Comp 343-001/443-001, Computer Networks, Fall 2021

Peter Dordal, Loyola University Chicago Dept of Computer Science.

Tuesdays 5:30-8:00 in Life Science Building, Room 412

The text will be An Introduction to Computer Networks, second edition, written by myself and available for free online. Note that the book is updated regularly.

My general course groundrules are here. Exams will count for between 60% to 70% of your grade, with homework and programs making up the rest.

The midterm will be the week of October 19, and will be on Sakai Wed Oct 20 to Thurs Oct 21. The final will be during the normal finals week.

While I will try to accept late homework, it is important for everyone to remain more-or-less together; this is not a "self-paced" course!

Most of the audio lectures are what I call mini-lectures, about twenty minutes in length. These are fast-paced, with the understanding that you can pause whenever you need to. I recommend listening to the lectures before reading the material.

Most of the course materials and assignments will be on Sakai.

Study guides and materials

Course calendar

Week 1: Aug 31 (hwk 1 assignment) Week 2: Sep 7
Week 3: Sep 14
Week 4: Sep 21 (hwk 2 assignment) Week 5: Sep 28
Week 6: Oct 5
Oct 12: Fall break
Week 7: Oct 19 (midterm)         Week 8: Oct 26                     
Week 9: Nov 2
Week 10: Nov 9
Week 11: Nov 16
Week 12: Nov 23
Week 13 Nov 30
Week 14: Dec 7

Java simpletalk examples

TCP: server, clientthreaded server
UDP: server, client


A viewer for the Internet: A galaxy-visualization tool is used to display all ISPs (as stars) and links between them.

Programming Projects

You are to do one of the following:

Option 1: HUMP client. Instructions are in hump.html. This is the programming option.

Option 2: Mininet. Instructions are in mininet_projects.html. This uses python as a configuration language. There's no implementation of algorithms.

Summary of coverage, from An Introduction to Computer Networks

An Overview of Networks
Other LANs: Wi-Fi in particular
Links: briefly
Packets: briefly
Abstract Sliding Windows
IP version 4
IP version 6 (selections)
Routing Update Algorithms
Large-scale IP Routing
TCP Reno and Congestion Management
TCP Dynamics
Miscellaneous topics

Learning outcomes

Students will understand how the Internet is constructed, how LANs are built and managed, how data is routed to its destination, how connections are managed and implemented, how congestion is handled, and how security can be addressed.