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Computer Networks 2017/2018

  • 4 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment


i) Articulate Internet organization
ii) List and define the appropriate network terminology
iii)Describe the layered structure of a typical network architecture
iv) Discuss network systems, client-server, and distributed operating systems
v) Describe how packets are routed in a IP network
vi) Implements a socket-based client-server application
vii) Identify the different levels of complexity in a network (edges, core, etc.)
viii) List the differences and relationships among names and addresses in a network
ix) Describe reliable communication protocols operation
x) List the benefits of hierarchical addressing scheme regarding scalability
xi) Describe the differences and interrelations between IP networks and Ethernet
xii) Describe the mechanisms of how errors are detected, signalized, and managed, and error correction mechanisms
xiii) Discuss the wireless networks security properties
xv) Describe the goal of cryptography and its use in data communications

Recommended Prerequisites

There are no mandatory pre-requisites;

There are no mandatory pre-requisites;
However, it is advisable that students be familiar with:
• basic C programming language (Introduction to Programming and Algorithms);
• basic forms of digital representation of numerical information, and basic binary arithmetic operations (Computer Architecture and Organization).

Teaching Metodology

In theoretical-practical classes will use the active lecture method, reports and oral presentations to show the different theoretical and practical concepts. A network simulator, a protocol analyzer, and a network laboratory with CISCO equipment (swiches, routers, and firewals) will be used.
Guided practice methods will be used, case studies will be demonstrated, and students will be able to perform experiments in new situations. Practical individual and group work will be performed, and worksheets will be often proposed.
The active participation of all students will be stimulated.

- Periodic practical works assignments in classes and work sheets, to be submitted in Moodle to be assessed, after which its resolution will be given in classes;
- Practical lab work assignments using Cisco equipment;
- Two middle exams and a practical project (final).

Body of Work

1. Introduction: computer networks and the Internet; switching technologies; layered architecture, protocols and services.

2. Application Layer: The Web and HTTP, FTP, SMTP, DNS.

3. Transport Layer: multiplexing and demultiplexing, UDP, reliable data transfer, stop-and-wait, go-back-N and Selective Repeat, TCP, congestion control.

4. Network Layer: Routing by state-of-call; distance-vector routing for, IP, CIDR, RIP, OSPF, BGP, IPv6, VPNs, NAT.

5. Data Link layer: detection and correction of errors; Multiple Access; ALOHA, CSMA, token-ring, and IEEE 802.11 WLANs, ARP, hubs and switches, PPP, ATM.

6. Physical Layer.

7. Wireless Networks.

Recommended Bibliography

• Computer Networking, a Top-Down Approach, 6ª edição, James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross, 2013, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-13-607967-9.

• More information will be made available during the classes.

Complementary Bibliography

• Data and Computer Communications, William Stallings, 10th Edition, Prentice Hall; 2013.
ISBN-10: 0133506487; ISBN-13: 978-0133506488

• Computer Networks, Andrew S. Tanenbaum and David J. Wetherall, 5th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2010.
ISBN-10: 0132126958; ISBN-13: 978-0132126953

• Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie, 5th Edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 2011.
ISBN-10: 0123850592; ISBN-13: 978-0123850591

• Engenharia de Redes Informáticas, Edmundo Monteiro e Fernando Boavida, 10ª Edição Actualizada e Aumentada, FCA, 2011.
ISBN: 978-972-722-694-8

Weekly Planning

•Introduction and discussion of the course syllabus, teaching methodology, and evaluation model
• Introduction to computer networks and the Internet
• Lab 1: Network simulator
• Protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Application Layer
• Lab 3: Domain name resolution and IP mapping (DNS) using the network simulator
• Application Layer
• Lab 4: HTTP using the network simulator
• Transport Layer
• Lab 5: DNS using the protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Transport Layer
• Lab 6: HTTP using the protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Middle term exam
• Lab 7: TCP using the protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Network Layer
• Lab 8: IP using the network simulator and the protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Lab work using CISCO equipment
• Network Layer
• Lab 9: DHCP using the network simulator and the protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Lab work using CISCO equipment
• Data Link Layer
• Lab 10: Routing using the network simulator
• Lab work using CISCO equipment
• Data Link Layer
• Lab 11: ICMP using the protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Lab work using CISCO equipment
• Physical Layer
• Lab 12: Ethernet and ARP using the protocol analyzer Wireshark
• Lab work using CISCO equipment
• Starting off the Group Projects
• Wireless Networks
• Group Projects
• Middle term exam
• Group Projects
• Group Projects presentation

Note: The middle term exams' dates are subject to the publication of the grading map, and may be changed.

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

This Curricular Unit has the purpose to present an approach to Computer Networks, which are currently present in all areas where technology in involved.

The unit topics are developed considering the needed evolving knowledge to cope with that wide scope.

In M1 an introductory approach to computer networks and Internet is given. These contents are aligned with competencies i, ii, iii, iv, vii.
In M2, the Application layer is addressed (vi, viii, and partially iv, ix, e x).
In M3, the Transport layer is addressed (ix, and part. iv).
M4 presents the Network layer (v, and part. iv, x, e xi).
In M5, the Link layer is addressed (xii, and part. ii, vii, and xi).
In M6, the Physical layer is introduced. These contents align, in general terms, with most competencies related with network implementation and installation.
In M7, wireless networks are addressed (xiii, and xiv), and in these networks security plays a fundamental role.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

Computer Networks are currently present in almost every fields of human activity. They encompass a wide range of different concepts and technologies, and so it is of importance to foster the development of a vast set of competencies related with computer networks, for preparing the students to be able to tackle the related technological and societal challenges.
The active lecture method will allow to present and put in perspective the main topics, complemented with videos. The competencies regarding the description of the a layered structure of a network architecture, the discussion of system networks, the identification of different network levels of complexity, will be subject of evaluation with the elaboration of periodical practical projects, which will also focus on the analysis and synthesis of research papers from IEEE/ACM. The technical correction and creativity will also be assessed.
The discussion of system networks, client-server, and distributed systems, as well as the implementation of a socket-based client-server application, the listing of the differences and relationship between names and addresses within a network, among others, will be evaluated using network simulators and protocol analyzers.
The description of how packets are routed in a IP network, the differences and interplay of IP networks and Ethernet, of the mechanisms for error detection, signaling, and management, and the error correction, of the proprieties of networks security, will be evaluated using also Cisco network equipment in a lab environment.
All listed criteria have the purpose to assess the level of comprehension of the themes related with computer networks.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Commitment to qualityYesYes
Ethical and responsible behaviourYes 
Event organization, planning and managementYes 
Foreign language proficiencyYes 
Information and learning managementYesYes
Initiative and entrepreneurship capabilityYesYes
IT and technology proficiencyYesYes
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYesYes
Relating to othersYes 
Research skillsYes 
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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