COMP/ELEC 529 - Advanced Computer Networks
Rice University
Spring 2018


Instructor
Prof. T. S. Eugene Ng
Office: Duncan Hall 3005
Email: eugeneng at cs.rice.edu
Meeting by appointment

TA
Kuo-Feng Hsu
Office: Duncan Hall 3002
Email: kh42 at cs.rice.edu
Office hour: TBD

Meeting
10:50am - 12:05pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays
Room: Duncan Hall (DCH) 1042

URL
http://www.clear.rice.edu/comp529/


Course Overview

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 performance evaluation.

Prerequisites

Undergraduate experience with operating systems, computer networking, and algorithms is required.

Course Format

The course consists of: Grading

Midterm exam
30%
Final exam
30%
Project
40%
(Project grading breakdown: proposal 10%, mid-term project report 30%, final presentation/demo 20%, final report 40%)

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: 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:
Reference Textbook

Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, 4th Edition
by Larry Peterson, Bruce S. Davie
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 4 edition (March 8, 2007)
ISBN: 0123705487

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.



Schedule

Under construction, subject to changes.

The reading list with links to papers is here.

Class
Date Topic
Assigned paper(s)
Relevant Notes
Remarks
1
1/9
Overview

Sample review form

2
1/11
A crash course on networking

See COMP 429

3
1/16
Rice closed



4
1/18
Project Kickstarter



5
1/23
The desire for more control in network routing
[FRT02][CCF+05]


6
1/25
The desire for more control in network access
[CFP+07][YMN+07]
tesseract-nsdi07.ppt
External resource

7
1/30
OpenFlow, a first attempt at commercial SDN
[MAB+08]
External resource

8
2/1
Google's use of SDN for WAN optimization
[JKM+13]
interdomain_routing.ppt
External resource

9
2/6
Making SDN more scalable
[YRF+10]
External resource
Project proposal due
10
2/8



Spring Recess
11
2/13
Making SDN more scalable #2
[CMT+11]
External resource

12
2/15
Intro to data plane programming
[BDG+14]
Slides
Please bring laptop with USB port to class
13
2/20
Hand-on experience with P4

Slides
Please bring same laptop to class
14
2/22
Leveraging P4 for scalable load balancing
[KHK+16]
Slides
Please bring same laptop to class
15
2/27
High-bandwidth DC network with commodity switches
[ALV08]


16
3/1
Midterm exam


Midterm exam
17
3/6
Evolution of Google's DC Network
[SOA+15]
External resource

18
3/8
Alternative to Clos Topology
[SGK14]
External resource

19
3/13
Spring break


Spring Break
20
3/15
Spring break


Spring Break
21
3/20
Hybrid packet and circuit design
[WAK+10]
See Canvas

22
3/22
Making use of faster optical switches
[PSF+13]
External resource

23
3/27 Using distributed circuit switches for topology adaptation
[XSD+17]
External resource
Mid-term project report due
24
3/29
Using distributed circuit switches for failover
[XSN+15][XHN17]
External resource Also see Canvas

25
4/3
Transport layer optimization for the datacenter
(not included in exam) [VPS+09]


26
4/5
Data center TCP
[AGM+10]
External resource

27
4/10
Foiling DDoS attack
[PWS+07]
External resource

28
4/12
Automatically catching Internet worms
[CCC+05]
External resource

29
4/17
Student presentations


Project report, data, software and readme file due
30
4/19
Final exam


Final exam