Computer Networks


  • Course: Computer Networks (320301)
  • Semester: Fall 2015
  • Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
  • TA: Lee, Nicholas
  • Class: Thursday, 14:15-15:30, West Hall 2
  • Class: Friday, 14:15-15:30, West Hall 2
  • Start: 2015-09-03


The course discusses network protocols in some depth in order to enable students to understand the core issues involved in network protocol design. Fundamental algorithms and principles are explained in the context of existing IEEE / Internet protocols in order to demonstrate how they are applied in real-world scenarios. This course is recommended for all students with a strong interest in communication networks and distributed systems.

The course covers topics such as local area networks (IEEE 802), Internet protocols, routing algorithms and protocols, flow and congestion control mechanisms, data representation, application layer protocols, remote procedure calls, network security.



  • Andrew S. Tanenbaum, "Computer Networks", 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2002
  • William Stallings, "Data and Computer Communications", 6th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2000
  • Fred Halsall, "Data Communications, Computer Networks and Open Systems", 4th Edition, Addison-Wesley, 1996
  • Christian Huitema, "Routing in the Internet", 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall, 1999
  • William Richard Stevens, "TCP/IP Illustrated Volume 1: The Protocols", Addison Wesley, 1994
  • Douglas Comer, "Internetworking with TCP/IP Volume 1: Principles Protocols, and Architecture", 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2000
  • James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross, "Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet", 3rd Edition, Addison-Wesley 2004
  • Olivier Bonaventure, "Computer Networking: Principles, Protocols and Practice", 2nd Edition, online


Thu (14:15) Fri (14:15) Topics
2015-09-03 2015-09-04 Introduction, Internet Concepts and Principles, Internet Services Today
2015-09-10 2015-09-11 Media Access Control, Cyclic Redundancy Checks, Flow and Congestion Control, OSI 7-Layer Model
2015-09-17 2015-09-18 Local Area Networks (Ethernet, Bridges)
2015-09-24 2015-09-25 Local Area Networks (VLANs, Port Access Control, WLAN)
2015-10-01 2015-10-02 Internet Network Layer (IPv4/IPv6)
2015-10-08 2015-10-09 Internet Routing Protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP)
2015-10-15 2015-10-16 Internet Routing Protocols (BGP)
2015-10-22 2015-10-23 Internet Transport Layer (UDP/TCP)
2015-10-29 2015-10-30 Firewalls, Network Address Translators
2015-11-05 2015-11-06 Security at the Network and Transport Layer (IPsec, TLS, SSH)
2015-11-12 2015-11-13 Internet Application Layer (DNS)
2015-11-19 2015-11-20 Internet Application Layer (SMTP, IMAP, PGP, S/MIME, DKIM)
2015-11-26 2015-11-27 Internet Application Layer (HTTP, SPDY, FTP)
2015-12-03 2015-12-04 Internet Application Layer (RTP, SDP, SIP)


Date/Due Name Topics
2015-09-18 Sheet #1 framed and check-summed data transmission (programming)
2015-09-25 Quiz #1 media access control, error detection, flow and congestion control, ethernet, bridges
2015-10-07 Sheet #2 IP over TCP tunnel (programming)
2015-10-09 Quiz #2 IP addressing, routing vs. briding, IP and ICMP
2015-10-22 Sheet #3 IP prefix aggregation, IP forwarding and mapping
2015-10-23 Quiz #3 IP routing
2015-11-04 Sheet #4 mininet, ospf routing
2015-11-06 Quiz #4 transport protocols
2015-11-20 Quiz #5 middleboxes, cryptography
2015-11-26 Sheet #5 mptcp, quic (reading)
2015-12-04 Quiz #6 TLS, SSH, DNS
2015-12-06 Sheet #6 IP over DNS tunnel (programming)
2015-12-11 Final Exam 09:00-11:00 Conference Hall (closed book)


The final grade is made up of the final exam (40 %), biweekly quizzes (30 %) and homework assignments (30 %). It is required to submit the solution for homeworks assignments electronically. Late submissions will not be accepted. Homeworks may need to be defended in an oral interview.

Any programs which have to be written will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • correctness including proper handling of error conditions
  • proper use of programming language constructs
  • clarity of the program organization and design
  • readability of the source code and any output produced

Source code must be accompanied with a README providing an overview of the source files and giving instructions how to build the programs. A suitable Makefile is required if the build process involves more than a single source file.

For any questions stated on assignment sheets, quiz sheets, exam sheets or during makeups, we by default expect a reasoning for the answer given, unless explicitely stated otherwise.

The policy on makeup quizzes is the following: There won't be any quiz makeups. If you (a) get an official excuse for a quiz from the registrar's office or (b) approach we well in advance of the quiz with a very good reason for not being able to participate (e.g., because you take a GRE computer science subject test at the day of a quiz), then the weight of the final exam will be increased according to the weight of the quiz you got excused for.