Computer Networks


  • Course: Computer Networks (CO20-320301)
  • Semester: Spring 2018
  • Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
  • TA: Glontaru, Alexandru-Mihai
  • TA: Hambasan, Alexandru
  • Class: Monday, 09:45-11:00, Seminar Room RLH
  • Class: Friday, 11:15-12:30, Seminar Room RLH


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


Mo 09:45 Fr 11:15 Topics
2018-02-02 Introduction, Internet Concepts and Principles, Internet Services Today
2018-02-05 2018-02-09 Media Access Control, Cyclic Redundancy Checks
2018-02-12 2018-02-16 Flow and Congestion Control, OSI 7-Layer Model
2018-02-19 2018-02-23 Local Area Networks (Ethernet, Bridges, VLANs, Port Access Control, WiFi)
2018-02-26 2018-03-02 Internet Network Layer (IPv6/IPv4)
2018-03-05 2018-03-09 Internet Routing Protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP)
2018-03-12 2018-03-16 Internet Routing Protocols (BGP)
2018-03-19 2018-03-23 Internet Transport Layer (UDP/TCP)
2018-03-26 2018-03-30 [Spring Break]
2017-04-02 2018-04-06 Internet Transport Layer (UDP/TCP)
2018-04-09 2018-04-13 Firewalls, Network Address Translators
2018-04-16 2018-04-20 Domain Name System (DNS)
2018-04-23 2018-04-27 Internet Application Layer (SMTP, MIME, IMAP, DKIM)
2018-04-30 2018-05-04 Internet Application Layer (HTTP, FTP)
2018-05-07 2018-05-11 Internet Application Layer (RTP, SDP, SIP)
2018-05-14 Review and Exam Preparation


Date/Due Name Topics
2018-02-16 Quiz #1 concepts and principles, classification and terminology, channels and transmission impairments, media access control, transmission error detection
2018-02-23 Sheet #1 ping, traceroute, iperf, mininet (,,
2018-03-02 Quiz #2 flow control, congestion control, layering, Ethernet, bridging
2018-03-09 Sheet #2 wireshark, mininet ipv6 (trace.pcap.gz)
2018-03-16 Quiz #3 layer, forwarding, address mapping, error handling, auto configuration, fragmentation
2018-03-23 Sheet #3 ospf and bgp (, common-bird.conf, f1-bird.conf)
2018-04-06 Quiz #4 Internet routing protocols
2018-04-18 Sheet #4 transmission control protocol
2018-04-20 Quiz #5 transmission control protocol
2018-05-02 Sheet #5 domain name system
2018-05-04 Quiz #6 augmented backus naur form, simple mail transfer protocol
2018-05-15 Sheet #6 hypertext transfer protocol
2018-05-23 Final Exam 09:00-11:00 East Wing (closed book, hand written cheat sheet (one single-sided a4 page or a double-sided a5 page) allowed)


The final grade is made up of the final exam (40%), biweekly quizzes (30%) and homework assignments (30%).

Electronic submission is the preferred way to hand in homework solutions. Please submit documents (plain ASCII text or PDF, no Word) and your source code (tar, zip) via the online submission system. If you have problems, please contact one of the TAs.

Late submissions will not be accepted. Homeworks may need to be defended in an oral interview.

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.

Students must submit solutions individually. If you copy material verbatim from the Internet (or other sources), you have to provide a proper reference. If we find your solution text on the Internet without a proper reference, you risk to lose your points. Any cheating cases will be reported to the registrar. In addition, you will lose the points (of course).

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 by a README file 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.

If you are unhappy with the grading, please report immediately (within one week) to the TAs. If you can't resolve things, contact the instructor. Problem reports which come late, that is after the one week period, are not considered anymore.

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.