High Speed Networks (NET 456)

Fall 2011

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course a student will be able to:

  • know the characteristics of high speed networks
  • differentiate between the protocols of high speed networks (e.g. Fast Ethernet, ATM, Frame Relay, MPLS, Broadband)
  • know high speed network devices and their internal behaviors

Course Structure

The course is divided into two major parts

  • Fundamental Concepts of High Speed Networks: This part refers to multiplexing and switching techniques, namely Circuit-Switching and Packet-Switching, as they represent the enabling techniques for high-speed networks. This part also presents switch fabrics and elaborates on their operations.
  • High Speed Networks Technologies and Protocols: This part covers the most relevant technologies and protocols that allow high-speed communications. It will mainly cover ATM, Frame Relay, MPLS, Fast Ethernet, Cellular Internet, ...

Course Prerequisites

  • Introduction to Computer Networks (NET 331)
  • Probability and Statistics

This course requires a strong background on networking. It also needs some background on probability and statistics for topics related to Quality of Service and performance evaluation. If you have any problem with these two prerequistes, it is very important to recover during the first two weeks. We will make a quick introduction of the main concepts of problem solving during the first weeks.


Some resources are available online. Go to the textbooks page for more information.


Grading policy is available in this page.


There will be two mid-term exams and one comprehensive final exam. Exams will be closed book, and will cover material from lectures, the readings, and the project. In particular, you are likely to do poorly on the exams and in the course if you do not do your share of the work on the project.


There will a small research-oriented project on high speed networks.

Late policy

A student that will miss more than 9 hours during the semester will be automatically prevented from entering the final exam. If you have a justification for being late or absent you must send this justification to the department head and to the instructor. The justification may be rejected for some reasons.


It is permissible to cooperate with your colleagues and to discuss general issues about concepts, algorithms and project steps. However, it is strictly prohibited that you copy other people’s code, solutions and project deliverables, assignments, etc. It is the duty of each student to prove that his work is original and has not been done by others. Every detected cheating action will be severely punished.