Advanced Computer Networks
cs 538 spring 2017

Meeting time: Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00 - 12:15 pm
Meeting location: 1105 Siebel Center

Instructor: Brighten Godfrey
Office hours: Wednesdays 10:00 am - 11:00 am, 3211 SC and by appointment

TA: Mo Dong
Office hours: TBA

Computer communication networks are among the most important and influential global infrastructures that humanity has created. CS 538 will explore the guts of the systems that have given rise to so much innovation, how networking is continuing to evolve to support new environments, and challenges in building networked systems that are simultaneously highly robust, efficient, flexible, and secure.

The course provides a foundational and current view of communication networks in order to enable students to perform high-quality research in the area. Topics will include Internet architecture and core protocols for congestion control, forwarding, naming, and routing; approaches to achieve reliability, scalability, and security; and design of hyperscale cloud networks, data centers, wireless networks, content delivery, and enterprise networks, and more. Material will range from the classics to the latest results, and from analytical foundations to systems design and real-world deployment.

Class sessions will combine lectures, discussions of reading, and presentations of recent research papers by students. Students will carry out a research project with the goal of publication in a conference.

Course materials


DateTopicReadings and notes
Wed Jan 18 Course overview and Internet history

No reviews due.


As we may think (V. Bush, Atlantic Monthly, July 1945)
A brief history of the Internet (Leiner et al)
On Distributed Communications Networks (Baran, 1962), IMP spec (BBN, 1976)

Mon Jan 23

Networking review, Grand Challenges

Where to look for project ideas

Project partner "Speed dating" micro-presentations

No reviews due.

Wed Jan 25 IP architecture

Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn. A protocol for packet network intercommunication. IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol. 22 No. 5, May 1974.

David Clark, The Design Philosophy of the DARPA Internet Protocols. Proc. SIGCOMM 1988.

Mon Jan 30 Architectural principles

J.H. Saltzer, D.P. Reed and D.D. Clark. End-to-End Arguments in System Design. ACM Trans. on Computer Systems, Vol. 2, No. 4, Nov 1984, pp. 277-288

Wed Feb 1 Congestion control

Congestion Avoidance and Control (Jacobson, SIGCOMM 1988) Note: You need not read the appendices of this paper.

Dah-Ming Chiu and Raj Jain. Analysis of the Increase and Decrease Algorithms for Congestion Avoidance in Computer Networks. Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Vol. 17, No. 1, June 1989, pp. 1-14.

Assignment 1 released (pdf)

Mon Feb 6 Congestion control in the network

Why flow-completion time is the right metric (Dukkipati, Tech Rep 2005; CCR 2006)

Flow Rate Fairness: Dismantling a Religion (Briscoe, CCR April 2007)

Fair Queueing (Demers et al, SIGCOMM 1989), Congestion Control for High Bandwidth-Delay Product Networks (Katabi et al, SIGCOMM 2002)

Wed Feb 8 No lecture
Fri Feb 10

Assignment 1 due 11:00 am CT

Mon Feb 13 Modern congestion control

DCTCP (Alizadeh et al, SIGCOMM 2010), PCC (Dong et al, NSDI 2015)

D3 (Wilson et al, SIGCOMM'11), PDQ (Hong et al., SIGCOMM'12), pFabric (Alizadeh et al., SIGCOMM'13)

Wed Feb 15 Forwarding architecture

50-Gb/s IP Router (Partridge et al., ToN 1998)

Tag Switching Architecture Overview (Rekhter, Davie, Rosen, Swallow, Farinacci, Katz, 1997), RouteBricks (Dobrescu, SOSP 2009), PacketShader (Han, SIGCOMM 2010)

Project proposals due 11 am by email to instructor (instructions)

Mon Feb 20 Intradomain routing

DEFO (Hartert et al, SIGCOMM 2015)

TeXCP (Kandula, SIGCOMM 2005)

Wed Feb 22 Interdomain routing and connectivity

BGP routing policies in ISP networks (Caesar and Rexford, IEEE Network Magazine, Nov/Dec 2005)

Anatomy of a Large European IXP (Ager et al., SIGCOMM 2012)

InterTubes (Durairajan et al, SIGCOMM 2015), 10 lessons from 10 years (Roughan, JSAC 2011)

Mon Feb 27 Software defined networks: Architecture

OpenFlow (McKeown et al, 2008)

Fabric: A Retrospective on Evolving SDN (Casado et al, HotSDN 2012)

Recommended video, no review: The Future of Networking, and the Past of Protocols (Shenker, ONS 2011)

Routing Control Platform (Caesar, NSDI 2005), NOX (Gude, CCR 2008), ONIX (Koponen, OSDI 2010)

Wed Mar 1 Software defined networks: WAN applications

B4: Experience with a Globally-Deployed Software Defined WAN (Jain et al, SIGCOMM 2013)

SWAN (Hong, SIGCOMM 2013), Ethane (Casado, SIGCOMM 2007), SoftRAN (Gudipati, HotSDN 2013)

Mon Mar 6 Software-defined data centers

Network Virtualization in Multi-tenant Datacenters (Koponen et al, NSDI 2014)

Wed Mar 8 SDN control abstractions

Frenetic (Foster et al, ICFP 2011)

PGA (Prakash et al, SIGCOMM 2015), Abstractions for Network Update (Foster et al, SIGCOMM 2012)

Mon Mar 13 Reliability

End-to-End Routing Behavior in the Internet (Paxson, SIGCOMM 1996)

Ensuring Connectivity via Data Plane Mechanisms (Liu, NSDI 2013), Failure-Carrying Packets (Lakshminarayanan, SIGCOMM 2007), End-to-End Effects (Savage et al, SIGCOMM 1999), Consensus Routing (John, NSDI 2008), SafeGuard (Li, CoNEXT 2009), R-BGP (Kushman, NSDI 2007), Packet Re-cycling (Sae Lor, Hotnets 2010)

Wed Mar 15

Network games

Selfish routing in Internet-like environments (Qiu, SIGCOMM 2003)

Stable Paths Problem (Griffin, ToN 2002), Selfish Routing (Roughgarden, JACM 2002)

Spring Break
Mon Mar 27 Project midterm presentations Project midterm presentations due
Wed Mar 29 Project midterm presentations
Topics, readings, and due dates after this point are subject to revision
Mon Apr 3 Secure routing

Survey of BGP security (Butler, Proc IEEE, 2010)

How Secure are Secure Interdomain Routing Protocols? (Goldberg, SIGCOMM 2010), Prefix Hijacking and Interception (Ballani, SIGCOMM 2007), Pretty Good BGP (Karlin, Computer Networks, 2008), Listen and Whisper (Subramanian, NSDI 2004)

Wed Apr 5 Denial of service


DDoS Defense by Offense (Walfish, SIGCOMM 2006), To Filter or to Authorize (Liu, SIGCOMM 2008), Network-level Behavior of Spammers (Ramachandran, SIGCOMM 2006), Not-a-Bot (Gummadi, NSDI 2009)

Mon Apr 10 Data center network architecture

Scalable, Commodity DC Net Arch (Al Fares et al, SIGCOMM 2008)

VL2: A Scalable and Flexible Data Center Network (Greenberg et al, SIGCOMM 2009), PortLand (Mysore et al, SIGCOMM 2009), BCube (Guo et al, SIGCOMM 2009), Jellyfish (Singla et al, NSDI 2012)

Wed Apr 12 Internet measurement


The Collateral Damage of Internet Censorship by DNS Injection (Anonymous, CCR 2011) Also read the public review and see the presentation slides.

An Untold Story of Middleboxes in Cellular Networks (Wang, Qian, Xu, Mao, Zhang, SIGCOMM 2011), Internet Inter-Domain Traffic (Labovitz, SIGCOMM 2010), California Fault Lines (Turner, SIGCOMM 2010), Delayed Internet Routing Convergence (Labovitz, ToN 2001), Impact of Routing Events (Wang, SIGCOMM 2006), Reverse traceroute (Katz-Bassett, NSDI 2010), Broadband Internet performance: a view from the gateway (Sundaresan, SIGCOMM 2011)

Mon Apr 17 Content distribution

A Case for a Coordinated Internet Video Control Plane (Liu, Dobrian, Milner, Jiang, Sekar, Stoica, Zhang, SIGCOMM 2012)

Understanding the Impact of Video Quality on User Engagement (Dobrian, SIGCOMM 2011), Experiences with CoralCDN: A Five-Year Operational View (Freedman, NSDI 2010), BitTorrent incentives (Levin, SIGCOMM 2008)

Wed Apr 19 Wireless

Mirror Mirror on the Ceiling (Zhou et al, SIGCOMM 2012)

DCNs with Wireless (Halperin et al, SIGCOMM 2011)

Mon Apr 24 Cloud services Tail at Scale (Dean and Barroso, CACM Feb 2013), Scaling Memcache at Facebook (Nishtala et al., NSDI 2013)

Low Latency via Redundancy (Vulimiri et al, CoNEXT 2013), Speeding up request-response workflows (Jalaparti et al, SIGCOMM 2013)

Wed Apr 26 SDN control frameworks and VeriFlow Composing Software-Defined Networks (Monsanto et al., NSDI 2013)
Mon May 1 TBA
Wed May 3 Course wrap-up
TBA Final paper due 11:59 pm, as PDF emailed to Brighten
TBA Poster session Poster due