Computer Networks

Computer Networks, 5th Edition

A Systems Approach

Computer Networks, 5th Edition,Larry Peterson,Bruce Davie,ISBN9780123850591


Morgan Kaufmann




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Use the "Systems Approach" to learn how key network technologies and protocols actually work in the real world

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Key Features

    *Completely updated content with expanded coverage of the topics of utmost importance to networking professionals and students, including P2P, wireless, security, and applications.

    *Increased focus on application layer issues where innovative and exciting research and design is currently the center of attention.

    *Free downloadable network simulation software and lab experiments manual available.


    Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, Fifth Edition, discusses the key principles of computer networking. It focuses on the underlying concepts and technologies that make the Internet work. Topics covered include network design and architecture; the ways users can connect to a network; the concepts of switching, routing, and internetworking; end-to-end protocols; congestion control and resource allocation; end-to-end data; network security; and network applications such as e-mail and the Web, IP telephony and video streaming, and peer-to-peer file sharing. Each chapter includes a problem statement, which introduces issues to be examined; shaded sidebars that elaborate on a topic or introduce a related advanced topic; What’s Next? discussions that deal with emerging issues in research, the commercial world, or society; and exercises. This book is written for graduate or upper-division undergraduate classes in computer networking. It will also be useful for industry professionals retraining for network-related assignments, as well as network practitioners seeking to understand the workings of network protocols and the big picture of networking.


    Networking professionals and upper level undergraduate and graduate students in CS, EE, and CSE programs.

    Larry Peterson

    Larry L. Peterson is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, as well as Vice President and Chief Scientist at Verivue, Inc. He serves as Director of the PlanetLab Consortium, which focuses on the design of scalable network services and next-generation network architectures. He is a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE, recipient of the IEEE Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Professor Peterson recently served as Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, he has been on the Editorial Board for the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking and the IEEE Journal on Select Areas in Communication, and he has served as program chair for SOSP, NSDI, and HotNets. Peterson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE, and the 2010 recipient of the IEEE Kobayahi Computer and Communication Award. He received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in 1985.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University Vice President and Chief Scientist, Verivue, Inc

    View additional works by Larry L. Peterson

    Bruce Davie

    Bruce Davie is a visiting lecturer at MIT, and Chief Service Provider Architect at Nicira Networks. Formerly a Fellow at Cisco Systems, for many years he led the team of architects responsible for Multiprotocol Label Switching and IP Quality of Service. He is also an active participant in the Internet Engineering Task Force and he is curently SIGCOMM Chair. Prior to joining Cisco he was director of internetworking research and chief scientist at Bell Communications Research. Bruce holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Edinburgh University. He was named an ACM Fellow in 2009. His research interests include routing, network virtualization, transport protocols, and software-defined networks.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Cisco Systems, Boxborough, MA, USA

    View additional works by Bruce S. Davie

    Computer Networks, 5th Edition


    Foreword to the First Edition


    1 Foundation

    Problem: Building a Network

    1.1 Applications

    1.2 Requirements

    1.3 Network Architecture

    1.4 Implementing Network Software

    1.5 Performance

    1.6 Summary

    What’s Next: Cloud Computing

    Further Reading


    2 Getting Connected

    Problem: Connecting to a Network

    2.1 Perspectives on Connecting

    2.2 Encoding (NRZ, NRZI,Manchester, 4B/5B)

    2.3 Framing

    2.4 Error Detection

    2.5 Reliable Transmission

    2.6 Ethernet and Multiple Access Networks (802.3)

    2.7 Wireless

    2.8 Summary

    What’s Next: “The Internet of Things”

    Further Reading


    3 Internetworking

    Problem: Not All Networks are Directly Connected

    3.1 Switching and Bridging

    3.2 Basic Internetworking (IP)

    3.3 Routing

    3.4 Implementation and Performance

    3.5 Summary

    What’s Next: The Future Internet

    Further Reading


    4 Advanced Internetworking

    Problem: Scaling to Billions

    4.1 The Global Internet

    4.2 Multicast

    4.3 Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)

    4.4 Routing among Mobile Devices

    4.5 Summary

    What’s Next: Deployment of IPv6

    Further Reading


    5 End-to-End Protocols

    Problem: Getting Process to Communicate

    5.1 Simple Demultiplexer (UDP)

    5.2 Reliable Byte Stream (TCP)

    5.3 Remote Procedure Call

    5.4 Transport for Real-Time Applications (RTP)

    5.5 Summary

    What’s Next: Transport Protocol Diversity

    Further Reading


    6 Congestion Control and Resource Allocation

    Problem: Allocating Resources

    6.1 Issues in Resource Allocation

    6.2 Queuing Disciplines

    6.3 TCP Congestion Control

    6.4 Congestion-Avoidance Mechanisms

    6.5 Quality of Service

    6.6 Summary

    What’s Next: Refactoring the Network

    Further Reading


    7 End-to-End Data

    Problem: What Do We Do with the Data?

    7.1 Presentation Formatting

    7.2 Multimedia Data

    7.3 Summary

    What’s Next: Video Everywhere

    Further Reading


    8 Network Security

    Problem: Security Attacks

    8.1 Cryptographic Building Blocks

    8.2 Key Predistribution

    8.3 Authentication Protocols

    8.4 Example Systems

    8.5 Firewalls

    8.6 Summary

    What’s Next: Coming to Grips with Security

    Further Reading


    9 Applications

    Problem: Applications Need their Own Protocols

    9.1 Traditional Applications

    9.2 Multimedia Applications

    9.3 Infrastructure Services

    9.4 Overlay Networks

    9.5 Summary

    What’s Next: New Network Architecture

    Further Reading


    Solutions to Select Exercises




    Quotes and reviews

    I have known and used this book for years and I always found it very valuable as a textbook for teaching computer networks as well as a reference book for networking professionals. This Fifth Edition maintains the core value of former editions and brings the clarity of explanation of network protocols in the introduction of the most up-to-date techniques, technologies and requirements of networking. Beyond describing the details of past and current networks, this book successfully motivates the curiosity, and hopefully new research, for the networks of the future.--Stefano Basagni, Northeastern University

    Peterson and Davie have written an outstanding book for the computer networking world. It is a well-organized book that features a very helpful "big picture" systems approach. This book is a must have!--Yonshik Choi, Illinois Institute of Technology

    The Fifth Edition of Computer Networks: A Systems Approach is well-suited for the serious student of computer networks, though it remains accessible to the more casual reader as well. The authors’ enthusiasm for their subject is evident throughout; they have a thorough and current grasp of the interesting problems of the field. They explain not only how various protocols work, but also why they work the way they do, and even why certain protocols are the important and interesting ones. The book is also filled with little touches of historical background, from the main text to the "Where Are They Now" sidebars to the papers described in each chapter's "Further Reading" section—these give the reader a perspective on how things came to be the way they are. All in all, this book provides a lucid and literate introduction to networking.--Peter Dordal, Loyola University Chicago

    I have used Computer Networks: A Systems Approach for over five years in an introductory course on communications networks aimed at upper-level undergraduates and first-year Masters students.  I have gone through several editions and over the years the book has kept what from the beginning had been its main strength, namely, that it not only describes the ‘how,’ but also the ‘why’ and equally important, the ‘why not’ of things.  It is a book that builds engineering intuition, and in this day and age of fast-paced technology changes, this is critical to develop a student's ability to make informed decisions on how to design or select the next generation systems.--Roch Guerin, University of Pennsylvania

    This book is an outstanding introduction to computer networks that is clear, comprehensive, and chock-full of examples.  Peterson and Davie have a gift for boiling networking down to simple and manageable concepts without compromising technical rigor.  "Computer Networks" strikes an excellent balance between the principles underlying network architecture design and the applications built on top.  It should prove invaluable to students and teachers of advanced undergraduate and graduate networking courses.--Arvind Krishnamurthy, University of Washington

    Computer Networks: A Systems Approach has always been one of the best resources available to gain an in-depth understanding of computer networks. The latest edition covers recent developments in the field. Starting with an overview in Chapter 1, the authors systematically explain the basic building blocks of networks. Both hardware and software concepts are presented. The material is capped with a final chapter on applications, which brings all the concepts together. Optional advanced topics are placed in a separate chapter. The textbook also contains a set of exercises of varying difficulty at the end of each chapter which ensure that the students have mastered the material presented.--Karkal Prabhu, Drexel University

    Peterson and Davie provide a detailed yet clear description of the Internet protocols at all layers. Students will find many study aids that will help them gain a full understanding of the technology that is transforming our society. The book gets better with each edition.--Jean Walrand, University of California at Berkeley

    Morgan Kaufmann published the 5th edition of "Computer Networks: A Systems Approach" a few weeks back. If you were a student of computer networking given the task of learning the most important information but allowed only one book to read, this is the one I'd recommend. With more than 900 pages, this book covers all of the essential technologies of networking and now features appropriately expanded coverage of the most current technologies including wireless, security and P2P.--About.com

    "Computer Networks covers its subject in very fine and analytical detail and a conceptual framework like that of the ISO model maps only approximately to the realities of network systems. All the same, by using the ISO model as a rough template, Peterson and Davie are able to put across this complex subject in a way that readers can easily grasp. The ‘systems approach’ also emphasizes how each component fits into and works with the larger networking infrastructure…. As such, the fifth edition looks set to win its place on the bookshelf – or more likely open on the desk – of anyone who needs to learn the intricacies of modern networks or requires a comprehensive reference work. It doesn’t hurt that the text is very readable. Newcomers to networking technology will need to look elsewhere for a gentle introduction, but anyone with a good grasp of the key concepts will find this book an easy path to understanding the greater complexities. The book also provides readers with access to free, downloadable network simulation software and a lab experiments manual."--Network Security

    "Intended for upper division undergraduate or graduate courses in computer science, the fifth edition of this comprehensive textbook on networking is revised and updated to include the latest developments in wireless networking, mobile broadband and the latest Internet applications and services. The volume begins with a review of networking fundamentals and proceeds to cover topics such as advanced internetworking, end-to-end protocols, congestion control and resource allocation, network security, and application integration. Chapters include illustrations, tables and exercises and access to additional online resources is provided."--Reference and Research Book News

    "First published in 1996, this classic textbook has undergone major revisions over the years to keep abreast of current technological developments. The book aims to provide the reader with a foundation in computer networks and to act as a textbook for a university level networks course. It boasts two highly respected and knowledgeable authors, one of whom is professor of science at Princeton University. As such it concentrates heavily on theory, covering general principles and concepts as much as practical issues such as resilience, scalability and reliability…The thoroughness of the book cannot be faulted and the readable, accessible style is further enhanced by useful diagrams and boxed summaries throughout the text, along with exercises to check the reader’s understanding. Anyone hoping for a crash course in the subject or to learn over a few weekends should be warned that the book is 800 pages long with several pages of exercises at the end of each chapter. As such working through the volume from end-to-end is likely to be a serious undertaking. A computer network professional who is looking for a useful desktop resource may wish to look at some of the cheaper options, such as the excellent O’Reilly books, which cover the practical aspects more thoroughly at the expense of the theory. In fairness, however, the book is not aimed at this audience and serve


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