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This course is meant for students who want to learn more about computer networking. The introductory course, IERG3310, covers the basic principles of network technology, the protocol stack and network programming. This course covers additional topics related to the operation and management of the Internet; and also on new and future networking technologies. One of the major topics is Internet routing and traffic engineering, considering the Internet operational model of transit ISPs and local ISPs and their peering agreements. Examples of new technology and protocols include various multimedia applications such as streaming, VoIP, IPTV. Examples for future networks include support for mobility and convergence of different types of networks.

  • Online Course Material

  • Learning outcomes

    • Acquire a deeper understanding of network protocols and management based on how the Internet is operated by a multitude of ISPs
    • Appreciate how multimedia applications are supported by current Internet protocols and additional building blocks
    • Appreciate how the Internet is evolving with new applications and technologies

Content, highlighting fundamental concepts:

  • Network operations: Provide an overview of different kinds of ISPs (from retail ISPs or campus networks, to different levels of transit ISPs and how their networks are interconnected ; peering arrangements).
  • Practical Routing Protocols and Traffic Engineering: Cover mainstream routing protocols in practice: RIP, 2-level OSPF hierarchical routing and BGP. Traffic engineering objectives and their realization: (1) Link-cost assignment for Shortest-path-based Intra-domain routing protocols ; ECMP (2) Configuration of BGP attributes to achieve inbound and outbound load balancing and/or multi-homing/ fault-tolerance ; Support of inter-domain policy-based routing/peering.
  • Forwarding plane mechanisms: Forwarding plane algorithms such as longest prefix matching, packet classification, and traffic measurement using tools such as Netflow.
  • MPLS and Traffic engineering: MPLS terminologies, protocol functions and network architecture ; Its role in Traffic Engineering: Layer 3 Overlay vs Peer model.
  • IPv6 and transition from IPv4: Cover IPv6 addressing scheme, design/functional differences when compared with IPv4 ; migration strategies and protocol tools.
  • Multimedia Networking, Best Effort Traffic Control and QoS ; Adaptive Streaming Protocols: Cover requirements of multimedia applications ; Internet QoS models and supporting protocols: Diffserv, Intserv. Protocols supporting Streaming/Stored multimedia applications: RTP, RTCP, RTSP ; Supporting multimedia service with Best Effort Network Service and application/protocol adaptation ; Describe example applications, such as IPTV ; Adaptive Streaming Protocols: MPEG DASH and proprietary protocols from Adobe, Apple and Microsoft ;
  • Advanced Transport Protocol: http 1.1 and its limitations ; http 2.0 developments: SPDY ; Web-Sockets
  • SIP and Internet Multimedia Subsystems (IMS): Convergence of data, voice and video networks ; SIP protocol basics ; wireline/wireless network service integration via SIP/Internet Multimedia System (IMS) ;

Course Information

Lecture time and venue:

  • LHC G04 ; Tuesday 10:30am – 12:15pm
  • MMW 702 ; Thursday 1:30pm – 2:15pm


  • Prof. Wing Cheong Lau.
    • wclau [at] ie [dot] cuhk [dot] edu [dot] hk
    • Office hour: Monday, 10:00 - 11:00 (SHB 818)


  • MMW 702 ; Thursday 12:30pm – 1:15pm

Teaching Assistant:

  • GUO, Lingfeng
    • gl016 [at] ie [dot] cuhk [dot] edu [dot] hk
    • Office hour: by appointment via email (SHB 724)

Website account:

User: iems5709
Password: spring5709iems

Learning Resource for students

This course does not use a single textbook. Instead, several textbooks are recommended as references:

Other parts of the course, we rely on lecture notes. We refer students to IETF RFCs for specific protocols. In addition, reference material will be posted on the Reference Material page of this website.

Tentative Timetable

Week Lecture Date Topic Period Recommended Readings Additional References
1 Jan 9
Jan 11
Course Admin ; Hubs vs. Bridging vs. Routing ; Self-learning Bridges ; T2-3 H2 Ch3, 5 of [1] [2] (in the reference list)
2 Jan 16
Jan 18
Spanning Tree Protocols, VLANs ; T2-3 H2 - -
3 Jan 23
Jan 25
Intra-domain routing: review Link-state vs. Distance Vector; Practical design details of RIP and OSPF ; T2-3 H2 Ch12 of [1] -
4 Jan 30
Feb 1
OSPF (continued) ; Traffic Engineering under Shortest Path-based Routing: link-cost setting, ECMP; T2-3 H2 Ch2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of [3] -
5 Feb 6
Feb 8
ISP peering and Inter-domain routing (BGP) ; T2-3 H2 - -
6 Feb 13 BGP and Traffic Engineering via BGP attribute setting ; T2-3 - -
** Chinese New Year Holidays**
7 Feb 22 BGP and Traffic Engineering via BGP attribute setting ; H2 - -
8 Feb 27
Mar 1
MPLS and Traffic Engineering ; T2-3 H2 - -
9 Mar 6
Mar 13
Mar 15
(Mid-term) Modern Packet Switch/ Router Architectures; T2-3 H2 - -
10 Mar 20 Forwarding plane mechanisms: longest prefix match, packet classification; Netflow; T2-3 H2 - -
11 Mar 22
Mar 27
Apr 10
IPv6 and IPv4-to-v6 transitioning strategies and protocol tools; T2-3 H2 - -
- Mar 29
Apr 4
Apr 5
No classes during the Reading Week from March 29 to Apr 4 ; Ching Ming Holiday for Apr 5 - - -
12 Apr 10
Apr 12
SIP/IMS, Network Convergence and Service Integration; T2-3 H2 - -
13 Apr 17
Apr 19
Multimedia Networking and Internet QoS models ; Adaptive Streaming Protocols, e.g. DASH ; T2-3 H2 - -

Course Assessment

Your grade will be based on the following components:

  • Mid-term: 20%
  • Homework and hands-on exercises (3-4 sets in total): 40%
  • Final Exam: 40%

Student/Faculty Expectations on Teaching and Learning


Academic Honesty

You are expected to do your own work and acknowledge the use of anyone else's words or ideas. You MUST put down in your submitted work the names of people with whom you have had discussions.

Refer to http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/policy/academichonesty for details

When scholastic dishonesty is suspected, the matter will be turned over to the University authority for action.

You MUST include the following signed statement in all of your submitted homework, project assignments and examinations. Submission without a signed statement will not be graded.

I declare that the assignment here submitted is original except for source material explicitly acknowledged, and that the same or related material has not been previously submitted for another course. I also acknowledge that I am aware of University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and of the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations, as contained in the website http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/policy/academichonesty/.


Thanks to Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft Azure for providing free computing resource support of this course

Course Collaborators