Advanced Computer Networks

CS 538, Spring 16 


Meeting time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30 – 4:45 pm
Meeting location: 1304 Siebel Center and online

Instructor:  Klara  Nahrstedt (
Office hours: Tuesdays, Thursday: 2:00-3:00 pm, 3104 SC and by appointment via skype

TA: Wenyu Ren (
Office hours: Wednesdays 3:00-5:00pm, 207 SC and via skype

Computer communication networks are among the most important and influential global infrastructures that humanity has created. CS 538 will explore the foundations 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 data center networks, multimedia networks, content delivery, and application-specific networks (e.g., health networks). 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, reviews pf papers, 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


·        Piazza discussion board

·        Lecture videos

·        Syllabus

·        Information for I2CS online students

·        Project ideas

·        Experimental resources

·        Publication venues

·        Other Topics




Readings and notes

Tue Jan 19

Course overview (pdf) 

Course Structure, Review of Deadlines, Course Load Discussion

Thu Jan 21

Speed-Dating for Research Projects

Short Students Presentations (1-2 slides) to present their research, interest, expertise that students would bring to the Final Project


Tue Jan 26

Internet History and Network Challenges (pdf)


Presenter: Klara Nahrstedt

A brief history of the Internet (Leiner et al)

Forty Data Communications Research Questions (Partridge, CCR 2011)


Thu Jan 28

IP Architecture (pdf)

Presenter: Klara Nahrstedt

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.

Deadline for project group formation, review paper selection, lecture sessions selection, Assignment 1 Posted 



Tue Feb 2

Architecture Principle of Internet (pdf)

Presenter: Klara Nahrstedt

 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

John Day et al, “Networking is IPC: A Guiding Principle for a Better Internet”, ACM CoNEXT 2008

Thu Feb 4

Forwarding IP Architecture (pdf)

Presenter: Ken Keefe, Sheng Shen

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

Reviewer: Qi Wang

PacketShader (Han, SIGCOMM 2010)

Student Presentations Start



Tue Feb 9

Inter-domain Routing (pdf)

Presenter: Ken Keefe, Jonathan Osting, Nathaniel Cook

TeXCP (Kandula, SIGCOMM 2005)

Reviewer: Sheng Shen

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

Reviewer: Kirill Varshavskiy

Assignment 1 Due

Thu Feb 11

Inter-domain Routing  and Connectivity 

Presenter: Kirill Varshavskiy, Joseph Gonzalez, Vishwanath Sundareshan

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

Reviewer: Rohan Tabish, Ken Keefe

10 lessons from 10 years (Roughan, JSAC 2011)


Tue Feb 16

QoS Routing 

Presenter: Sheng Shen, Jonathan Osting, Matt Hoffman

Wang, Crowcroft, “Quality of Service Routing for Supporting Multimedia Applications”, IEEE JSAC, 14 (7), September 1996

Reviewer: Joseph Gonzalez

Chen, Nahrstedt, “Overview of Quality of Service Routing for Next Generation High-Speed Networks”, IEEE Network Magazine, 12 (6), pp. 64-79, November/December 1998

Reviewer: Tarek Elgamal

Project proposals due (instructions)

Thu Feb 18

Routing Scalability 

Presenter: Tarek Elgamal, Mingwei Hu

NIRA (Yang, ToN 2007)

Reviewer: Sheng Shen, Matt Hoffman

Scalable routing on flat names (Singla, CoNEXT 2010)

Reviewer: Vishwanath Sundareshan



Tue Feb 23

Routing Reliability 

Presenter: Mohammad Noureddine, Zane Ma, Qi Wang

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

Reviewer: Matt Hoffman, Joseph Gonzalez

R-BGP (Kushman, NSDI 2007)

Reviewer: Caleb Tote

Thu Feb 25

Secure Routing 

Presenter: Rohan Tabish, Josh Eckhardt, Joseph Gonzalez

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

Reviewer: Kirill Varshavskiy

How Secure are Secure Interdomain Routing Protocols? (Goldberg, SIGCOMM 2010)

Reviewer: Caleb Tote, Ailing Zhang

Take-Home Midterm Exam questions posted on Feb 29 (Monday)



Tue Mar 1


Take-Home Midterm Exam (due Wednesday, Mar 2 morning)

Thu Mar 3

Congestion Control (Part 1) 

Presenter: Rohan Tabish, Zane Ma, Nathaniel Cook

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

Reviewer: Mohammad Noureddine, Zane Ma

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

Reviewer: Qi Wang



Tue Mar 8

Congestion Control (Part 2)

Presenter: Brian Duddie, Mingwei Hu, Yufei Chen

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

Reviewer: Yongli Chen, Rohan Tabish

Dina Katabi, Mark Handley, and Charlie Rohrs. Congestion Control for High Bandwidth-Delay Product Networks. SIGCOMM 2002.

Reviewer: Zane Ma

Assignment 2 posted 

Thu Mar 10

Software-Defined Networks: Architecture

Presenter: Yongli Chen, Ailing Zhang, Tarek Elgamal

OpenFlow (McKeown, 2008)

Reviewer: Ken Keefe, Le Xu

Fabric: A Retrospective on Evolving SDN(Casado, Koponen, Shenker, Tootoonchian, HotSDN 2012)

Reviewer: Vishwanath Sundareshan



Tue Mar 15

Software-Defined Networks: Applications

Presenter: Yongli Chen, Ailing Zhang, Yufei Chen

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

Reviewer: Mohammad Noureddine, Brian Duddile

SWAN (Hong, SIGCOMM 2013)

Reviewer: Nathaniel Cook

Thu Mar 17

Data Centers: Network Architecture

Presenter: Josh Eckhardt, Yi Zhang

VL2: A Scalable and Flexible Data Center Network (Greenberg et al, SIGCOMM 2009)

Reviewer: Chien-Ying Chen, Mingwei Hu

Lee et al. “Application-Driven Bandwidth Guarantees in Data Centers”, SIGCOMM 2014

Reviewer: Jonathan Osting

Assignment 2 due



Tue Mar 22



Thu Mar 24





Tue Mar 29

Data Centers: Congestion Control 

Presenter: Caleb Tote, Yi-Zong Ou, Matt Hoffman

DCTCP (Alizadeh et al, SIGCOMM 2010), 

Reviewer: Le Xu, Mingwei Hu

PDQ(Hong et al., SIGCOMM'12)

Reviewer: Tarek Elgamal

Thu Mar 31

Midterm Student Project Presentations 

Midterm Project Status 



Tue Apr 5

Midterm Student Project Presentations 

Midterm Project Status 

Thu Apr 7

Cloud Service

Presenter: Yi-Zong Ou, Chien-Ying Chen, Qi Wang

Tail at Scale (Dean and Barroso, CACM Feb 2013)

Reviewer: Sam White

Low Latency via Redundancy(Vulimiri et al, CoNEXT 2013)

Reviewer: Josh Eckhardt, Brian Duddie



Tue Apr 12

Internet Measurements

Presenter: Tuo Yu, Yuhang Wang

Guo et al, “Pingmesh: A Large System for Data Center Network Latency Measurement and Analysis”, SIGCOMM 2015 

Reviewer: Tianyuan Liu, Yi Zhang

Prasad, Dovrolis, Murray, Claffy, “Bandwidth Estimation, Measurement Techniques, and Tools”, IEEE Network, November/December 2003

Reviewer: Yi-Zong Ou, Yufei Chen

Thu Apr 14

Multimedia Networks (1) 

Presenter: Tianyuan Liu, Brian Duddie, Vishwanath Sundareshan

Arefin, et al, “OpenSession: SDN-based Cross-layer Multi-stream Management Protocol for 3D Teleimmersion”, IEEE ICNP 2013

Reviewer: Tuo Yu, Yuhang Wang

Understanding the Impact of Video Quality on User Engagement (Dobrian, SIGCOMM 2011),

Reviewer: Chien-Ying Chen



Tue Apr 19

Multimedia Networks (2)

Presenter: Tianyuan Liu, Le Xu, Mohammad Noureddine

Yin et al. “A Control-Theoretic Approach for Dynamic Adaptive Video Streaming over HTTP”, SIGCOMM 2015

Reviewer: Tuo Yu, Yuhang Wang

Pu et al, “Low Latency Geo-distributed Data Analytics”, SIGCOMM 2015 

Reviewer: Nathaniel Cook

Thu Apr 21

Content Distribution

Presenter: Chien-Ying Chen, Le Xu, Sam White


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

Reviewer: Yi Zhang, Yufei Chen

Huang et al, “A Buffer-based Approach to Rate Adaptation: Evidence from a Large Video Streaming Service”, SIGCOMM 2014

Reviewer: Tianyuan Liu



Tue Apr 26

Network Security 

Presenter: Caleb Tote, Kirill Varshavskiy, Yi Zhang

DDoS Defense by Offense (Walfish, SIGCOMM 2006)

Reviewer: Ailing Zhang, yongli Chen

Levin et al, “Alibi Routing”, SIGCOMM 2015

Reviewer: Sam White

Thu Apr 28

Health Networks (Security and Privacy)

Presenter: Tuo Yu, Yuhang Wang, Sam White

Rushanan et al, “SoK: Security and Privacy in Implantable Medical Devices and Body Networks”, IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2014. 

Reviewer: Yi-Zong Ou, Jonathan Osting

Halperin et al. “Security and Privacy for Implantable Medical Devices”, IEEE Pervasive Computing, Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems, 2008

Reviewer: Josh Eckhardt 


Tue May 3

Wrap up


Wed May 4


Final Project Paper due 

Final Exam Week (Day, Time TBD)

Poster session, Location TBD

Final Project Poster presentation due