ELEC 537 Syllabus

Communication Networks: ELEC 537


Topics are self-contained so that a background in networking is not required. ELEC 303 or equivalent is a required prerequisite. A graduate course in random processes such as ELEC 533 is recommended, but not required, as a corequisite. Competency in programming is required for simulation assignments and projects.

Course Objectives
Graduate-level introduction to design and analysis of communication networks. Topics include wireless networks, media access, routing, traffic modeling, congestion control, and scheduling. Students will learn performance evaluation techniques using both analytical models and simulation.

Course Outcomes
Students completing the course will clearly understand the following networking concepts:

  1. Medium access
  2. Routing
  3. Traffic Modeling
  4. Congestion Control
  5. Scheduling

Students will be able to apply analytical models and simulation tools to networking problems.

Detail Topics

      Performance evaluation techniques: Renewal theory, Markov chains, utility maximization
      Medium access in wireless networks: ALOHA, CSMA, 802.11, LTE
      Scheduling and fairness: max-min fairness, utility, multi-hop scheduling
      Congestion control: fluid models, NUM, TCP
      Routing: link state, distance vector, BGP
      Traffic management: statistical multiplexing, delay bounds, quality of service


      30% Problem sets
      25% Simulation assignments
      10% Paper reviews, presentations, and class participation
      35% Term project: proposal, status reports, presentation, and final report


You may discuss homework assignments with classmates but all solutions must be original and individually prepared. Late work will be penalized at 15% of its full credit per day up to a maximum of 4 days, after which no late work will be accepted.

Required Textbook

A. Kumar, D. Manjunath, and J. Kuri, Communication Networking: An Analytical Approach. Elsevier, 2004.

Rice Honor Code

In this course, all students will be held to the standards of the Rice Honor Code, a code that you pledged to honor when you matriculated at this institution. If you are unfamiliar with the details of this code and how it is administered, you should consult the Honor System Handbook at http://honor.rice.edu/honor-system-handbook/. This handbook outlines the University’s expectations for the integrity of your academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.

Disability Support Services

If you have a documented disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with Disability Support Services (Allen Center, Room 111 / adarice@rice.edu / x5841) to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.

Syllabus Change Policy

This syllabus is only a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.