Data Networks Ernst Moritz Hahn, Holger Hermanns


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This module runs as a block course spanning September and early October 2017, prefixed by an individual home study period in August.

The course starts with a single introductory lecture on Friday, July 21 at 14:14 in HS 002 of E1 3.

Data Networks

This core course (Stammvorlesung) adresses Bachelor and Master students in Computer Science and related programs. It runs as a block course in September, prefixed by an individual home study phase in August. Bachelor students should have passed the base lectures Programmierung 1 and Programmierung 2. Some programming experience (e.g. in Python, C, Java, C# or JavaScript) is recommended. The language of the course is English. Due to resource constraints we may restrict participation to study programs for which this core course can indeed contribute.  


The course will explain data networks. Internet protocols will be used to motivate and explain basic concepts in data networks, as the Internet is today's data network par excellence. Hands-on experience will be gained in programming labs.

The course will roughly follow the book Computer Networking – A Top-Down Approach by James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross (sixth edition). There will be reading assignments based on this book. While the library has a few copies available, we do recommend (groups of) students to obtain their own copy of this book.


The course starts with a single introductory lecture on Friday, July 21 at 14:14 in HS 002 of E1 3.

The main course work is scheduled to take place in the period from September 4 to October 13, 2017.

In September, there will usually be about two lectures (starting at 08:45 and 10:45) plus one tutorial (starting 13:30) per weekday. In addition there will be multiple programming labs and practical assignments. The language to be used in the programming labs will be mostly Python. Some knowledge of Unix/Linux is needed. August will be used as a home study period, especially to acquire knowledge in Python programming, and Unix/Linux.

An entrance exam on September 4 will check proficiency in Python, in Unix/Linux and in the general topic of the lecture (Chapter 1 of the textbook).

The preliminary course schedule is as follows. The contents indications are subject to change.

  • July 21: Introductory Lecture: Course organisation, topic overview, home study tasks
    September 4: Entrance exam
  • September 5
  • September 6: Recap of Chapter 1, Python and Linux/Unix
  • September 7: Application Layer (Chapter 2): principles of networking applications and  HTTP
  • September 8: Application Layer (Chapter 2): FTP, electronic mail, DNS

  • September 11: Transport Layer (Chapter 3): transport-layer services, multiplexing and demultiplexing, connectionless transport: UDP, principles of reliable data transfer
  • September 12: Transport Layer (Chapter 3): connection-oriented transport: TCP,  flow control, connection management, congestion control - Guest lecture on Modern Transport Layer Protocols by A. Schmidt
  • September 13: Network Layer (Chapter 4): virtual circuit and datagram networks, what’s inside a router, IP: Internet Protocol, datagram format, IPv4 addressing, ICMP, IPv6
    September 14: Network Layer (Chapter 4): routing algorithms, link state, distance vector
  • September 15: Network Layer (Chapter 4): hierarchical routing, routing in the Internet, RIP, OSPF, BGP, broadcast and multicast routing

  • September 18: Link Layer (Chapter 5): introduction, services, error detection, correction, multiple access protocols
  • September 19: Link Layer (Chapter 5): LANs, addressing, ARP, Ethernet, switches, VLANS, link virtualization: MPLS, data center networking, a day in the life of a web request
  • September 20: Wireless and Mobile Networks (Chapter 6): Wireless links, characteristics, CDMA, IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs (“Wi-Fi”)
  • September 21: Wireless and Mobile Networks (Chapter 6): Cellular Internet Access, architecture, standards (e.g., GSM), Mobility, Principles: addressing and routing to mobile users, Mobile IP, Handling mobility in cellular networks, Mobility and higher-layer protocols
  • September 22: Network Management (Chapter 9): What is network management?, Internet-standard management framework, Structure of Management Information: SMI, Management Information Base: MIB, SNMP Protocol Operations and Transport Mappings, Security and Administration, ASN.1
  • September 25: Guest lecture on Multimedia Networking by Prof. Herfet (Chapter 7)
  • September 26: Guest lecture on Network Security by Prof. Rossow (Chapter 8) 
  • September 27: Lecture wrap up
  • September 28
  • September 29: Project due date

  • October 6: Final exam
  • October 13: Latest project presentation date

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