ECE 462: Data and Computer Communications

ECE 462: Data and Computer Communications (3:3:0), Fall or Spring Semester

Prerequisites:      STAT 346 or 344 or permission of instructor
Professor: Bijan Jabbari
Office hours: See the Office Hours Posted at
Office: Ngyuen Engineering Building Rm 3232
Phone: 703.993.1618
Goal: This class will cover necessary theoretical foundation and the protocol and architecture of modern computer communication networks, including LANs, MANS, WANs and other packet switched networks. Particular attention will be given to Internet architectures and protocols. It is designed to introduce the basic concepts in data communications, computer networks and the OSI standard to senior-level students in electrical and computer engineering.

Tentative Course Outline

  • Review of Background, basic concepts in data communication networking, circuit and packet switching, and layering concept.
  • Data transmission, transmission media, channel impairments, channel capacity, digital signal encoding techniques, and multiplexing methods.
  • The physical layer; interface standards: RS-232/V.24, RS-449, V.35, X.21, and ISDN access; synchronous and asynchronous transmission.
  • Error detection methods and retransmission strategies, Stop-and-Wait ARQ, Go Back n ARQ, Selective Repeat protocols.
  • The data link control protocols.
  • The network layer.
  • Multiaccess techniques, ALOHA, S-ALOHA, CSMA/CD.
  • Local area networks: Ethernet, GigE, etc.
  • Wide area networks.

Textbooks and References:

  • W. Stallings, Data and Computer Communications (Latest Edition), Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (main text).
  • J. Kurose and K. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet (latest edition), Reading: Addison Wesley.
  • M. Schwartz., Telecommunication Networks: Protocols, Modelling and Analysis, Reading: Addison Wesley, 1987.
  • J. Warland, Communication Networks: A first Course, Boston: Aksen Associates, 1991.
  • J. Spragins, Telecommunications Protocols and Design, Reading: Addison Wesley, 1991
  • A. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Last Edition.


There will be weekly assignments, several unanounced quizzes, two tests, and a final exam. They will count towards the grade as follows:

  • Homework 5%
  • Tests I and II 25% each
  • Final Examination 45%