This book reviews modern computer networks with a particular focus on performance and qualityof service. There is a need to look towards future, where wired and wireless/mobile networks will be mixed and where multimedia applications will play greater role. In reviewing thesetechnologies, I put emphasis on underlying principles and core concepts, rather thanmeticulousness or completeness.
This book is designed for upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses in computer networking. It is intended primarily for learning, rather than reference. I also believe that the book’s focus on basic concepts should be appealing to practitioners interested in the “whys” behind the commonly encountered networking technologies. I assume that the readers will have basic knowledge of probability and statistics, which are reviewed in the Appendix. Most conceptsdo not require mathematical sophistication beyond a first undergraduate course.Most of us have a deep desire to understand logical cause-effect relationships in our world.However, some topics are either inherently difficult or poorly explained and they turn us off. Itried to write a computer networking book for the rest of us, one that has a light touch but is stillsubstantial. I tried to present a serious material in a fun way so the reader may have fun and learnsomething nontrivial. I do not promise that it will be easy, but I hope it will be worth your effort.
Approach and Organization
In structuring the text, I faced the choice between logically grouping the topics vs. graduallyidentifying and addressing issues. The former creates a neater structure and the latter is moresuitable for teaching new material. I compromised by opportunistically adopting both approaches.I tried to make every chapter self-contained, so that entire chapters can be skipped if necessary.Chapter 1 reviews essential networking technologies. It is condensed but more technical thanmany current networking books. I tried to give an engineering overview that is sufficientlydetailed but not too long. This chapter serves as the basis for the rest of the book.Chapter 2 reviews the mechanisms for congestion control and avoidance in data networks. Mostof these mechanisms are implemented in different variants of Transmission Control Protocol(TCP), which is the most popular Internet protocol.Chapter 3 reviews requirements and solutions for multimedia networking.Chapter 4 describes how network routers forward data packets. It also describes simpletechniques for modeling queuing delays.