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EECS 589: Advanced Computer Networks

Instructor: Z. Morley Mao

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This is a graduate level course on computer networking focusing on advanced topics and is a must for anyone interested in doing research in computer networks. The course consists of both a reading/lecture/discussion component and a project component. We will read at least 50 research papers on most recent topics of computer networking. This class examines the current and emerging research topics in computer networking. Topics covered include network protocols, network measurement, Internet routing, peer to peer networks, network security, wireless and sensor networks. Significant emphasis will be put on security and network management issues related to computer networks, as these are becoming increasingly important given the growing number attacks and complexity of networks.

We focus both on the existing technologies also on why some of them are not sufficient because of technology trends or changes in fundamental assumptions. As an example, early designers of Internet assumed cooperative behavior of end nodes. The state of the art of tens of thousands of compromised hosts, i.e., zombies, completely changes this assumption and today's landscape on the Internet. Emphasis of the course is on topics in wide-area networks, wireless networks, and measurement methodologies for Internet and wireless experiments. Students are expected to carry out a research project including analysis, design, and implementation components when appropriate on a novel subject.

Additional Information
The class projects can be either of the following types: algorithm design applied to networked system, implementation of a novel networking system, measurement of existing network protocols, and simulation of a proposed network algorithm. We emphasize on problems that are real and solutions that will make a difference, ideally can be deployed. The lecture will be conducted in an interactive fashion. I will lead the discussion for the first part of the class, but I expect everyone to participate. For the second half of the class, I expect each student (can be in groups) to present a paper. You will be graded for both the paper summaries and class discussions.

There are no required textbooks for this course.


  • Project: A major component of this course, both in terms of your grade and your time, is a research project. The goal of this project is to investigate new research ideas and solutions in a topic related to computer networks.
  • Assignments: There will be 2 small assignments focused on applying what you learned by reading papers. These are meant to bring you up to speed of the current state of the art of networking. The assignments are meant to be fun and encourage students to be creative.
  • Paper presentation: Students are expected to lead one discussion on one of the suggested topics based on in-depth understanding of two to three papers. The presentation should consist of two components: a brief summary of the work and a critical evaluation that show deeper understanding and provide avenues for future work.
  • Reading summaries: Students are expected to come prepared to class by reading the papers assigned. Short reading summaries describing the papers are to be handed in before each class.
  • Class discussion: This class is meant to be highly interactive. Everyone is expected to engage in discussions. I encourage students to attend all lectures