Computer Communications - CSCI 551, Spring 2004, MW Section

General Information
Time   :   MW 2:00pm - 3:20pm
Location : VKC 100
Instructor   :   Bill Cheng, Office Hours: MW 3:40pm - 4:40pm in SAL 342, E-mail: <> or <>   (Please do not send HTML e-mails. They will not be read.)
TA   :   Nadim Tawileh, E-mail: <>, Office Hours: Tu 11:30am - 12:30pm and Th 2:00pm - 3:00pm in SAL 211
Grader   :   Manan Shah, E-mail: <>,    (The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each project assignment's grades.)
Midterm Exam   :   in WPH B-27 (building just north of VKC), Mon, 3/8/2004 (firm)
Final Exam   :   in GFS 116, 2pm-4pm, Mon, 5/10/2004 (firm)
(GFS is located in section 5C of the campus map)
Newsgroup   :   usc.class.csci551b
Msg Archives   :   messages from Bill, messages from Nadim, messages from Manan
Class Resources
Description   :   textbooks, topics covered, grading policies, additional resources, etc.
Papers   :   required and recommanded technical papers.
Lectures   :   slides from lectures in HTML, PostScript, and PDF formats.
Homeworks   :   (2-4 homeworks will be assigned.)
Projects   :   (please also see important information about the class projects below.)
(in reversed chronological order)
  • 4/26/2004: The final exam will cover the following topics:
    • TCP congestion control [Jacobson88a]
      • slow start
      • congestion avoidance
      • fast retransmit
    • TCP Tahoe, Reno, New Reno, TCP SACK [Fall96a]
      • fast recovery
    • DEC-bit [Ramakrishnan90a]
      • queue length
      • fairness
      • power
      • efficiency
    • Fair queueing & weighted fair queueing [Demers89a]
      • arrival time
      • start time
      • finish time
    • RED [Floyd93a]
      • random drop
      • threasholds
    • TCP throughput [Padhye98a]
      • bandwidth relationship with loss probabilities, segment size, and RTT
      • triple-dupack period
      • timeouts and limited advertised receiver window size
    • TCP friendliness [Floyd99b]
      • bandwidth equation
      • UDP
    • integrated and differentiated services design issues [Shenker95a]
      • efficacy
    • integrated services [Clark92a]
      • guaranteed, predicted, and best effort services
      • token buckets
      • FIFO+
    • differentiated services [Clark98a]
      • RIO (Red with In or Out)
    • differentiated services [Nichols99a]
      • premium, assured, and best effort services
      • two-bit diff-serv
      • border router profile meters
    • network performance measurements [Paxson99b]
      • pathologies (reordering, duplication, corruption)
      • bandwidth (bottleneck BW vs. available BW)
      • loss (predictive?)
      • packet bunch (problems with packet pair)
    • Freenet [Clarke02a]
      • unstructured DHT system
      • insertion
      • search
    • Chord [Stoica01a]
      • structured DHT system
      • finger table
      • insertion
      • search
    • wireless & mobile
    • mobile IP [Johnson96b]
    • media access for wireless LAN [Bharghavan94a]
      • hidden terminal
      • exposed terminal
      • back-off
    • snoop [Balakrishnan95b]
      • operation of snoop
    • dynamic source routing in ad hoc wireless networks [Johnson96c]
      • DSR route discovery and route maintenance
    • sensor network [Intanagonwiwat00a]
      • directed diffusion
    • IP multicast
      • composed of a service model, IGMP, and multicast routing protocols
      • MBone and tunnels
    • DVMRP, MOSPF [Deering88b]
      • flood and prune in DVMRP
      • receivers floods in MOSPF
    • PIM [Deering96a]
      • shared tree vs. source tree
      • sparse mode vs. dense mode
      • core/center/rendezvous point
    • Single-source Multicast [Holbrook99a]
    • SRM [Floyd97c]
      • NACK, implosion, ad exposure
      • receiver reliable
      • delay before sending NACKs
    • Class final project

  • 3/3/2004: The midterm exam is closed book, closed notes, and closed everything (and no "cheat sheet"). Also, no calculators are allowed. Please bring a photo ID. Your ID will be collected at the beginning of the exam and will be returned to you when you turn in your exam. There will be assigned seating.

    The midterm exam will cover the following topics:

    • Networking basics
      • CIDR
      • NAT
    • Internet design issues [Clark88a]
    • IP (protocol hourglass) [Deering98a]
    • End-to-end argument [Saltzer81a]
    • Naming & binding [Saltzer82a]
    • Unicast routing
      • distance vector
      • link state
    • Interdomain routing (BGP)
      • BGP messages
      • BGP attributes and policy routing
      • EBGP vs IBGP
      • multihoming
    • Delayed convergence [Labovitz00a]
    • Landmark routing [Tsuchiya88a]
    • ISP peering [Norton01]
    • TCP
      • SYN & 3WH
      • FIN
      • RTT & RTO
    • Class project
      • final project part (1)

  • 3/1/2004: The midterm will be held during class time in WPH B-27 (building just north of VKC).

  • 1/14/2004: The spec for warmup project #1 is out. It's due at 11:45PM on 1/30/2004. Electronic submissions only, so please read the submission instructions. The deadline is firm. Remember, you can submit multiple versions. So, don't submit till the last minute!

    If you don't know the password to the spec web page, that's because you have not registered with the class mailinglist.

  • 12/5/2003: Watch this area for important announcements.
Important Information about the Class Projects
The class projects will take more than 5,000 lines of C/C++ code to be developed on a UNIX environment. No other programming language will be accepted and your program must compile and run with a Makefile on You must be familiar with the UNIX development environment (vi/pico/emacs, cc/gcc or g++/CC, make, etc.)

If a student signs up late for this class, he/she is still required to turn all projects and homeworks on time or he/she will receive a score of 0 for these assignments. No exceptions!


[Last updated Mon Apr 26 2004]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]