Fall 2006

Rivier College


CS553A Introduction to Networking Technologies


1.     Course number and title: CS553A Introduction to Networking Technologies

2.     Instructor’s name:      Dr. Vladimir V. Riabov, Associate Professor; Office: STH-312; Tel: (603) 897-8613;

                                                E-mail: vriabov@rivier.edu; Web site: http://www.rivier.edu/faculty/vriabov/

3.       Course description: A survey of the technologies available for network solutions to distributed processing problems. Topics include: layered network architectures, signal transmission analysis, transmission media, data encoding, local and wide area networks, communications architecture and protocols, modeling techniques with OPNET software. Prerequisite: CS250 Data Abstraction.


4.       Course objectives:

This course attempts to provide an overview of the rapidly growing field of networking technologies, data and computer communications, and encourage students to develop a solid foundation and on-hand experience in these areas. Topics to be covered include data communication networking models, protocols (TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, OSPF, BGP, and others), standards, analog and digital data transmission, transmission media (twisted pair wires, coaxial cables, fiber optics, and satellite communications), broadband technologies, multimedia communications, ISDN, xDSL, SONET, packet switching, ATM, LAN systems (Ethernet, CSMA/CD, Token Ring, Fibre Channel, Wireless LANs), switching and routing networks, and network security.


Upon completion of this course, the student should learn:

·         Layered network architectures, OSI Reference Model, and TCP/IP protocol suite

·         The Internet Organizations and some RFC Publications

·         Networking Protocol categories (Transmission services, Addressing, Flow and Error Control, Multiplexing, Segmentation and Reassembly, Routing, Encapsulation, etc.)

·         Applications (SMTP, FTP, TELNET, HTTP, and others)

·         Analog and Digital Data Transmission Methods

·         Difference between synchronous and asynchronous communications

·         Signal transmission analysis, its strength and delay distortion, bandwidth limitations (Nyquist and Shannon theories), International Reference Alphabet, Fourier concepts

·         Guided transmission media (twisted pair, coaxial cable, optical fiber), wireless transmission technologies (microwave, infrared, radio), and satellite systems

·         Modulation theory and modems

·         Data Communication Interfaces and standards, line configurations (topology, full/half duplex)

·         Data link control principles: Logical Link Control (LLC), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

·         Multiplexing techniques (Frequency-Division, Time-Division)

·         Digitization techniques (Pulse Code Modulation), digital transmission technologies (T1 and T3)

·         Broadband technologies (ISDN, ASDN, xDSL, and cable modem)

·         Fiber optic transmission systems and SONET

·         Wide-Area Networks (Circuit-Switching, Packet-Switching, Frame Relay, ATM, Broadcast networks topologies, such as bus, ring, and star)

·         Routing Strategies and Protocols

·         Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

·         LAN Technology (BUS, Ring, Star, Wireless, and Bridges)

·         LAN Systems (Ethernet, CSMA/CD, Token Ring, FDDI, Fiber Channel, Wireless LANs)

·         Internetworking Protocols (IPv4, IPv6, ICMP, IGMP)

·         Routing Protocols (BGP, OSPF, RSVP)

·         Transport Protocols (TCP, UDP)

·         Network Security (Encryption, Digital Signature, IPSec)

·         Networking simulation and modeling techniques with OPNET software.


5.     Class Dates and Time:       September 7, 2006 – December 14, 2006

Thursdays: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM


6.     Required textbook:      W. Stallings, Data and Computer Communications, 7th edition, Prentice Hall, 2004

(ISBN: 0-13-100681-9).

Kevin Brown and Leann Christianson, OPNET Lab Manual to Accompany Data and Computer Communications (7th edition), Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005

(ISBN: 0-13-148252-1) [optional].


7.     Recommended books:

·         Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, 4th edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2003, ISBN: 0-13-066102-3.

·         Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie, Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, 3rd edition (2003), Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, ISBN: 1-55860-832-X.

·         Tom Sheldon, McGraw-Hill's Encyclopedia of Networking & Telecommunications, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, June 2001, ISBN: 0072120053.

·         B. A. Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking, 3rd edit., McGraw-Hill, 2004, ISBN: 0-07-251584-8.

·         A. Dennis, Networking in the Internet Age, 5th edition, Wiley, 2002, ISBN: 0471201898.

·         James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, 3rd edition (2005), Pearson education, Inc., ISBN: 0-321-22735-2.

·         Srinivasan Keshav, An Engineering Approach to Computer Networking, 1st edition (1997), Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201634422.

·         W. Stallings, Wireless Communications and Networks, 1st edition (2001), Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0130408646.

·         Radia Perlman, Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches, and Internetworking Protocols (Addison Wesley Professional Computing Series), 2 edition (October 1999), Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201634481.

·         Leon-Garcia and Widjaja, Communication Networks: Fundamental Concepts and Key Architectures, McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, 1999.

·         Ata Elahi, Network Communications Technology, 1st edition, Delmar Publishers, 2000, ISBN: 0766813886.

·         E. Gray, MPLS: Implementing the Technology (with CD-ROM), Addison-Wesley, 2001; ISBN: 0201657627.

·         D. E. Comer, Internetworking with TCP/IP, Vol. I: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture, 4th edition, Prentice Hall, 2000; ISBN: 0130183806.

·         Jeff Doyle, CCIE Professional Development: Routing TCP/IP, Vol. I, Macmillan Technical Publishing, Indianapolis, IN, 1998; ISBN: 1578700418.

·         Darren L. Spohn, Data Network Design (McGraw-Hill Communications Series), 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill, 1997, ASIN: 0070603634.

·         William Stallings, ISDN and Broadband ISDN with Frame Relay and ATM, 4th edition (1999), Prentice Hall.

·         Articles published in IEEE and other Technical Journals.

·         Technical information and white papers published on the Internet.


Partial List of Excellent Reference Sources for Classes and Project Assignments:

·         IEEE Communications Magazine (technical journal);

·         IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (technical journal);

·         IEEE Network (technical journal);

·         IEEE Spectrum (technical journal);

·         IEEE Transactions on Communications (technical journal);

·         Computer Communications (technical journal);

·         Computer Networks and ISDN Systems (technical journal);

·         Bell System Technical Journal;

·         Lightware, The Journal of Fiber Optics (technical journal);

·         Data Communications (trade magazine – O.K. for technical reference);

·         Telecommunications (trade magazine – O.K. for technical reference);

·         Byte (trade magazine – O.K. for technical reference);

·         Embedded Systems (trade magazine – O.K. for technical reference);

·         Communications Week (weekly newspaper – NOT for technical reference);

·         Network World (weekly newspaper – NOT for technical reference).


8.        Classroom Policies:

a)       Attendance: The classroom is the heart of the educational experience at Rivier College because it provides, uniquely, a formal setting for the important exchanges among faculty and students. Regular and punctual attendance at all classes, essential for maximum academic achievement, is a major responsibility of Rivier College students. Failure to attend and contribute to the classroom environment significantly and demonstrably reduces the quality of the educational experience for everyone in the classroom. As a result, absences almost always impact the quality of performance.

As part of its commitment to a quality educational experience for all members of the Rivier community, the College formally requires specific attendance policies to be developed by its professors and reviewed by the Division Head and Academic Dean. Any attendance policy used by an individual professor as a criterion for evaluation must be specified in the course syllabus and presented to students during the first week of classes. These policies can be found in respective course syllabi, and may include reasonable penalties and sanctions for excessive absences.

In the event of prolonged illness, accident, or similar emergency, it is the responsibility of the student to notify both the professor and the Office of the Academic Dean. Students must remember that it is always their responsibility to make up the work they may have missed during an absence from class. Students are directed to confer with their professors when their absences jeopardize satisfactory progress. Whenever a professor is absent without notification, students are expected to wait fifteen minutes before leaving and to sign an Attendance List, which a class member delivers to the Office of the Academic Dean.

Instructors are required to record attendance and alert the Registrar when a student fails to attend the equivalent of two weeks of courses (2 absences for a course meeting once a week, 4 absences for a course meeting twice a week, 6 absences for a course meeting three times a week). The student will then be alerted that he/she is in danger of falling under the 'habitual non-attendance policy" (see below).

Habitual Non-Attendance Policy:

Habitual non-attendance is defined as an absence in any course (for any reason whatsoever) equating to three full weeks of missed class sessions (3 absences for a course meeting once a week, 6 absences for a course meeting twice a week, 9 absences for a course meeting three times a week).

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the College of any intention to withdraw from a course or withdraw from the College. The College will attempt to resolve the issue of habitual non-attendance with the student; however, the College reserves the right to withdraw students who are no longer attending classes. Habitual non-attendance in one or more classes may result in administrative withdrawal from the class or classes affected, withdrawal from the College or, in cases with extenuating circumstances, an administrative leave of absence. In such cases a grade of W of NF will be assigned to the classes affected according to the appropriate date published in the academic calendar.

Students who have attended no class sessions of a course or courses from which they are registered by the end of the drop/add period will be dropped from each class not attended. If a student never attended any courses during the drop/add period, the student will be withdrawn from his/her full schedule of courses.

b)       Honesty policy: Plagiarism and cheating are serious breaches of academic honesty. In general, plagiarism is defined as the presentation of someone else’s work in whatever form: copyrighted material, notes, film, art work, reports, statistics, bibliographies, and the like, as one’s own, and failing to acknowledge the true source. Quoting word-for-word, or almost so, or using the argumentation of another source without acknowledging this dependence also constitutes plagiarism. Cheating is defined as the giving or attempting to give or to receive unauthorized information or assistance during an examination or in completing an assigned project. Submission of a single work for two separate courses without the permission of the instructors involved is also a form of cheating.

If students are unsure whether a specific course of action would constitute plagiarism or cheating, they should consult with their instructor in advance.

Penalties for plagiarism and cheating vary with the degree of the offense and may take the form of the following academic sanctions:

·                the grade of F for the work in question;

·                the grade of F for the course;

·                notification of the department chair and/or Academic Dean of the College of the misconduct of the student;

·                recommendations that the student be suspended or dismissed from the College.


c)       Project Assignment (individual project): Your assignment is to write a study report or a research paper. The purpose of writing the report/paper is for you to gain an in-depth understanding of a particular topic that you are interested, or the technical knowledge that you learned will benefit you for your work or for your career development. It also gives you an opportunity to learn how to do independent research work as well as how to write a technical report/paper.

The potential topics for your report/paper are listed as follows:

·         Compare state-of-the-art high speed intelligent modem to cable modem in networking technologies and applications;

·         Fiber optic technologies and multimedia data communications;

·         Satellite technology for data communications;

·         Waveform digitization and audio/video compression techniques for multimedia communications;

·         Voice over IP;

·         Broadband technologies and multimedia applications;

·         T1/T3/SONET technology for data communications;

·         Compare xDSL to cable modem in technologies and applications;

·         Frame Relay and ATM Technologies;

·         Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet technology;

·         Wireless communications technologies;

·         A topic of your own selection (may be related to your work).


The paper should consist of about 15 typed pages plus illustrations, bibliography, and appendices (if necessary). A minimum of six technical articles and/or books must be used as sources for your paper. At least thirty percent of your reference materials should be technical articles published within two years.

You must submit your outline and discuss it with me before you start writing the paper or start your project. If you need advice regarding the topic to select, the format of the paper, the contents of the paper, or reference material, you should discuss it with me. Discussing the same with your classmates is also encouraged. The outline discussion process is very important, because, only through this process, I may help you to organize your paper, advise you on the contents of the paper, advise you on where to find references, and guide you to the right direction. The Project Paper is due on December 7, 2006.


d)       FOUR homework assignments are scheduled (September 21, October 5, November 9, and November 30).


e)       FOUR in-class labs are scheduled (September 28, October 12, November 2, and November 16).


  1. Americans With Disabilities Act (Ada):

Rivier College wants to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. To accomplish this goal effectively and to ensure the best use of our resources, timely notice of a disability must be provided to the Office of Special Services for verification and for evaluation of available options. Any student whose disabilities fall within ADA should inform the instructor within the first two weeks of the term of any special needs or equipment necessary to accomplish the requirements for the course. To obtain current information on this procedure, contact the Office of Special Services at telephone extension 8497.


  1. 24/7 Blackboard Technical Support:
    All students have the ability to access Blackboard technical support on a 24/7 basis. Students have many different options for obtaining support, including phone, online technical library, or Live Chat with a customer service representative. The support can be accessed by following this link: http://supportcenteronline.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=3250


11.     Evaluation Mechanism:

Students are required to pass all exams and complete all assignments. Exams will be based on textbooks, lecture material, and handouts. All exams will be comprehensive, closed book and open notes, and will be conducted in-class. See “Project Assignments” for detailed project assignment requirements. Grades for all exams and assignments will not be determined by curves. Letter grades submitted to the Registrar’s Office would be based on the Rivier College Grading system. The conversion from numerical grade to letter grade will be based on the following table:

                        Letter Grade                  Honor Points                        Numerical Grade


                                A                                             4.0                                           94-100

                                AB                                          3.5                                           90-93

                                B                                             3.0                                           84-89

                                BC                                           2.5                                           80-83

                                C                                             2.0                                           73-79

                                F                                              0.0                                           Below 73


The grade is made up of your performance on your homeworks, labs, project, midterm and final exams.

                Approximate weightings are as follows:


Homeworks                   10%

Labs                               10%

Midterm Exam               25%

                        Final Exam                     30%

                        Project                            25%


12.     Due Dates:


Homeworks #1-4 due           September 21, October 5, November 9, and November 30, 2006

Labs #1-4 (in-class) due      September 28, October 12, November 2, and November 16, 2006

Project Proposal:                  October 5, 2006

Midterm Exam:                      October 19, 2006

Project due:                           December 7, 2006

Final Exam:                            December 14, 2006


  1. Topic Outline:


SESSION              TOPIC                                                                   READING                     HOMEWORKS_____


1         (09/07)            Basic Communication Concepts                                Ch. 1      

                                Layered Network Architectures                                Chs. 1, 2

Protocols                                                                       Ch. 2                                              


2  (09/14)                Analog and Digital Data Transmission. Lab00.      Ch. 3, OPNET                       

Channel Bandwidth. Transmission Impairments.   Ch. 3


3  (09/21)                Guided and Wireless Transmission Media.             Ch. 4                       Homework #1 due

Signal Encoding Techniques                                     Ch. 5                                      


4  (09/28)                Asynchronous & Synchronous Transmission.      Ch. 6                              

Line Configurations. Interfacing. Lab01.          Ch. 6, OPNET           In-class Lab01 due

                                Flow Control, Error Detection, HDLC                       Ch. 7


5  (10/05)                Data Link Control Protocols.                                      Ch. 7                       Homework #2 due

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)                    Ch. 7

Frequency-Division Multiplexing                             Ch. 8                                              

                                [PROJECT PROPOSAL DUE]


6  (10/12)                Synchronous Time-Division Multiplexing,              Ch. 8

SONET/SDN, ISDN. Lab02.                                        Ch. 8, OPNET        In-class Lab02 due

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. xDSL              Ch. 8

Mid-term Exam Preparation


7  (10/19)              [MID-TERM EXAM]                                           [MID-TERM EXAM]           Chs. 1-8


8  (10/26)                WAN: Circuit-Switching Networks & Routing       Ch. 10                            

                                Control Signaling                                                         Ch. 10

                                Packet-Switching Principles & Routing                   Ch. 10                                    

                                X.25; Frame Relay.                                                       Ch. 10                            


9  (11/02)                Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). Lab03.      Ch. 11, OPNET      In-class Lab03 due              


10 (11/09)              Routing in Switched Networks. List-Cost Algorithms. Ch. 12              Homework #3 due
Congestion & Traffic Management                          Ch. 13                            


11 (11/16)              Local Area Networks. Lab04.                                     Ch. 15, OPNET      In-class Lab04 due

                                High-Speed LAN (Ethernet, Token Ring, Fiber Channel)     Ch. 16


12 (11/23)              NO CLASSES (Thanksgiving)


13 (11/30)              Internetwork Protocols (IPv4, IPv6, ICMP, IGMP) Ch. 18                     Homework #4 due


14 (12/07)              Routing Protocols (BGP, OSPF, RIP)                        Ch. 19

                                Transport Protocols (TCP, UDP)                               Ch. 20

                                Final Exam Preparation

[PROJECT DUE]                                                 [PROJECT DUE]


15 (12/14)             [FINAL EXAM]                                                    [FINAL EXAM]    Chs. 10-13, 15, 16, 18-20