ECE478

Fundamentals of Computer Networks
Spring 2013
Designation: 
EE and CE Elective
Catalog Data: 

scription:  3 units.  Introduction to computer networks and protocols. Study of the ISO open systems interconnection model, with emphasis on the physical, data link, network, and transport layers. Discussion of IEEE 802, OSI, and Internet protocols.

Prerequisite(s): 
ECE 175, ECE 310
Textbook(s): 

Textbook:  Computer Networks, A Systems Approach, 5th edition, Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie, Morgan Kaufmann, 2011.

References:  Data Networks, 2nd edition, D. Bertsekas, and R. Gallager, Prentice Hall, 1992.
Computer Networks, 5th edition,
A. S. Tanenbaum, and D. Wetherall, Prentice Hall, 2011.
Computer Networking, A Top-down Approach, 5th edition, J. Kurose and K. Ross, Addison Welsey, 2009.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:
1.  Develop a fundamental understanding of network design principles and performance metrics.
2.  Become familiar with the mechanisms and protocols for reliable data communication via a computer network.
3.  Be able to evaluate the performance of different network architectures and protocols.
4.  Schematic of computer network – Network architectures.
5.  Applications of computer networks.
6.  The OSI layering model.
7.  Direct Link Networks
8.  Medium Access Control
9.  Wireless Network Technologies (802.xx, cognitive radio, satellite, Cellular)
10. Internetworking
11. End to End Protocols
12. Congestion Control and Resource Allocation
13. Applications
14. Network Security

Course Topics: 
  • Introduction to Computer Networks - Schematics of computer networks, network architectures, applications of computer networks, the OSI layering model, example networks, network performance metrics.
  • Direct Link Networks - Hardware building blocks, network links, bit encoding, framing, error detection and correction, ARQ: retransmission mechanisms.
  • Medium Access - The channel allocation problem, multiple access protocols, Ethernet, wireless LAN, Bluetooth, WiFi, WiMax.
  • Internetworking - Simple internetworking, routing algorithms, Internet routing, multicast routing.
  • End-to-End Protocols - Simple transport protocols, a reliable transport service (TCP), flow control mechanisms.
  • Congestion Control and Resource Allocation - The resource allocation problem, classification of resource allocation methods and evaluation metrics, TCP congestion control, congestion avoidance mechanisms.
  • Applications - Electronic mail, the World Wide Web (WWW), the Domain Name System (DNS), web services.
  • Network Security – Basics of cryptography, simple cryptosystems, symmetric key cryptography, hash functions, public key cryptography, authentication protocols, transport layer and IP security.
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Two 75-minute lecture sessions per week.
Approximately ten homework problem sets during semester.
Midterm examination plus a final examination.
Relationship to Student Outcomes:

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

ECE 478 contributes directly to the following specific Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Student Outcomes of the ECE Department:
a)   an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering (High).
e)   an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (High).
f)    an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility (Medium).
g)   an ability to communicate effectively (Medium).
h)   the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in
      a global and societal context (High).
k)   an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for
      engineering practice  (High).

Prepared by: 
Dr. Loukas Lazos
Prepared Date: 
4/14/13

University of Arizona College of Engineering