Advanced Computer Networks

CS 538, Fall 2014


Meeting time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 - 3:15 pm
Meeting location: 0216 Siebel Center

Instructor:  Klara  Nahrstedt
Office hours: Tuesdays 3:30-4:30 pm, 3104 SC and by appointment via skype

TA: Zhenhuan Gao
Office hours: Tuesdays 3:15-5:15pm, 3101 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, wireless networks, content delivery, and peer-to-peer 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, 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 Aug 26

Course overview (pdf) (ppt)

(Video recording Presentation)

 No review + Syllabus

Thu Aug 28

Internet History and Project Ideas (pdf)(ppt)

Klara Nahrstedt

A brief history of the Internet (Leiner et al)

Forty Data Communications Research Questions (Partridge, CCR 2011)





Tue Sep 2

IP Architecture (pdf) (ppt)

 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.

Thu Sep 4

Architectural Principles (pdf) (ppt)

 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

Soteris Demetriou, Jongdeog Lee

Assignment 1




Tue Sep 9

Forwarding Architecture(pdf)(ppt)

Jongdeog Lee,  Ashutosh Dhekne

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


PacketShader (Han, SIGCOMM 2010)

Michael Rausch

Thu Sep 11

Intra/Inter-domain Routing(pdf)(ppt)

Zhenhuan Gao

TeXCP (Kandula, SIGCOMM 2005)


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





Tue Sep 16

Inter-domain Routing and Connectivity(pdf)(ppt)

Klara Nahrstedt

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

Ashutosh Dhekne

10 lessons from 10 years (Roughan, JSAC 2011)

Cansu Erdogan

Assignment 1

Thu Sep 18

QoS Routing(pdf) (ppt)

Klara Nahrstedt

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

Prerna Gupta

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





Tue Sep 23


Project proposals due (instructions)

Thu Sep 25

Routing Scalability(pdf)(ppt)

Wenting Wang, Prerna Gupta

NIRA (Yang, ToN 2007)

Josiah McClurg

Scalable routing on flat names (Singla, CoNEXT 2010)





Tue Sep 30

Open Internet Discussion (see piazza link to slides)

Routing Reliability (pdf) (ppt)

Klara Nahrstedt

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

Yiran Zhao, Jongdeog Lee

R-BGP (Kushman, NSDI 2007)


Thu Oct 2

Secure Routing (pdf) (ppt

Klara Nahrstedt

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

Cansu Erdogan

Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, Volume IX by Arbors Networks Inc. October 2012-October 2013

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





Tue Oct 7


Take-Home Midterm Exam (posted Monday morning, due Wednesday morning)

Thu Oct 9

Congestion Control (Part 1)(pdf)(ppt)

Shegufta Bakht Ahsan, Syeda Persia Aziz

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

Soteris Demetriou, Shegufta Bakht Ahsan

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

Shegufta Bakht Ahsan, Subho Banerjee




Tue Oct 14

Congestion Control (Part 2)(pdf)(ppt)

Wenyu Ren, Siting Chang

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

Syeda Persia Aziz, Wenyu Ren

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

Syeda Persia Aziz, Wenyu Ren

Thu Oct 16

Software-Defined Networks: Architecture(pdf)(ppt)

Ben Ujcich, Michael Rausch

OpenFlow (McKeown, 2008)

Ben Ujcich, Gopalakrishna Holla

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

Ben Ujcich, Gopalakrishna Holla




Tue Oct 21

Software-Defined Networks: Applications(PDF) (PPT)

Klara Nahrstedt, Goldrwyn Rodrigues

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

Goldwyn Rodrigues, Ashutosh Dhekne

SWAN (Hong, SIGCOMM 2013)

Wenting Wang, Goldwyn Rodrigues

Thu Oct 23

Data Centers: Network Architecture(pdf)(ppt)

Soteris Demetriou, Cansu Erdogan

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

Yiran Zhao, Shuochao Yao

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

Atul Bohara




Tue Oct 28

Data Centers: Congestion Control(pdf)

Shuochao Yao, Yiran Zhao

DCTCP (Alizadeh et al, SIGCOMM 2010),

Shuochao Yao

PDQ(Hong et al., SIGCOMM'12)

Wenting Wang

Thu Oct 30

Cloud Services(pdf)

Ashish Bijlani

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

Ashish Bijlani, Phuong Viet Nguyen

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

Ashish Bijlani, Phuong Viet Nguyen

 Assignment 2 




Tue Nov 4

Networking at the Speed of Light

Guest Speaker  Brighten Godfrey

Our interactive experiences on the Internet depend on low latency, and even milliseconds matter in gaming, web browsing and other online services.  In principle latencies could nearly match the speed of light.  But today, the Internet is typically more than 10x and often more than 100x slower than this bound.  In the first part of this talk, I'll propose a grand challenge for the networking research community: a speed-of-light Internet. To inform this research agenda, we investigate the causes of latency inflation in the Internet and opportunities for improvement.

In the second part of this talk, we'll tackle one of the thorniest problems plaguing both latency and data delivery performance: the Internet's surprisingly poor transport.  We argue the TCP family has little hope to achieve consistent high performance due to a fundamental deficiency: its "hardwired" control.  I will discuss our newly-released Performance-oriented Congestion Control (PCC), a new architecture in which each sender continuously observes the effects of its actions on empirically experienced performance. Across many real-world and challenging environments, PCC shows consistent and often 10x performance improvement, with better fairness and stability than TCP.  PCC requires no router hardware support or new packet format. 

Thu Nov 6

Network Algorithms

Guest Speaker – Matthew Caesar

 In this lecture I'll perform a cross-cutting survey of several important algorithms used in computer networks, including (a) algorithms for performing high speed lookup and packet processing mechanisms in network devices and endpoints (b) algorithms used in distributed hash tables for maintaining proximity and lookup.




Tue Nov 11

 Multimedia Networking (pdf)

Klara Nahrstedt

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

Prerna Gupta

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

Assignment 2 Due

Thu Nov 13

Content Distribution(pdf)

Rajath Subramanyam, Gopalakrishna Holla

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

Rajath Subramanyam, Subho Banerjee

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

Rajath Subramanyam




Tue Nov 18

Midterm Student Project Presentations


Thu Nov 20

Midterm Student Project Presentations





Thanksgiving break




Tue Dec 2

Internet Measurements(pdf)

Phuong Viet Nguyen, Josiah McClurg

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

Josiah McClurg

Moshref et al, “DREAM: Dynamic Resource Allocation for Software-defined Measurements

Atul Bohara

Thu Dec 4


Atul Bohara, Subho Banerjee

DDoS Defense by Offense (Walfish, SIGCOMM 2006)

Siting Chang

Not-a-Bot (Gummadi, NSDI 2009)

Michael Rausch, Siting Chang




Tue Dec 9

Wrap up(pdf)

Klara Nahrstedt





Mon Dec 15, 9:30AM-12:00 PM

Poster session, Siebel 2nd Floor Atrium

Project poster due