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Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Unit Catalogue 2007/08

EE30029 Digital networks & protocols

Credits: 6
Level: Honours
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX 100%
Before taking this unit you must take EE10089 and take EE20017
Aims: To give users an understanding of the principles and current practice employed in digital information networks. To indicate the directions of future development in network technology. To enable a network user to estimate performance.
Learning Outcomes:
Students successfully completing this unit will be able to: understand the broad principles of the OSI 7-layer model of a network and apply it, compare the different forms of network technology and means of multiple access, compare the characteristics and application areas of WANs, MANs, LANs and PANs, appreciate the complex demands of internet working and some current solutions, discuss the need for network management structures and signalling networks and describe some simple ones, describe the operation and evaluate broad performance measures of contention and token passing LAN protocols implemented on ring and bus topologies, calculate the performance of various ARQ data link control strategies, evaluate network performance when modelled as Markov queues.
Protocol performance analysis. Network topology and protocol selection - Taught, facilitated and assessed. Ability to estimate network performance.
Network classification (broadcast versus switched), WANs, MANs and LANs. Generic switching philosophies (circuit, message, packet). Generic network topologies (star, tree, mesh, bus ring). Network applications. Layered networks and the OSI 7-layer reference model. Role of service primitives in layered networks. Interconnected networks: bridges, switches, routers, gateways.
Network performance using queueing theory. Markov arrival processes, Equilibrium probabilities for general Markov queues. Probability of packet loss, mean packet delay and delay distribution.
Network protocols: error control (stop and wait, go-back-N and selective repeat ARQ), flow control, routing, congestion control, connection oriented and connectionless protocols, X.25 and IP/TCP.
LANs: topologies, Ethernet, token-passing, performance calculations, WLANs (e.g. IEEE 802.11, HiperLAN).