EE E4710 An Introduction to Network Engineering

Call number 76253

[Go to Syllabus / Get Homeworks][Get this info in postscript,pdf ]
Lecturer/Manager  Professor Dan Rubenstein
Office hours: Location: CEPSR 816
Weekly time: Tue 4-5pm, Thurs 2-3pm
Also at other times by appointment 
Office phone: (212) 854-0050
Email address:
Day & Time Class  
Meets on Campus:
Mon,Wed 9:35-10:50pm 
Location: 1024 Mudd
Credits for Course: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Teaching Assistant: Jian Tan (
  • Office: CEPSR 8LE5 (right next to the elevator)
  • Office Hours: Fri, 2-4pm
  • Mailbox: Outside 1312 Mudd
  • Phone: (212) 854-2083
  • Prerequisites: 
  • SIEO W3658 or equivalent intro probability course
  • ELEN E3701 (theory of communication) recommended but not required.
  • Description: 

    The material covered in this course compliments the material being covered in COMS 4119: Computer Networks. Both courses can be taken for credit. Both courses will cover topics that relate to the current Internet, but the manner in which these topics will be addressed is significantly different, in that COMS 4119 will focus more on software and protocol issues (programming, header formats, etc.) and ELEN 4710 will focus more on theoretical and modeling issues (protocol analysis, graph and stochastic program models). 4710 will contain more math, while 4119 will contain more programming.

    Topics: Covers theoretical fundamentals of network engineering. Topics include theoretical underpinnings of the physical layer; design, protocols and analysis of the data-link layer and medium access sublayer; design, routing algorithms and prefix addressing for the network layer, and evaluation of congestion control and connection setup/teardown algorithms for the transport layer.  

    Required text(s): 
    • Dimitri Bertsekas and Robert Gallager Data Networks (2nd ed.), Prentice Hall, 1992. ISBN 0-13-200916-1. 

    Reference text(s): 
    • Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks (3rd ed.), Prentice Hall, 1996. ISBN 0-13-349945-64 

    • James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, Addison-Wesley, 2000. ISBN 0-20-147711-4 

    • Alberto Leon-Garcia and Indra Widjaja, Communication Networks: Fundamental Concepts and Key Architectures, McGraw-Hill, 2000. ISBN 0-07-022839-6. 

    • Srinivasan Keshav, An Engineering Approach to Computer Networking, Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-63442. 

    • Jean Walrand and Pravin Varaiya, High Performance Communication Networkse (2nd ed.), Morgan Kaufmann, 1999. ISBN 1-55860-574-6 . 

    • Jean Walrand, Communication Networks: A First Course (2nd ed.), McGraw-Hill, 1998. ISBN 0-256-17404-0. 
    Homework(s):  Non-CVN students: Unless otherwise specified, homework will be due one week after it is assigned and should be turned in by the beginning of class. At that time, a physical copy of the assignment must be received. If you will not attend class on that day, you should slide the homework under my office door (CEPSR 816) or in my mailbox (Mudd 1312) by 9am on the day it is due. Before class but after 9am, I will collect the homeworks from my office and mailbox. E-mailed/faxed homework and late assignments will not be accepted unless approved in advance. Approval will only be given under extreme circumstances. You are expected to produce your work in a timely manner. CVN students have an extra 48 hours to turn in homework.

    You may discuss and work on questions with other students in the class. However, you should write your solutions on your own. In other words, if I were to later ask you to re-derive one of your homework solutions or to solve a similar problem when you were without your friends, you should be able to do so or have a clear understanding of how to approach the problem. This can only be learned by doing, so you should do your homework. 

    Midterm exam:  10/15 during classtime, closed book, no calculators 
    Final exam:  Date/time TBD 
    Class / office-hour participation:  If you ace your tests and homeworks, you will get an A+, even if you do not participate in class or come to office hours. However, if you don't ace your tests and homeworks, but you can demonstrate to me that you have learned the material in another fashion (mainly via office-hour discussion in which you work through additional problems), you can improve by up to one letter grade (e.g., C to a B). To reiterate, it is possible to improve your grade by demonstrating an understanding of the material.  
    Grading:  Assignments 20%, midterm 35%, final 45%. On-campus students can also improve their standing by class / office hour participation 
    A note on exams:  I am more interested in your gaining an understanding of and developing an intuition for why certain rules, laws, and techniques hold and are used. I am less interested in your ability to memorize these rules, laws and techniques and blindly apply them without intuition as to why they work. Thus, I will try to design the midterm and final questions to test your understanding of the concepts, not your memorization skills. I realize that some memorization will undoubtebly be required, but hopefully the memorized concepts will be those that can be rederived via your intuition.
    Computer hardware and software requirements:  None 
    Homework submission:  Due 1 week after assignment before class. 

    Course Outline

    Schedule subject to change.
    Date   #   Topics/chapters covered   Reading (before class)   Assigned   Due  
    9/3   1   Intro / Internet Protocol Stack   Chapter 1      
    9/8   2   Probability refresher: discrete     HW #1 [PS,PDF] (due 9/15)    
    9/10   3   Probability refresher: continuous        
    9/15   4   Physical Layer       HW #1 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    9/17   5   Datalink Layer: Error Detection and Correction   Chapter 3-3.3   HW #2 [PS,PDF] (NEW: due 9/29)    
    9/22   6   Datalink Layer: stop & wait, sliding window and their analysis   Section 2.3      
    9/24   7   Datalink Layer: Medium Access sublayer, collision avoidance: TDMA, FDMA, CDMA        
    9/29   8   Network Layer: Shortest path routing algorithms   Chapter 4-4.2, 4.4   HW #3 [PS,PDF] (due 10/6)   HW #2 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    10/1   9   Network Layer: Distance Vector and Link State        
    10/6   10   Yom Kippur: NO CLASS        
    10/8   11   Network Layer: Multicast, Tunneling       HW #3 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    10/13   12   Network Layer: Addressing (CIDR)   Chapter 5-5.2      
    10/15   13   MIDTERM EXAM        
    10/20   14   Network Layer wrapup     HW #4 [PS,PDF] (due 10/27)    
    10/22   15   Transport Layer: reliability        
    10/27   16   Transport Layer: congestion control        
    10/29   17   Transport Layer: congestion control II (AQM)     HW #5 [PS,PDF] (due 11/12)   HW #4 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    11/3   18   Election Day: NO CLASS        
    11/5   19   Prof. Rubenstein out of town: NO CLASS        
    11/10   20   Transport Layer: multimedia (jitter control, ...)        
    11/12   21   Transport Layer: Multicast group concept     HW #6 [PS,PDF] (due 11/19)   HW #5 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    11/17   22   Transport Layer: Fairness I (TCP, max-min)   Chapter 2.4-2.6      
    11/19   23   Transport Layer: Fairness II (proportional)     HW #7 [PS,PDF] (due 11/26)   HW #6 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    11/24   24   Transport Layer: wrapup        
    11/26   25   Application Layer: DNS model   Chapter 2.9, Chapter 6     HW #7 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    12/1   26   Application Layer: P2P model     HW #8 [PS,PDF] (due 12/8)    
    12/3   27   Large-scale phenomena: self-similar traffic, heavy-tailed distributions        
    12/8   28   Catch-up/review       HW #8 (solutions) [PS,PDF]  
    12/10   5pm-7pm 1127 Mudd   Final Review        
    12/17 9am-12pm, Mudd 1024     Final Exam        

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