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Unit information: Networked Systems and Applications in 2016/17

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Unit name Networked Systems and Applications
Unit code EENGM0009
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. George Oikonomou
Open unit status Not open

EENGM0007 - Networking Protocol Principles (M)



School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


The objective of this course is to gain an understanding of modern networked applications and the networked systems as key components of cyber-physical infrastructure, and to equip students with fundamental analytical network queuing knowledge to be able to analyse the networked applications performance and thus justify and support their design choices. The course provides a top-down study of networking system support for distributed applications, from classical Web and email to telemetry for the Internet of Things. It includes:

• Introduction to Network Architectures: an introductory comparative study of the evolution of communication network architectures against application requirements; ATM vs. IP, cellular, IPng, inclusion of D2D and M2M networking; protocol layering vs. cross-layer optimization

• Distributed applications: using current examples of applications these lectures will introduce driver applications for network services and analyse their functional and non-functional requirements. It will cover architectures of distributed systems, classification of interaction models (request-response, RPC, pub/sub), their requirements for network services, discuss their mapping to suitable transport protocols, and the use of network support services, such as the Domain Name Service. Examples will cover SIP/VoIP, Telemetry protocols (MQTT), RTP/RTCP

• Network queuing: introduction to queuing theory, single queue analysis, operational analysis of networks as queuing systems.

• Congestion control in IP networks: TCP (including multipath TCP), datagram congestion control protocols, congestion notification and queue management algorithms and their interaction with TCP and UDP traffic.

• Traffic models • Network Quality of Service (QoS) management:

Admission control, marking, policing, scheduling.

Resource Reservation Protocol: its design, functionality and flaws.

Understanding and comparing Int Serv and DiffServ architectures

QoS management in a cellular network

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, the students will have a comprehensive understanding of Networked Systems, the fundamental tools to analyse their performance and the ability to make design decisions based on these. The student should be able to:

1. explain design requirements for network architectures, describe the trade-offs in these architectures, and identify globally relevant properties and characteristics vs. issues associated with local optimisation and adaptation solutions;

2. explain different interaction models for distributed applications and suitability of different transport protocols and networks services to support them, including discussion of flaws/mismatches in existing designs and architectures;

3. describe different communication networks traffic models and discuss their characteristics;

4. describe clearly the congestion control mechanism used for connection-oriented and connectionless, unicast and multicast transport services in internetworking, their characteristics and be able to differentiate between globally important behaviour vs. local optimisation solutions.

5. explain networked systems as queuing systems, identify the main fundamental relationships and apply them for performance characterisation.

6. explain the processes used for providing QoS support in networked systems, and place their functionality in the right layered context, where applicable.

7. Discuss design principles for RSVP, compare and analyse IntServ and DiffServ QoS framework and their main characteristics.

Teaching details


Assessment Details

Exam, 2 hours, 100% (All ILOs)

Reading and References

Specific chapters will be used from the following books, in addition to selected tutorial papers :

Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design, 5/E, Coulouris, Dollimore, Kindberg & Blair, Addison-Wesley, ISBN-10: 0132143011

Computer Networks and Internets with Internet Applications, 5/E, Douglas E. Comer, Prentice Hall, ISBN:10:0-13-606127-3

Tanenbaum, A., Computer Networks, Prentice Hall, ISBN, 0130661023

Selected tutorial papers references will be given with the lecture handouts.