CSE 390 - Advanced Computer Networks (Fall 2014)

Instructor: Phillipa Gill
Time: MW 8:30-9:50
Location: CS2114 Moved to CS1310!
Class discussion forum: Piazza. Sign up is mandatory!



CSE390 Advanced Computer Networks will cover many different facets of networking focusing on the Internet. The course will overview the Internet's architecture, protocols, and design decisions that led to its current state. It will also cover killer applications and how ISPs and large content providers like Google deal with the demands of extremely popular online content. The course will also touch on security issues including routing security and online information controls that are implemented in networks around the world (including the US!). Finally, we will cover new frontiers in networking such as data center networks, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and mobile networks that are having impact in companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, Google and VMWare.

The course material will be delivered via a mix of assigned readings (both classic and cutting edge papers), hands on assignments, lectures and exams. See the Piazza page for relevant announcements and discussions.


There is no required textbook for the course. Readings will be posted with the associated lectures. Keeping up with readings will be a key component of your partcipation mark.


An introductory networking course is recommended but not required as a prerequisite. The course is designed to be largely self contained so students can get up to speed and keep up with material. If a student has concerns they should speak with the instructor.


Tentative Schedule

Topics may be subject to change (lecture slides to be posted closer to lecture date).
DateTopicReadingsNotes/Piazza folder
8/25/2014Introduction + HistoryK07 (optional, but you will probably find it helpful) #lecture1
Routing and Protocols
8/27/2014Architecture + Physical Layer
SRC84 (optional), Cla88#lecture2
9/1/2014No class Labor Day
9/3/2014Data Link + BridgingP85#lecture3
9/8/2014Bridging + IntradomainHus14#lecture4
9/10/2014Network LayerSG04, TLS+10#lecture5
9/15/2014No class Phillipa traveling
9/17/2014Interdomain RoutingCR04, KSC+12#lecture6
9/22/2014Interdomain Routing#lecture7
9/24/2014Transport LayerCK74, Jac88 #lecture8
9/29/2014Transport Layer#lecture9
Applications + Content Delivery
10/1/2014DNSDNS reflection, DWZ+12#lecture10
10/6/2014HTTP,CDNsCFH+13, BMS11 (optional)#lecture11
Midterm Exam
10/13/2014IXPs and Internet ConnectivityACF+12, LIM+10 #lecture12
10/15/2014IXPs and Internet Connectivity #lecture13
10/20/2014Peer-to-peerKN10 (optional), CB08#lecture14
10/22/2014Online social networksMMG+07#lecture15
10/27/2014MultimediaAN11 (optional), GCJ+12#lecture16
Security and Privacy
11/3/2014Censorship + Fingerprinting filtering productsGSH13#lecture18
11/5/2014No class Phillipa traveling
11/10/2014Guest lecture by Nick NikiforakisLCZ+13#lecture19
11/12/2014Routing SecurityGSH+10#lecture20
New Frontiers
11/17/2014Data Center NetworksGHJ+09#lecture21
11/19/2014Data Center NetworksGHJ+09#lecture21
11/24/2014Software Defined NetworksFRZ13#lecture22
11/26/2014No class Thanksgiving break
12/1/2014Mobile networksXEG+11#lecture23; Last day to post Interent in the news #iin.


There are approximately 2 readings per week for the course. One week ahead of time, one person will be assigned to lead online discussion for each of the assigned readings on Piazza. The initial reviewer may take any stance they want on the paper (champion, critic, neutral). They should post a summary of the paper to the Piazza thread related to the reading and summarize the paper's key ideas, strengths and weaknesses. Champions will defend the solution and talk about why the paper is important. Critics will point out shortcomings and discuss alternative approaches. After the discussion leader has posted their summary of the paper other students are expected to participate in the online discussion.

The discussion leader is responsible for posting their summary midnight the night before the class the reading is assigned for. All other responses are due by midnight on Wednesday (for Monday readings) and midnight on Friday (for Wednesday readings). However, the discussion can continue on after the deadline.

Please note that the participation component of your grade is weighted proportional to the effort required. You are expected to lead discussion when it is your turn and to engage in discussion for at least 12 papers during the term.

Internet in the News

Each student is expected to prepare a short writeup on a topic related to the Internet that has recently appeared in the popular news, the technical press, blogs, or advocacy Web sites (e.g., the EFF). Topics may include legislation related to the Internet such as SOPA/PIPA, NSA surveillance, large-scale outages, etc. If in doubt run your idea by me first.

The write up should cover the issues mentioned in the news story, but also explain the underlying technical issues. For example, news about NSA surveillance should include technical details of how the surveillance has been implemented and cover the relevant technical topics. This will require you to dig deeper than what is presented in the news article.

Students are expected to post their news article along with their summary, any relevant background and their comments and thoughts on the story to Piazza using the iin folder. As part of your participation mark you are expected to read and comment on the Internet in the News write ups of your fellow classmates in a timely manner. You may post your write up any time during the term with a final deadline of December 1, 2014.


There will be four assignments roughly evenly spaced throughout the term. These will be designed to give you hands on experience with topics covered in class.

University policies and information

Disability Support Services (DSS):
If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Academic Integrity:
Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. Faculty in the Health Sciences Center (School of Health Technology & Management, Nursing, Social Welfare, Dental Medicine) and School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/academic_integrity/index.html

Critical Incident Management:
Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, or inhibits students' ability to learn. Faculty in the HSC Schools and the School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures.