CSEN 503 Introduction to Communication Networks

Course Information


  •  This is an introductory course to the basic concepts in computer communication networks. The Internet, which is an important part of the communication infrastructure, is considered throughout the course as a case study. The course introduces the students to the architecture, protocols and applications of computer networks. Topics covered follow a top-down approach starting from the application layer up to the physical layer, going through transport, sockets interface, congestion control, routing, addressing, and data link layer. Some advanced topics will also be discussed such as mobile-IP and multimedia networking.

     This course provides the basis needed to understand how networks and Internet work. Also, it is a prerequisite for the network and media lab.


  • 1.      Protocol layering

    2.      Application layer

    a.       HTTP, SMTP, FTP, DNS

    3.      Transport layer

    a.       UDP
    b.      TCP

    4.      Network layer

    a.       Routing

    b.      Internet protocol (IP)

    c.       Multicast routing

    5.      Advanced topic: Mobile-IP

    6.      Data link layer

    7.      Multimedia and Quality of Service


  • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Understand the principles of computer networking, with emphasis on the Internet.
    2. Describe the layered architecture of computer networks, the role of each layer and the relation between them.
    3. Identify the basic concepts of application layer protocol design
    4. In depth understanding of transport layer; including connectionless UDP and connection-oriented TCP, congestion control and flow control.
    5. In depth understanding of network layer concepts; including Internet addressing, subnetting and supernetting, address resolution, fragmentation, forwarding and routing algorithms.
    6. Understand some advanced topics such as multicasting and mobile-IP
    7. Effectively use commonly used network-related commands, monitoring tools, traffic analyzers and network simulators
    8. Develop a simple communication software based on socket programming


  • Computer Networking, A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, 3rd edition


    James F. Kurose & Keith W. Ross

    ISBN 0-321-26976-4