CPS214 Spring 2008 Computer Networks/Distributed Systems

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CPS214 is a graduate course in computer networks and distributed systems. The goals are:

The past few years have seen a remarkable growth in the global network infrastructure. The Internet has grown from a research curiosity to something we all take for granted.

How does this network infrastructure work? What are the design principles upon which it is based, and how are those principles applied in practice? How are robust and effective distributed systems engineered? We will examine these issues and more during the course.

This course assumes a basic familiarity with networking concepts. The course will consist of a reading/lecture/discussion component and a project component. The class will cover approximately 30 research papers on various aspects of computer networking and distributed systems. These papers will introduce students to the basic design principles on which today's networks and distributed systems are based. In addition, these papers will cover recent proposals to improve performance, functionality and scalability. Specific networking topics that will be covered include: LAN/WAN technologies, congestion/flow control, traffic analysis, routing, internetworking, multicast, security, and quality of service. Fundamental distributed systems such as the Domain Name Service (DNS), global routing protocols (e.g., BGP), content delivery networks (CDNs), and peer-to-peer applications will also be examined. Students are expected to read papers before the class and participate in the discussion during the class.

Course Staff

Teaching Assistant

NameEmailOfficeTelOffice Hours
Ionut Constandache LSRC D307 (919) 660-6599 Tu 2:30PM - 4:30PM


Bruce Maggs LSRC D336 - Wed 2:30PM - 3:30PM

Course Policies


Students are encouraged to talk to each other, to the course staff, or to anyone else about any of the assignments. Assistance must be limited to discussion of the problem and sketching general approaches to a solution. Each student must write out his or her own solutions to the homework.

Late Policy

Last updated: Tue Mar 04 12:03:34 -0500 2008 [validate xhtml]