CSE692 Advanced Topics in Networking


Spring 2015


Prof. Aruna Balasubramanian

Course Time: 

MW 4.00 – 5.20 PM


CS 2129 (Note change in class room)

Contact Info: 

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday 2.50pm — 3.50pm in CS 2428 Instructor email: arunab@cs.stonybrook.edu TA: Javad Nejati (jnejati@cs.stonybrook.edu)


  • Future announcements on Piazza
  • The first class is cancelled due to snow. We meet on 1/28/2015.
  • A tentative schedule is up.
  • We will meet in CS 2129.
  • Piazza is set up for class discussions. Sign up now.
  • The course web page is up.


The goal of this course is to cover advanced topics in networking, focusing on networking protocols in the real world. We will go through the standard protocols in each layer of the OSI stack and discuss how the protocols are re-designed for different technologies. For example, HTTP 1.0 was designed when web pages were simpler.  How do industry practitioners and researchers modify HTTP for a more complex web ecosystem?

We will discuss the key design patterns that emerge from the protocol redesign. Some example technologies/topics we will cover in this course are: Data Center TCP and Networking, new Web protocols including HTTP 2.0/SPDY, Network Virtualization, and Mobile architecture.


There is no required textbook. If you would like to follow a text book, I recommend Computer Networks, A Top Down Approach by Kurose and Ross [KR] Another great book is: Computer Networks, by Andrew Tanenbaum and David Wetherall


An introductory networking course is recommended but is not a pre-requisite. Based on the class composition, we will go over basic networking concepts as needed.


The grading criteria is as follows:
Project: 35%
Paper summaries: 15%
Presentations: 20%
Class participation: 5%
Midterm: 15%
Assignments: 10%

Project:  The project constitutes a third of your grade. Around 3 weeks into the semester, we will discuss possible project ideas. You should choose a project, present a project pitch, and then complete the project by the end of the semester. See the schedule below for project related deadlines.

I encourage students to do the project in groups of 2. If you want to do a project without any team members, come talk to me. For project sizes that are bigger than 2, I expect considerably more work.

Paper summaries: You will have at most 2 papers to read each week (see schedule below).

There are approximately 15 papers assigned for reading. For each paper, you are expected to provide a summary. More details on how to write a paper summary are up on Piazza.

For grading, I will choose the top 10 out of the 15 summaries.

Presentations: Students (typically in groups of 2) should present at least 1 paper during the semester. The presentation will last 35 minutes total with a 10 minute Q&A. More details on paper presentation and the talk schedules are up on Piazza.

In addition, each project group should present a 10 minute project pitch earlier in the semester, and a 10 minute project presentation towards the end of the semester.

Tentative Schedule: 

Date Topic Readings Notes/PDF name in Piazza
1/26/2015 Introduction No reading. CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW!!

Application Layer

1/28/2015 HTTP/DNS/CDNs KR 2.2 and 2.5 [Optional] Lecture class. [lectapplication.pdf]
First assignment out, Friday 1/30/2015 11.00pm.
2/2/2015 No class due to snow   CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW!!
2/4/2015 Advances in HTTP: SPDY/Quic SPDY [Optional] Lecture class [lect_spdy.pdf]

Transport Layer

2/9/2015 TCP basics KR 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 [Optional] Lecture class [lect_tcp.pdf]
2/11/2015 TCP Ex-Machina  Ex-Machina [Required] Lecture + Student presentation class
Assignment 1 due by 11.00pm 2/13/2015. Assignment 2 is out.
2/16/2015 Detour: Introduction to Data Centers  DCTCP[Optional]
DC Traffic[Optional]
Lecture class [lect_datacenters.pdf] + Discussion of possible project ideas.
2/18/2015 Data Center TCP/Google’s TCP  D2TCP [Required],
GoogleTCP [Optional]
Lecture class + Student Presentation

Network Layer

2/23/2015 Demo class   Discussions on Mininet, Emulab, NS2, WProf
2/25/2015 Routing basics  KR 4.1, .3, 4.5, 4.6 [Optional] Lecture class [lectnetworking.pdf]
Assignment 2 due by 11.00pm 2/27/2015.
3/2/2015 PortLand + Route failures in the Internet  LifeGaurd [Required] Lecture and Student Presentation class
3/4/2015 Routing in Data Centers  F10 [Required] +
Portland [Optional]
[lect_datacenter_networking.pdf] Lecture + Student Presentation class
3/6/2015 (Friday make up class) Project pitches   10 min project pitches by students.
3/9/2015 Project pitches continued    10 min project pitches by students (early release)
3/11/2015 Midterm (Open book/Open notes)    
3/16/2015 Spring Break No Class  
3/18/2015 Spring Break No Class  

Switching Layer

3/23/2015 SDN introduction  SDN History [Optional] Lecture class [lect_switching.pdf, lect_sdns.pdf]
3/25/2015 Advances in SDNs  SDN1 [Required] [lect_sdn_2.pdf] + Student Presentation
3/27/2015 (Friday Makeup Class) SDNs in the real world SDN2 [Required] Student Presentation

Physical layer

3/30/2015 Wireless physical layer   Lecture class
4/1/2015 Advances in Wireless: Full duplex wireless  Full Duplex [Required] Student presentation & Lecture on mobile architectures
Project progress due by 11.00pm 4/3/2015.


4/6/2015 Recap of application to physical layer + LTE LTE [Required] Lecture (lect_recap.pdf) + Student Presentation
4/8/2015 CANCELLED   Student presentation (EDIT: Class cancelled!!!)
4/13/2015 Advances in LTE + Spectrum lecture SmallCells [Required] Student Presentation + Lecture on Spectrum (lect_whitespaces.pdf)

Hot Topics

4/15/2015 Middleboxes, Whitespaces Middlebox1 [Required],
Student Presentations
4/20/2015 New data center architectures Firefly [Required], Mirror[Required],
Firefly extension
Student Presentation class
4/22/2015 Censorship video lecture VPNGate[Optiional] Video lecture. No office hours.
4/27/2015 Information Centric Networks ICN1 [Required],
ICN2 [Optional]
Student Presentation class


4/29/2015 Extended office hours in CSE 2428    Extended office hours
5/4/2015 No class (Make up 5/8)    No class, no office hours
5/6/2015 No class (Make up 5/8)   No class, no office hours
5/8/2015 Double class. 3.00 to 5.40   Project Presentation
Project reports due 5/20 by 5 pm.


University Policies

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.

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