CSC-204: Advanced Topics in Networks

Michalis Faloutsos

Tu-Thur 9:40-11:00, Watkins 1117

 Overview of Internet development history and fundamental principles
underlying TCP/IP protocol design.  Discussion of current research
topics, including multicast routing protocols,  transport
protocols (e.g., real-time, transport protocol, RTP, and SRM), support
for integrated services, mobile and  ad-hoc networks.
  The focus of the class will be on routing, QoS arcihtectures,
measurements and implementation issues.

Purpose of the class
  The class will expose students to the state of the art of the
Internet research, and given them the opportunity to work on
something practical and original through their projects. It will
prepare students for research in the Networks area or give them
the competitive edge for a position in the networks industry.

  The evaluation will depend on projects that the students will complete
and presentations of papers and/or the results of their projects.

60% Project
30% Assignment, presentation
10% Class Participation

Proposed reading material:

1. Computer Networking:
   A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet
   by James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross
   (reference texbook)
   It can be found on-line at:

2. Manuals for measurement tools and simulators

3. List of papers provided by the instructor

4. UNIX Network Programming : Networking APIs : Sockets and XTI,
    Volume 1, Second Edition; Stevens, W. Richard Prentice Hall;

Course Contents

In order to give you an idea of the flavour, I intend to cover the following
chapters from our #1 reference book:
Ch. 1 Introduction
Ch. 3 Transportation Layer
Ch. 4 Network Layer and Routing
Ch. 5 Link Layer and Local Area Networks (partly)
Ch. 6 Multimedia Networking
Ch. 7 Security in Computer Networks (partly)
    This material will help students prepare for the Computer Networks
qualifying exam that will become an option.

Projects and Assignments

Here is a list of projects that I you can choose from. Teams of two may be allowed
if the extent of the project warrants it, and if it can be esnured that both participants
share the work evenly. This list is not restrctive. Students are encouraged to
propose projects.

   WARNING: The projects are supposed to be hands-on practical tasks. Projects
and assignments will require use of programming tools such as (awk, shell scripts,
and C or C++). The perl programming language may also be used.

  1. Measurements using the "traceroute"  or "pathchar" tool by V. Jacobson. (This will be part of an assignment, and it could be extended to a project)
    1. Identify part of  the Internet topology
    2. Measure delays
    3. Path stability
    4. Link and node failures
  2. Network Monitoring using a network monitoring tool developped in UCR
  3. Analysis of the topology  of real graphs
  4. Generation of realistic graph topologies
  5. Visualization of  large real graphs (see CAIDA, and NLANR)
  6. Congestion on the Internet: patterns and bottlenecks

List of related papers

(under construction)

A flvor of the types of papers that we will study:

From SIGCOMM'99 (practically most papers are of interest from there):

Network Topology and Path  Characterization

             Using pathchar to Estimate Internet Link Characteristics,
             Allen B. Downey, Colby College.

              On Power-Law Relationships of the Internet
              Topology, Michalis Faloutsos, University of California
              at Riverside; Petros Faloutsos, University of Toronto;
              and Christos Faloutsos, Carnegie Mellon University.

              On Estimating End-to-End Network Path Properties,
              Mark Allman, NASA Glenn Research Center; and Vern
              Paxson, ACIRI/ICSI and Lawrence Berkeley National

Network Analysis

              An Analysis of BGP Convergence Properties, Timothy
              G. Griffin and Gordon Wilfong, Bell Labs.

              The End-to-End Effects of Internet Path Selection,
              Stefan Savage, Andy Collins, Eric Hoffman, John Snell,
              and Tom Anderson, University of Washington.

              Dynamics of IP Traffic: A Study of the Role of
              Variability and the Impact of Control, Anja Feldmann,
              Anna C. Gilbert, AT&T Labs-Research; Polly Huang,
              USC/ISI; and Walter Willinger, AT&T Labs­Research.


              Routing with a Clue, Anat Bremler-Barr, Yehuda Afek,
              and Sariel Har-Peled, Tel-Aviv University.

              Load-Sensitive Routing of Long-Lived IP Flows,
              Anees Shaikh, University of Michigan; Jennifer
              Rexford, AT&T Labs-Research; and Kang G. Shin,
              University of Michigan.

              A Simple Approximation to Minimum-Delay Routing,
              Srinivas Vutukury and J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves,
              University of California at Santa Cruz.