Clarkson University
Computer Networks (EE 407/507, CS 455/555)
Course Outline
Fall 2002

Catalog Data: This course covers layered protocols, network architectures, OSI, digital networks, local area networks, metropolitan area networks, wide area networks, and interconnection of local area networks and non-uniform networks. Prerequisite: EE 264 or equivalent.

Instructor:  Sunil Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Office: CAMP 347
Phone: (315) 268-6602 

Lecture:  MWF 8:00 – 8:50 a.m. (CAMP 175)

Instructor Office Hours: MW 10:00 – 12:00 o’clock


William Stallings: Data & Computer Communications, Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall, 2000   

 (See the book web site at )

Reference Books:

1. L. Peterson & B. Davie: Computer Networks, 2nd edition, Morgan Kaufman, 2000

2. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, 4th edition, Prentice Hall, 2002

Useful Websites:


  1. To help students to gain an understanding of terminology and standards in modern day computer networks.
  2. To make the students gain an understanding of communication basics, networking and network technologies, and internet and internetworking and how to apply these in design and analysis of networks.

Homework: There will be 1 problem set. No late homework will be accepted.

Grading Policy:

1. Homework: 10%

2. Test I: 30% (Oct. 7, Monday, 8:00-9:00 a.m.)

3. Test II: 30% (Nov.18, Monday, 8:00-9:00 a.m.)

4. Term paper: 25% (due Dec. 4, Wednesday,  9:00 a.m.)

5. Classroom Performance: 5%

Part 1: Fundamentals of Data Communications & Networking

Introduction: Voice, Video, and Data Convergence; Motivation for Networking; Evolution of Computer Networks; Concept of Layered Architecture; Definition and Modeling of a Data Communications System; Link Configurations: Point-to-Point, Multipoint, Multiplexed, etc; Classifications of Networks; Public vs. Private, Switched vs. Broadcast, Local & Wide Area Networks (LANs & WANs), Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN), Wireless Cellular Networks, Internet, Enterprise Networks

Data Communications Physical Layer:Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Transmission; Digital vs. Analog Signaling; Half/Full Duplex, Simplex Transmission; Multiplexing Techniques; Bit Rate vs. Baud; Physical Interfaces; Dial-up PSTN Connections; Transmission Media.

Data Link Control Protocols: Error Detection and Control Procedures; Stop & Wait ARQ; Continuous, Go-Back-N ARQ; Selective ARQ; Cyclic Redundancy Checks (CRC); Flow Control Procedures; Stop & Wait Flow Control; Sliding Window Flow Control

Part 2: Introduction to Computer Network Protocols

Elements of a Protocol; Open System Interconnection Reference Model (7-layer); Introduction to the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP); Network Layer: Internet Protocol (IP); Transport Layer: TCP & UDP; Applications: FTP, Telnet, SMTP

Part 3: Wide Area Networks (WANs): Switching Technologies

Circuit Switching, Packet Switching; Connectionless (Datagrams) Packet-Switched Networks; Connection-Oriented (Virtual Circuit) Packet-Switched Networks; Fast Packet/Cell Switching Technologies (Frame Relay, ATM); Public Internet Hierarchical Structure: ISPs, BNPs, NAPs, etc.

Part 4: Local Area Networks (LANs)

Introduction and Overview; Definition and Terminology; Characteristics of LANs: shared vs. switched LANs; LAN Protocol Architecture

LAN Technologies: Topologies: Bus, Ring, Hub, …; Transmission Media: STP/UTP, Coaxial Cable, Fiber-Optic Cable, .. ; Hardware Components: NICs, Hubs, MAUs, etc…

LAN Medium Access Methods: Random Access Protocols: Ethernet, IEEE 802.3: CSMA/CD; Token Passing Protocols: IEEE 802.5: Token Ring; Performance Comparison of Media Access Protocols: Throughput vs. Delay; Layer 2 & Layer 3 Switching; Fast Ethernet; Priority Demand (IEEE 802.12); Switched Ethernet, Switched Rings; Gigabit Ethernet

Part 5: Internetworking

Classification of Internetworking Devices:Functional Definition and Architecture; MAC/DLC Bridges & Applications (Network Segmentation, WAN Connectivity)

Network Layer Routers:Functional Definition and Architecture; IP Routers, IP addressing classes; Router Operation; Address Resolution Protocol; Subnet addressing, Subnet masking, …; Survey of Routing Algorithms: Static and Dynamic Routing, Centralized and Distributed Routing, Least Cost Path, Load Sharing, Examples: RIP, OSPF, etc.

Application Layer Gateways/Servers: Functional Definition and Architecture; VoIP Gateways; Communications/ Remote Access Servers

Part 6: Network Applications

Peer-to-Peer vs. Client-Server Applications; Domain Name Services (DNS); DHCP Services; File Sharing (NFS); Printer Sharing (lpr); Electronic Mail, File Transfer and Remote Access; WWW-based (HTTP, HTML, CGI); Others

Part 7: Survey of Emerging Networking Technologies (Time Permitting)

Wireless Data (PCS, PDAs, WAP, Blue Tooth); Copper-based Technologies: ADSL; Coaxial Cable-based Technologies  Cable Modem, HFC; Satellite-based Technologies : DirecPC, BlueSky (formerly iSky); ATM, SONET, DWDM, Packet-Over-SONET (POS)

Course Learning Outcomes: Students will have the knowledge and show competence in communication basics, networking and network technologies, and internets and internetworking.