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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Undergraduate Course: Computer Communications and Networks (INFR10074)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a comprehensive first course in Computer Communications and Networks, focusing on fundamental concepts, principles and techniques. The course will introduce basic networking concepts, including: protocol, network architecture, reference models, layering, service, interface, multiplexing, switching and standards. An overview of digital communication from the perspective of computer networking will also be provided.

Topics covered in this course include: Internet (TCP/IP) architecture and protocols, network applications, congestion/flow/error control, routing and internetworking, data link protocols, error detection and correction, channel allocation and multiple access protocols, communication media and selected topics in wireless and data centre networks. It will cover recent advances in network control and management architectures by introducing the concepts of software-defined networking (SDN) and network (function) virtualisation.

Students taking this course will gain hands-on experience in network programming using the socket API; network traffic/protocol analysis; and on assessment of alternative networked systems and architectures.
Course description * Introduction to Computer Networking and the Internet
* Digital Communication Basics
* The Application Layer with comprehensive treatment of networked applications (incl. multimedia data and applications)
* The Transport Layer
* The Network Layer
* The Data Link Layer
* The Medium Access Control Sub-Layer
* The Physical Layer
* Software-defined networking (SDN)
* Network virtualisation and network function virtualisation (NFV)
* Network management
* Introduction to data centre and wireless networks
* Overview and selected aspects of network security
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to all Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser.

Students are also assumed to have basic programming expertise on Unix-type systems (e.g. Linux). Basic knowledge of operating systems would be helpful.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesAs above.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 50% Coursework
50% Exam

The summative coursework assessment will consist of two practical assignments (with one additional formative assignment). These will target hands-on experience on design, implementation, measurement and analysis of networked systems and protocols.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Computer Communications and Networks (INFR10074)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. explain key networking concepts, principles, design issues and techniques at all protocol layers
  2. contrast between different types of networks (e.g., wide area networks vs. local area networks, wired vs. wireless) in terms of their characteristics and protocols used
  3. describe different types of networked applications and what underlying network protocols are needed to meet their diverse requirements
  4. distinguish between control and data planes in computer networks, and their corresponding architectures in real-world networks (including the Internet)
  5. understand reliable transport protocols and networked system architectures via implementation using Socket APIs, measurement and analysis
Reading List
[KR8e] J. F. Kurose and K. W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (8th Edition), Pearson Education, 2021
[PD6e] L. L. Peterson and B. S. Davie, Computer Networks: A Systems Approach (6th Edition), Morgan Kaufmann, 2020
[TFW6e] A. S. Tanenbaum, N. Feamster and D. J. Wetherall, Computer Networks (6th Edition), Pearson Education, 2021
[PCOVD] L. Peterson, C. Cascone, B. O'Connor, T. Vachuska, and B. Davie, Software-Defined Networks: A Systems Approach, 2021
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Characteristic 1: Knowledge and Understanding (Level 10)
Characteristic 2: Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding (Level 10)
Characteristic 3: Generic Cognitive Skills (Level 8)
Characteristic 4: Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills (Level 5)
KeywordsComputer communications,computer networks
Course organiserDr Michio Honda
Course secretaryMrs Michelle Bain
Tel: (0131 6)51 7607
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