ECE 564 - Spring 2021
Advanced Topics in Computer Networks


 Time and Place

Monday and Wednesday 3:30 - 4:45pm (virtual through Zoom).


Dr. Marwan Krunz
ECE Building, Room 365
Office Hours: Wednesday 10-11am and by appointment (a Zoom link will be provided)

 Syllabus and Tentative Topics

xx Class Material

There is no textbook for this course. The material will be covered from the following sources: Reading material will be continuously assigned throughout the semester. Unless indicated otherwise, you are responsible for the content of all assigned papers.

 Homework Assignments and Handouts

Check the D2L page of the class (requires UA Netid and password).

 Assigned Reading (Unless indicated otherwise, students are responsible for all assigned reading material)


 Course Objectives

In recent years, computer networks have been undergoing significant changes in their design principles, architectures, protocols, and application scenarios. Emerging networks are expected to carry diverse traffic types (e.g., video, audio, images, and text), some of which have stringent delay and packet-loss transport requirements. Quality-of-service (QoS) support became a fundamental block in the design of intelligent networks. The exponential growth of the web has made it critical to deploy web caching mechanisms at end-systems (clients and servers) as well as within the network. Network services have been extended to the wireless domain (e.g., via 5G and WiFi), allowing for seamless wired/wireless connectivity. IoT is emerging as a key platform for many exciting sensor-based applications and smart devices.

The goal of this course is to expose students to recent advances in computer networks, with focus on the architectural aspects and protocols. The course will cover a wide range of topics in both wired and wireless networks. For wired networks, covered topics will include: Quality-of-service guarantees for real-time applications, traffic and congestion control mechanisms, voice/video over IP networks, TCP-based flow control, RTP and RTCP protocols, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), buffer management and priority scheduling at Internet routers, traffic policing, fair allocation of bandwidth resources, teletraffic modeling and characterization, software-defined Networking (SDN), slicing and network virtualization, Internet-of-Things (IoT) systems and protocols, overlay networks, peer-to-peer systems, and cloud/fog communications. Topics related to wireless networks will include channel access and routing in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), TCP over wireless networks, sensor networks, dynamic spectrum access (DSA) networks, etc. (see the attached list of topics). In the process of learning network architectures and protocols, students will be exposed to various analytical methods that are used in the design and engineering of next-generation networks. They will also use simulations to evaluate the performance of various design concepts.


Remark:  Your homework assignments may require you to perform numerical computations or run discrete-event simulations. For assignments that require numerical computations, you will need to write your own code using C or Matlab. For assignments involving discrete-event simulations, you are REQUIRED to use the Csim software. Csim is a C-based programming environment for discrete-event simulation, developed by Mesquite Software. I will spend 1-2 weeks reviewing the basics of Csim, but that will not be enough to cover all of its features. Therefore, you should start reading the Csim documentation on your own as soon as possible, and before I cover it in class. Csim's User's Guide is available online at (under `Documentation').