ECE 697J Home Page

Syllabus and Slides
Lab Projects
Papers and Links

Course Information

Course title: "ECE697J - Advanced Topics in Computer Networks"

Instructor: Tilman Wolf (, KEB 211C)

Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

Class room: Elab 306

Textbook: Douglas E. Comer, "Network System Design using Network Processors," Pearson Education Inc. / Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-141792-4, 2004.

Prerequisites: Basic understanding of computer networks and protocols recommended.

Grading: Paper/chapter presentation 20%, discussion contribution 20%, labs 20%, final project 40%.

Course homepage: /ece/wolf/courses/ECE697J/ (old course pages: Fall 2002)

Course Description

Network Systems (routers, switches, etc.) are integral parts of the Internet. These systems need to meet increasing requirements in functionality, performance, and flexibility. This course introduces basic design issues in network systems and discusses how high-performance systems can be implemented.

The following topics are covered in this course: To ensure the necessary background, the course starts with the foundations of computer networks. Packet processing on a router is discussed as it is the basis for several algorithms and engineering solutions ranging from address lookup to packet scheduling. We look at several issues relating to router hardware architectures for high-performance implementations. The need for flexible network processing motivates the introduction of network processors, which are discussed in detail. Finally, the Intel IXP1200 architecture is explored as an instance of a network processor and as an experimentation platform for the networking labs.

The course will be taught in lecture style with ample opportunities for in-class discussions. The text is Comer's "Network System Design" and several research papers on current topics. Students are expected to give at least one presentation and actively participate in class discussion.

In addition to lectures, there is a small lab component where students can gain hands-on experience using the Intel IXP1200 network processor. These labs are discussed in detail in class and in the text and provide the basis for the final project.

Changes over last year's course ("new and improved"):

bulletcourse book for structured syllabus
bulletmore discussion
bulletfewer student presentations
bulletnew lab for hands-on experience

2003 by Tilman Wolf