The required textbook for this course is:

  • Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, fifth edition, by Larry Peterson and Bruce Davie.

    It is available from the UCSD Bookstore, Amazon, or online from the UC San Diego campus or VPN.

In addition, we suggest several texts as background:

  • Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, 3rd edition, by James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross. Covers similar material to Peterson and Davie.
  • TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols by W. Richard Stevens.
  • Unix Network Programming: Networking APIs: Sockets and XTI (Volume 1) by W. Richard Stevens.
  • Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment by W. Richard Stevens, Addison-Wesley, 1993.


Your final grade for the course will be based on the following weights:

  • 50% Project
  • 40% Quizzes
  • 10% Class Participation

There will be several unannounced, closed book pop quizzes throughout the term. The final quiz will be open book at the end of the quarter.

The major portion of this course will consist of a term research project, carried out in teams of two or three, culminated by a talk and paper. I will provide a number of ideas that can serve as a starting point for many projects. Students can also work with me to define a separate project in an area related to the course. The project will make up the bulk of the course. Students will spend the first part of the course defining the project and researching related work. The actual work on the project will be completed in the last six weeks of the course.


Date Topics Notes Readings
Part 1: Review: Packet Switched Networks
Tue 01/08 Class overview & introduction
Thu 01/10 Layering & End-to-End
P&D Chapters 1-2, SRC84
Tue 01/15 Packet forwarding
P&D Chapter 3, CK74
Thu 01/17 Routing
P&D Chapter 4, Pax97
Part 2: Alternative Infrastructures
Tue 01/22 Active and Overlay Networks
Thu 01/24 Software Defined Networking
Project ideas due. KC+10
Tue 01/29 Programmable Routers
Project groups due. BDG+14
Part 3: Data Center Networks
Thu 01/31 Datacenter Networks
Tue 02/05 L2 in the Data Center
Project proposals due. MP+09
Thu 02/07 Hybrid networks
Tue 02/12 Resource provisioning
Part 4: Wide-area Networks
Thu 02/14 Alternative routing mechanisms
Tue 02/19 Traffic Engineering
Project checkpoint ZZ+10
Thu 02/21 Class Cancelled
Part 5: Congestion Control
Tue 02/26 Congestion Control
Thu 02/28 Datacenter TCP
Tue 03/05 Multi-path TCP
Part 6: Wireless
Thu 03/07 WiFi
Project checkpoint CA+07
Tue 03/12 Mesh networking
Thu 03/14 Quiz
Thu 03/21 Project presentations

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