2017 Computer Networks

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Computer Science
Yokota Rio  Ono Isao 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-2(S011)  Fri1-2(S011)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Computer networks are ubiquitous in our daily lives, where we use LTE or WIFI from our favorite smart devices to connect to cloud servers that could be located in another country. This seemingly trivial task is actually made possible by an orchestration of technical components, each of which are ingenious inventions on their own. In this course we study the fundamental principles of computer networks along with their historical background. We also look at the advantages and fundamental limitations of each technology and learn how reliability and scalability is achieved in computer networks. In doing so, this course will prepare you for advanced operations and research in computer networks though the deep understanding of how computer networks function.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
Explain computer networks from a layered perspective through the use of reference models
Elaborate on the mecahnism of digital modulation and multiplexing in guided transmission media and wireless transmission
Detect and correct errors in transmitted data
Understand the limitations of each protocol and use this knowledge to choose between them
Explain the significance of concepts such as packet switching, routing, and TCP/IP
Assess security threats based on their understanding of encryption technologies


Guided transmission media, Wireless transmission, Digital modulation, Multiplexing, Error detection, Error correction, Channel allocation problem, Ethernet, Wireless LANs, Switching, Routing, Congestion control, UCP, TCP, DNS, e-mail, world wide web, Network security, Symmetric-key encryption, Public-key encryption, Digital signature, Authentication protocols

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

At the beginning of each class, solutions to exercise problems that were assigned during the previous class are reviewed. Towards the end of class, students are given exercise problems related to the lecture given that day to solve. To prepare for class, students should read the course schedule section and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Fundamentals of computer networks Network hardware/software Reference models Understand the different types of networks, reference models, protocols, design issues.
Class 2 The physical layer (part 1) Guided transmission media Wireless transmission Understand the characteristics of each transmission media and communication system.
Class 3 The physical layer (part 2) Digital modulation and multiplexing Explain the difference between baseband and passband transmission, public switched telephone and mobile telephone systems.
Class 4 The data link layer (part 1) Error-detection/correction Detect and correct the errors in the transmitted data.
Class 5 The data link layer (part 2) Data link protocol Give examples of data link protocols. Quantitative assessment of each protocol.
Class 6 The medium access control sublayer (part 1) Broadcast channels Understand multiple access protocols. Calculate data rates of these protocols.
Class 7 The medium access control sublayer (part 2) Wireless LAN,Bluetooth, RFID Explain the individual protocol stacks and data link layer switching.
Class 8 Midterm exam Test level of understanding with exercise problems Test level of understanding and self-evaluate achievement for classes 1-7.
Class 9 The network layer (part 1) Routing, Congestion control Understand various routing algorithms and explain congestion control algorithms.
Class 10 The network layer (part 2) Internet and QoS Understand the internet transport protocols and explain how networks connect with other networks.
Class 11 The transport layer (part 1) Elements of transport protocols Understand error control, flow control, and congestion control.
Class 12 The transport layer (part 2) UDP and TCP Explain the TCP connection management model and what makes TCP reliable.
Class 13 The application layer DNS, E-mail, www Understand how DNS, E-mail, www works. Understand audio/video steaming. and peer-to-peer networks.
Class 14 Network security (part 1) Symmetric-key/public-key algorithms Understand encryption algorithms. Explain SHA-1,2 and RSA.
Class 15 Network security (part 2) Digital signature, Authentication protocols Understand E-mail/Web security. Assess security threats.


“Computer Networks (5th edition)” (in Japanese), A.S. Tanenbaum, D. J. Wetherall, Translated by T. Mizuno and others, Nikkei BP, ISBN-13: 978-4822284763

Reference books, course materials, etc.

“Computer Networks (5th edition)”, A.S. Tanenbaum, D. J. Wetherall, Prentice-Hall, ISBN-13: 978-0132126953

Assessment criteria and methods

Excersize(20%),Midterm exam(40%),Final exam(40%)

Related courses

  • ICT.M310 : Mathematical Programming
  • MCS.T314 : Operating Systems
  • Radio Communication Systems

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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