MSc in Electrical Engineering

Course Information Package

Course Unit TitleDATA AND COMPUTER NETWORKS
Course Unit CodeAEEE563
Course Unit DetailsPhD Computer Science (Postgraduate level courses) - MSc Electrical Engineering (Required Courses) - PhD Electrical Engineering (Postgraduate level courses) -
Number of ECTS credits allocated7
Learning Outcomes of the course unitBy the end of the course, the students should be able to:
  1. Explain the main principles underlying the field of network quality and performance, and recognize the wider context of advanced data and computer networks.
  2. Describe the concepts and issues needed to develop, maintain and manage a computer network.
  3. Discuss the effects of congestion and approaches to managing these effects.
  4. Appraise the recent revolutions relating special issues like QoS (quality of service), next-generation Internet systems, and new architectures.
  5. Distinguish the motivation and functionality of the integrated services and differentiated services architectures.
  6. Identify the different types of multimedia applications, quantify their communication requirements, and describe the operation and protocols of the different kinds of networks that are used to support them.
  7. Perform literature searches, and computer simulation, that may require to identify and obtain required data, and to critically evaluate data and draw conclusions.
  8. Use appropriate methods to pursue research or other detailed investigation of technical issues, and present, explain and report recent advances and open research issues and challenges in advanced computer networks.
Mode of DeliveryFace-to-face
PrerequisitesNONECo-requisitesNONE
Recommended optional program componentsNONE
Course Contents

Network Management: Introduction to network management, motivation, major components. Internet network management framework. MIB: management information base. SMI: data definition language. SNMP: protocol for network management. Security and administration. Presentation services: ASN.1

Congestion and Performance Issues: The need for speed and Quality of Service (QoS). Performance requirements and metrics. The effects of congestion. Congestion control. Traffic management. Flow and error control.

Queuing Analysis: The Single-Server Queue, Queue Parameters, Model Characteristics. The Multiserver Queue. Basic Queuing Relationships. Networks of Queues. Partitioning and Merging of Traffic Streams. Queues in Tandem. Jackson’s Theorem. Application to a Packet-Switching Network, Practical examples.

Multimedia Networking: Multimedia networking applications. Performance requirements of Voice over IP. Performance Requirements of Streaming/Real time Video. Streaming stored audio and video (Real-time streaming protocol). Making the best of the best-effort service: The limitations of a best-effort service, Content distribution networks, Dimensioning best-effort networks to provide QoS. Protocols for real-time interactive applications (RTP, RTP control protocol (RTCP), SIP, H.323).

Quality of Service in IP Networks: Principles of internetworking. Integrated services architecture. Queuing disciplines. Explicit congestion notification. Providing multiple classes of service (Scheduling and policing mechanisms, Differentiated Services). Protocols for QoS support (Resource reservation, Multiprotocol label switching).

Recommended and/or required reading:
Textbooks
  • W. Stallings, Computer Networking with Internet Protocols and Technology, Prentice Hall, 2004
  • J.F. Kurose and K.W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, Addison-Wesley, 5th Ed., 2010
References
  • Fred Halsall, Multimedia Communications: Applications, Networks, Protocols and Standards, Addison-Wesley, 1st Ed., 2001
Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Students are taught the course through lectures by means of computer presentations. Lectures are integrated by invited talks from experts from industry. Lecture notes and presentations are available through the web for students to use in combination with the textbooks.

Guided individual and/or group project and assignments are given to develop practical skills while integrating the course theory. Further research literature search is encouraged by assigning students to identify a specific problem related to some possible open research issues, gather relevant scientific information about how others have addressed the problem and report this information in written and/or orally.

Lectures are supplemented with supervised and/or unsupervised computer laboratory. Laboratories include demonstrations of taught concepts and experimentation by means of computer simulations and/or packet analysis software.

Assessment methods and criteria
Assignments20%
Project work30%
Tests10%
Final Exam40%
Language of instructionEnglish
Work placement(s)NO