CMPE252A, Fall 2011, Section 01: Syllabus and General Information


This course deals with the theory and practice of computer communication networks. The course covers network architectures and protocols, with emphasis on their analysis.

General Class Information

     Lecture times: 

         Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00--11:45 AM, Merrill Academy 132

          Final Exam: Tuesday, December 6, 8:00 - 10:00 AM 


            Name: Anujan Varma (varma at

          Phone: 459-3505

          Office: E2-221

          Office Hours: Mondays 1:00 - 3:00 PM


A senior-level undergraduate course in computer networks. A strong background in probability and random processes is required (at the level of the material taught in CMPE 107).


There is no single required text book for the class. I will be using material from the following
books.  All of these books are on reserve in the Science Library and can be checked out for 24 hours.






Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, Fifth Edition, L. Peterson and B. Davie, Elsevier, 2011.





Data Networks, D. Bertsekas and R. Gallager, Prentice-Hall, 1992 (second edition)





An Engineering Approach to Computer Networking: ATM Networks, the Internet, and the Telephone Network, S. Keshav, Addison-Wesley, 1997.







Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches, and Internetworking Protocols, Second Edition, R. Perlman, Addison-Wesley, 1999 (Operational concepts of bridges, routing algorithms, and discussion of many routing







OSPF: Anatomy of an Internet Routing Protocol, J. T. Moy, Addison-Wesley, 1998.








TCP/IP illustrated, Vol. 1, R. Stevens, Addison-Wesley, 1996






Network Algorithmics, G. Varghese, Elsevier, 2004

In addition, I will provide a list of papers for reading as necessary.

Evaluation Criteria

     Homeworks: 15 percent
     Midterm: 25 percent
     Final: 30 percent
     Project: 30 percent


The projects are to be done individually. I will post a list of potential project topics on the class
Web pages. You may choose one from the list or come up with your own idea. In general, the
project involves the following:

  1. Study an idea (such as a routing protocol or congestion-control algorithm) in depth, collect and read relevant references.
  2. Verify the idea by simulation and/or analysis.
  3. Perform measurements.
  4. Explain results and summarize any insights gained.


Project Deadlines

  • Oct 6: Project proposal due (minimum 2 pages in length). The proposal must contain a concise statement of the problem, summary of relevant papers that you have already read, a clear description of the proposed work, a detailed plan, and the tools and environment to be used. It must also provide a list of key references. This must be new work and should not duplicate work you are doing for credit in other courses or individual study.
  • Nov 10: Progress report due. The report must outline the progress so far, discuss initial results, and describe any problems encountered.
  • Dec 2: Final written reports due.

Academic Integrity

All work submitted, including homework solutions, must be your own. Any unauthorized collaboration will be treated as a violation of academic integrity and handled according to University policies (The official University policies can be found here).  You must also provide proper attribution for any material taken from others' work.



Links to Reference Material