation telecommunication systems.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes

  • Identify and describe the main network functionalities at each layer of the protocol stack
  • Identify and describe different communication solutions and the most common protocols in telecommunication networks
  • Analyze and interpret packet traffic from real telecommunication networks by means of software monitoring tools
  • Design and simulate simple network architectures by means of software simulation tools
  • Recognize and describe common telecommunication standards and standardization entities

Class Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Telecommunication Networks
Chapter 2: Layered Approaches to Network Design
Chapter 3: Physical Layer
Chapter 4: Data Link Layer
Chapter 5: Network Layer
Chapter 6: Transport Layer
Chapter 7: Application Layer
Chapter 8: Cross Layer Design

Prerequisites (working knowledge of)

Working knowledge of digital logic design as well as analog and digital communication systems is recommended (but not mandatory)

Course Organization

  • Exams (Open book):
    • Midterm exam
    • Final exam
  • Homeworks:
    There will be 3 homework assignments throughout the semester, to be completed individually, which will help the students to prepare for the exams.
    More information at UBLearns.
  • Laboratory Project:
    There will be a laboratory project, composed by 3 guided tasks and to be completed in groups of almost 2 students, which will help the students to consolidate the concepts learnt in class.
    More information coming soon on UBLearns.


Grade Distribution

Laboratory Project: 20%
Homework Assignments: 15%
Midterm Exam: 25%
Final Exam: 35%
Professionalism: 5%

Graduate students will be expected to do a more in-depth analysis and detailed report for the laboratory assignments as well as additional homework problems.

Make-up exams might be considered in extraordinary situations

Course Materials

All the class materials will be able on UBLearns.

Text Book (recommended, not mandatory):

  • Andrew S. Tanenbaum and David J. Wetherall, "Computer Networks," 5th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2010.
  • James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross, "Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet," 6th Edition, Pearson, 2012.
  • William Stallings, "Data and Computer Communications," 9th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2010.