COMP/ELEC 529 -
Advanced Computer Networks
- 10:40am, Tuesdays & Thursdays
This course explores advanced solutions in computer networks that are driven by the need to go beyond the best-effort capabilities of the Internet. Topics include network fault tolerance, traffic engineering, scalable data center network architectures, network support for big data processing, network support for cloud computing, extensible network control via software defined networking, denial-of-service-attack defense mechanisms. Readings from original research papers. Also include design project and oral presentation components. This course assumes students already have a good understanding of the best-effort Internet.
The goals of this graduate level course are to provide students with a
solid understanding in the advanced concepts in computer networking,
and to introduce students to research methodologies in computer
networking, including problem formulation, literature research,
problem solving technique, scientific experimentation, and
experience with operating systems, computer networking, and algorithms
The course consists of:
- Lectures and discussions based on research papers. All students
must read the assigned papers before each lecture and actively
participate in discussions.
- A group project. Students will form teams (minimum and
maximum team size is to be determined) to tackle a well-defined
research project during the semester. Projects are subjected to
approval by the instructor.
- Homeworks. The homeworks will test your knowledge
about the research papers we have studied during the semester, and
your ability to apply the knowledge to solve problems.
Approach to Analyzing Research Papers
When reading a paper, you should consider the paper's contributions, strengths as well as weaknesses.
Here are some additional questions to consider:
What problem is being solved?
What solution already exist?
- What is the novelty of the proposed solution?
- How scientifically and thoroughly is the proposed solution evaluated?
- Think also in terms of what makes good research? What qualities make a good paper? What are the potential future impacts of the work?
When reading the papers, it is
important to understand the contexts in which the research was done.
First, check out the year of the paper. Then you may want to consider
the following contexts:
- What are the 3 most important things the paper says? These could
some combination of their motivations, observations, interesting parts
of the design, or clever parts of their implementation.
- from author's perspective at the time
- from your perspective with the benefit of hindsight
- What is the paper's single most glaring deficiency. Every paper
has some fault. Perhaps an experiment was poorly designed or the main
idea had a narrow scope or applicability. Being able to assess
weaknesses as well as strengths is an important skill for this course
- What were the key observations that had led to the research
direction? Where did the observations come from? Personal experience?
- What were the key obstacles or risks that could have prevented
research from being successful? Were the researchers aware of them? How
were these obstacles eventually overcome?
- Intellectual context: major research directions/themes at the time, assumptions that
are taken for granted at the time. Best way is to glance through the
relevant ACM conferences in the previous couple of years.
- Industry context: competitive
landscape, technology/industry trends, primary industry concerns.
- Personal context: researcher's
stage of career, researcher's physical and people environment
Honor Code and Issue of Cheating
First and foremost, when in doubt of whether a specific behavior is acceptable, ask the instructor for a written clarification. Broadly speaking, what you turn in must be your
own, or for projects, your group's own work; copying other people's
code, solution sets, or from any other sources is strictly prohibited.
Suspected honor code violations will be reported to the Honor Council. For further information about the honor system at Rice, visit honor.rice.edu.
Accomodations for Students with Special Needs
Student with a disability requiring accommodations in this course is encouraged to contact me and Disability Support Services in the Allen Center, Room 111.
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construction, subject to changes.