CS455 Computer Communications and Networking
Wednesday 4:30 - 7:10 PM, Sandbridge Hall 107
|| Dr. Songqing Chen
|| 5319 Engineering Building
|| sqchen AT cs dot gmu dot edu
|| Wednesday 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m (tentative), or by appointment
The course will present data communications fundamentals and
computer networking methods, using the ISO 7-layer reference model to
organize the study. Attention will be focused on the protocols of the
physical, data link control, network, and transport layers, for local
and wide area networks. Emphasis will be given to the Internet
Protocol Suite. Some advanced topics, such as network security,
wireless and mobile computing networks, will also be covered. Students
will program simplified versions of the protocols as a part of the
Grade of C or better in STAT 344, CS 310 and CS 367 (ability to program in C/C++).
Larry Peterson and Bruce Davie, Computer Networks, A Systems Approach, 5th Edition, Morgan-Kaufmann
- Pullen, Understanding Internet Protocols, Wiley, 2000.
- James Jurose and Keith Ross, Computer Networking - A Top-Down
Approach Featuring the Internet, Addison Wesley.
- OSI 7-layer model
- Signal encoding, modulation and multiplexing
- Flow/error control
- Medium access control
- Internet architecture
- TCP/UDP protocols
- Security, multimedia networking, wireless and mobile computing
- Explain basic electrical engineering principles that enable communication at the
- Demonstrate an understanding of wired and wireless data link layer protocols for
shared medium and point-to-point communication
Demonstrate an understanding of the graph theory concepts required for unicast
and multicast routing
- Demonstrate an understanding of distributed routing protocols
- Describe how protocols and applications use ARQ algorithms for distributed
- Demonstrate an understanding of end-to-end transport layer protocols
Explain basic concepts in cryptography and networking security protocols
- Illustrate fundamental understanding of networking by programming portions of
the entire network stack
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of performance analysis for computer
- Demonstrate a basic working vocabulary of data communications and networking terminology
Homework assignments are on a semi-regular basis. Projects are
based on a network simulator. The network
simulator, Network Workbench (NW), enables the study and
implementation of various networking protocols in a virtual
reality, where network devices (namely, routers and switches) are
simulated and your protocol implementations can be tested and
The official platform for projects is
site-unix, meaning that the TA will grade your projects on that
platform. Currently, it points to zeus.ite.gmu.edu. On site-unix, the current version of NW, nw42, can be found
at /usr/local/nw42. (Note that, for security reasons, you can
login into site-unix from osf1 if you cannot login directly.) To install nw42 in your home
directory, follow the instructions in
Alternatively, you can install NW on your PC from
netlab.gmu.edu/NW. Note that site-unix is the only official
platform. You are responsible for resolving any compatibility issues
before submitting (although we expect few such problems).
- If your code does not compile, you get no credit.
- Assignments and Projects are individual efforts.
- We reserve the right to use MOSS to detect plagiarism.
Your grade will be calcuated as follows:
- 10% Projects
- 20% Assignments
- 30% Midterm exam
- 40% Final exam
No credit if your project does not compile. Late assignments/projects lose 20% credit and will not be accepted
3 days after due, unless under prearranged conditions.
No early exams will be given.
Missed/make-up exams are strongly discouraged and must be arranged with the instructor BEFORE the exam
date with an official and verifiable excuse.
GMU Academic Calendar
Disability Resource Center
Dr. Songqing Chen,
Dept. of Computer Science,
George Mason University