CS 176A: Introduction to Computer Communication Networks
Spring 2005

Course Description

    Basic concepts in networking, the OSI model, error detection codes, flow
    control, routing, medium access control, and high-speed networks.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the challenges of network communication.
  • Understand the basics of network communication.
  • Understand the operation of the protocols that are used inside the

Course Objectives and Department Mission

    Because the Internet is such an important part of the communications
    infrastructure, understanding how it works is of benefit to everyone.
    Understanding the Internet in detail is especially critical for Computer
    Science students. Not only do students learn how communication takes place,
    but the Internet serves as an excellent example of a highly distributed and
    complex computer system. As a consequence, understanding the Internet fits
    well with the CS Department's Mission.

Course Information

  • Lecture Time/Place
    • Tuesday/Thursday--11:00am to 12:15pm (CTL aka the Digital Classroom aka Trailer 932)

  • Discussion Time/Place
    • Monday--1:00pm to 1:50pm (Phelps 1425)
      • First discussion is April 4th
      • Last discussion is May 23rd (because of the holiday)

    • Course WWW Site:http://steamboat.cs.ucsb.edu/moodle/course/view.php?id=4

    • Course Material
      • Two different styles of the class textbook:
        • J. Kurose and K. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet",
          Addison-Wesley, (2nd edition--July 2002) or (3rd edition--May 2004).
          • Good descriptive text, but top-down instead of bottom-up. Also, a bit light on detail in some places, expect to have to occassionaly look elsewhere for more detail.
          • Note: Third edition was recently finished. Second edition (published July 2002) should be fine. First edition which is now really old is probably not fine. In any case, I show the different reading assignments for the second edition and third edition in the reading assignments.

        • Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, Prentice Hall, 4th Edition, August 2002.
          • Terse but thorough. Some of the explanations can be quite confusing.
          • Note: I used this book several years ago and while it still has some
            useful information, I tend to go by Kurose/Ross more.

        • http://www.google.com/
          • Learn it, know it, love it.

        • Shiv Kalyanaraman's Online Computer Networking Lessons
          • A colleaque has put together some useful lessons. Try it, you might
            like it!

    • Required Prerequisites: PSTAT120A or ECE139.

    • Recommended Prerequisites: PSTAT120B and CS170.

    Instructor Information

      Kevin Almeroth (almeroth@cs.ucsb.edu)

      Office 2113, Engineering I

      Office Hours: 10:00am-11:00am and 12:30pm-1:45pm on
      Tuesdays and Thursdays; by appointment, or if my door is open.

    Teaching Assistants

      Hangjin Zhang (hangjin@cs.ucsb.edu)

      Office Hours Times/Location: 2:00 - 4:00 pm on Monday and Thursday in the NMSL (Engr I, 2120B)

    Student Evaluation

    • 40%: Homeworks
    • 25%: Midterm Exam [May 3]
    • 35%: Final Exam [June 8]
    • ***: Class Participation

      NOTE: Class Participation does not have a deterministic component but will count in your final grade.

      NOTE2: There is no late homework/exam make-up policy. All missed assignments/exams earn a 0.

      NOTE3: All exams are closed notes/books/calculator/etc.

    Course Outline


    Mar 29 Tu

    Mar 31 Th

    Internet Evolution

    "Internet: `The Big Picture'"
    "A Brief History of the Internet"
    Online Maps


    Apr 05, Tu

    Apr 07, Th

    Clickers & Socket Programming

    OSI Stack


    Tanenbaum, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6
    Kurose/Ross, 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8

    Apr 11, Mo

    Apr 12, Tu

    Apr 14, Th

    Homework #1 due by 11:59pm

    Physical Layer

    Data Link Layer Overview and
    Point-to-Point Protocols

    Tanenbaum, 2.1-2.4
    Kurose/Ross, 1.4

    Tanenbaum, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
    Kurose/Ross, 5.1, 5.2, 5.8(v2)/5.7(v3)
    Latency Article

    Apr 19, Tu

    Apr 21, Th

    Data Link (Shared Media)

    Ethernet & High-Speed Shared Protocols

    Tanenbaum, 4.1, 4.2
    Kurose/Ross, 5.3, 5.4

    Tanenbaum, 4.3, 4.4, 4.7.5
    Kurose/Ross, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7

    Apr 25, Mo

    Apr 26, Tu

    Apr 28, Th

    Homework #2 due by 11:59pm

    Catch-Up and Review

    Network Layer Overview and IP--Part 1

    Tanenbaum, 5.1
    Kurose/Ross, 4.1, 4.4

    May 03, Tu

    May 05, Th

    Midterm Exam

    IP--Part 2

    Tanenbaum, 5.6.1-5.6.3,5.6.7-5.6.8
    Kurose/Ross, 4.7

    May 10, Tu

    May 12, Th

    IP--Part 3


    Kurose/Ross, 4.6(v2)/4.3(v3)

    Tanenbaum, 5.2, 5.5.6, 5.6.4, 5.6.5
    Kurose/Ross, 4.2-4.3(v2)/4.5(v3), and

    Kurose/Ross, 4.5(v2)/4.6(v3)

    May 16, Mo

    May 17, Tu

    May 19, Th

    Homework #3 due by 11:59pm

    Catch-Up Day

    Transport Layer Overview & TCP--Part 1

    Tanenbaum, 6.1, 6.2, 6.5
    Kurose/Ross, 3.1, 3.4

    May 24, Tu

    May 26, Th

    TCP--Part 2

    TCP--Part 3, UDP

    Kurose/Ross, 3.5-3.7

    Tanenbaum, 6.4
    Kurose/Ross 3.3

    May 31, Tu

    Jun 01, We

    Jun 02, Th


    Homework #4 due by 11:59pm

    Misc Topics (DHCP, NAT, Tunnelling)
    and Final Review

    Tanenbaum, 7.1-7.3
    Kurose/Ross, 2.2, 2.4, 2.5

    Tanenbaum, 5.6.3, 5.6.2,5.5.5
    Kurose/Ross,4.4.6, 4.4.7, 4.7.2
    UCSB Network Information


    Location: TBA

    Jun 08, We

    FINAL EXAM (12:00pm-3:00pm)
    Location: TBA

    Last updated 22-Mar-05 at 2:00pm