King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
College of Computer Sciences and Engineering
Department of Computer Engineering

Local Area Networks, COE 441, (3-0-3)

Catalog Description:
Introduction to Local Area Networks (LANs). Classes of LANs. LAN design issues. LAN topologies. LAN transmission media. LAN protocols: Medium Access Control (MAC) and Logic Link Control (LLC). LAN standards. Network software: Network operating systems; LAN performance modeling and analysis. Internetworking: Bridges, Routers, and Gateways. Reliability, availability, survivability, and security.
Prerequisite: COE 342.


Topics covered:

  1. Introduction. (2 lectures)
    LAN Terminology. LAN, MAN, and WANs. (Chapter 1)

  2. Topologies and Transmission Media. (8 Lectures)
    Transmission media such as Twisted-Pair wire, Coaxial cables and its different applications, Optical fibers and its link power budget, Ethernet cable plant. Circuit switching, packet switching, datagrams, and virtual circuits. LAN topologies (bus, tree, ring, and star). Transmission medium, baseband, broadband, and optical fiber. (Chapters 2 and 4)

  3. Protocol Architecture. (8 Lectures)
    TCP/IP and OSI protocol architectures, logical link protocol, Medium Access Control, Bridges and Routers, and IEEE 802 standard. (Chapters 3 (with appendices A, B, and C) and 5 (with appendices A and B)).

  4. Logical Link Control. (6 Lectures)
    LLC services. Link control protocol mechnisms, stop and wait, sliding window, Go-back-N, and ARQ. LLC control. (Chapter 6 with Appendices A, B, C, and C).

  5. LAN Access Techniques. (10 lectures)
    Traditional LANs, variations of IEEE 802.3 (CSMA/CD), High-speed Ethernet and G-Ethernet. Wireless LANs, Brief description of Token Bus (IEEE 802.4), Token Ring (IEEE 802.5), Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), and ATM. (Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11).

  6. LAN Performance and Analysis. (4 lectures)
    Basics of queueing theory: Queueing models, State transitions, Networks of Queues. Throughput and delay characteristics: CSMA, CSMA/CD, Token Ring, Token Bus. Performance comparisons (external note).

  7. LAN Internetworking. (5 lectures)
    Interconnection Issues. Bridges: Transparent or Spanning tree bridges, Source routing bridges. Quality of bridge services. Routers. Gateways. Flow and congestion control (chapters 12 and 13).

  8. LAN Reliability and Security. (2 lectures)
    Connectivity through redundancy. Reliability models and improvement techniques. Availability. Issues of network security.

Computer Usage:
Programming assignments may be required to implement some of the various issues that have been discussed/explained in class to emphasize practical software aspects.

Laboratory Experiments:
Simple experiments of different LAN techniques using the hardware and software available in the departmental computer networking laboratory.

Proposed Projects:

  1. Design and implementation of a LAN and installing of LAN services.
  2. Performance evaluation of LAN access control and flow-control protocols.
  3. Reading, preparing, presenting, and reporting on related issues (Wireless LANs, Gigabit Ethernet, ATM, Switching, etc.).
  4. Design of Client-Server programs using API programming and evaluation of round-trip delays over different KFUPM network routes.
  5. Design of real-time Client-Server system for relaying of video data over three KFUPM network routes and statistical evaluation of delays and inter-arrival rates.
  6. Free project of your choice.

Sample Project Description:
Write a simple client and a server programs with a GUI for the client in C# to evaluate the network delays. The server just runs on a PC, listens to any client requesting connection, when such a request is received it grant connection, wait for first message to come, and returns the same message with its payload. The client GUI allows the user to specify the payload in Bytes for a sequence of packets and the number of times the message is to be sent to server. It is run at the GUI level. It reads the times (in micro-second at best) and store in a tabler before and after sending of each packet to server. After completing the number of packets it uses the packets inter-arrival time (k micros) in incrementing a memory mem(k)=mem(k)+1, thus mem(1) through mem(max k) contains the histogram of the packet arrival times. The GUI displays (on demand from user) the histogram as graphics (mem(k) versus k) of inter-arrival times of packets. We may use any graphics package. This is very useful for finding out statistical delays at different utilization levels and times.