The University of Sheffield
Department of Computer Science

COM6063 Network and Internetwork Architectures

Summary This unit introduces the principles of computer networks and internetworks, together with relevant background material on data communication. The emphasis of the unit is on the concepts and design issues related to layered communication protocol architectures, local area networks and internetworking (especially the internet protocol suite), with a particular focus on the issues of network security, capacity and reliability, and the mathematical models underlying these.
Session Autumn 2021/22
Credits 15
  • Report
  • Formal examination
Lecturer(s) Dr Yoshi Gotoh
Aims This unit aims to equip students with a sound understanding of the concepts and design issues related to current network and internetwork architectures, together with an understanding of the relevant concepts for data communication. In particular, the module explores the relationships between services and protocols for networks and internetworks, so as to show how they achieve secure and reliable transmission over noisy and insecure channels, and the impacts of the mechanisms used on the capacity of the networks.

By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to demonstrate:

  • understanding of algorithms for error detection and conflict resolution within networks, and of the operation of protocols that use them;
  • understanding of the OSI layered protocol model;
  • ability to manipulate data representations at the different levels of abstraction in the layered model;
  • understanding of the internet protocol suite;
  • understanding of the function and design of local and wide area networks and internetworks, and of internetworking components such as bridges and routers;
  • ability to select appropriate routing algorithms for various configurations of wide area network;
  • understanding of the mathematical models for network reliability and capacity;
  • ability to apply these models to calculations of network reliability and capacity;
    understanding of algorithms for encoding and decoding data for secure transmission, and the underlying models of data security;
  • representation of data
  • OSI model
  • local area network (LAN) protocols
  • wide area network (WAN) protocols
  • wireless network protocols
  • issues on network performance
  • internet protocols
  • data compression
  • error detection and correction
  • cryptography
Restrictions This module assumes students already have some knowledge of basic algebra
Teaching Method In addition to lectures, there will be approximately 4 hours of problem solving/example classes. The problem sheets will reinforce concepts covered in lectures, in preparation for the end of module exam. The Tutorials will support the individual research study for which students study one module topic in particular depth.
Feedback Problem sheets are distributed for students to review the materials at home. Feedback to problem sheets are provided during the tutorial hours.
Recommended Reading
  • A. Tanenbaum - 'Computer Networks'
  • L.Peterson and B.Davie - 'Computer Networks'
  • F. Halsall - 'Computer Networking and the Internet'