EE E4710 An Introduction to Network Engineering

Call number 66401

[Go to Syllabus / Get Homeworks][Get this info in postscript,pdf ][Go to courseworks ]
Lecturer/Manager  Professor Dan Rubenstein
Office hours: Location: CEPSR 816
Weekly time: Tue 10-11am, Wed 6-7pm
Also at other times by appointment 
Office phone: (212) 854-0050
Email address:
Day & Time Class  
Meets on Campus:
Tue,Thurs 11:00-12:15pm 
Location: 1024 Mudd
Credits for Course: 3
Class Type: Lecture
Teaching Assistant: Sambarta (Bobby) Bhattacharjee (
  • Office: 8th floor CEPSR, COMET Lab, come in through door next to elevator
  • Office Hours: M 10-12, Th 10-11
  • Mailbox: TBD
  • Phone: TBD
  • 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):  Unless otherwise specified, homework will be due one week after it is assigned and should be turned in at the beginning of class. At that time, you must turn in a physical copy of the assignment. E-mailed 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.

    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:  Closed book, 3/13 during classtime 
    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  
    1/21   1   Intro / Internet Protocol Stack   Chapter 1      
    1/23   2   Probability refresher: discrete     HW #1 [PS,PDF] (due 2/4)    
    1/28   3   Probability refresher: continuous        
    1/30   4   NO CLASS        
    2/4   5   Physical Layer       HW #1 (solutions) [PDF]  
    2/6   6   Datalink Layer: Error Detection and Correction   Chapter 3-3.3   HW #2 [PS,PDF] (due 2/13)    
    2/11   7   Datalink Layer: stop & wait, sliding window and their analysis   Section 2.3      
    2/13   8   Datalink Layer: Medium Access sublayer, collision avoidance: TDMA, FDMA, CDMA       HW #2 (solutions) [PDF]  
    2/18   9   Network Layer: Shortest path routing algorithms   Chapter 4-4.2, 4.4   HW #3 [PS,PDF] (due 2/27)    
    2/20   10   Network Layer: Distance Vector and Link State        
    2/25   11   Network Layer: Multicast, Tunneling       HW #3 (solutions) [PDF]  
    2/27   12   Network Layer: Addressing (CIDR)   Chapter 5-5.2      
    3/4   13   Network Layer wrapup     HW #4 [PS,PDF] (due 3/11)    
    3/6   14   Transport Layer: reliability       HW #4 (solutions) [PDF]  
    3/11   15   Transport Layer: congestion control        
    3/13   16   MIDTERM EXAM        
    3/18   17   Spring Break: NO CLASS        
    3/20   18   Spring Break: NO CLASS        
    3/25   19   Transport Layer: congestion control II (AQM)        
    3/27   20   Catchup / review        
    4/1   21   Transport Layer: multimedia (jitter control, ...)        
    4/3   22   Transport Layer: Multicast group concept     HW #5 [PS,PDF] (due 4/10)    
    4/8   23   Transport Layer: Fairness I (TCP, max-min)        
    4/10   24   Transport Layer: Fairness II (proportional)     HW #6 [PS,PDF] (due 4/17)   HW #5 (solutions) [PDF]  
    4/15   25   Transport Layer: wrapup        
    4/17   26   Application Layer: DNS model     HW #7 [PS,PDF](due 4/24)   HW #6 (solutions) [PDF]  
    4/22   27   Application Layer: P2P model        
    4/24   28   Large-scale phenomena: self-similar traffic, heavy-tailed distributions     HW #8 [PS,PDF] (due 5/1)   HW #7 (solutions) [PDF]  
    4/30   29   Large-scale phenomena: Internet power law growth        
    5/1   30   Review or special topics       HW #8 (solutions) [PDF]  
    5/13     Final Exam, 9am-12pm, 1024 Mudd        

    [Go to Top]