Science of Communication Networks

Prof. James P.G. Sterbenz <>
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
The University of Kansas

Course Description

EECS 784
3 credit hours

Comprehensive introduction to the fundamental science that is the basis for the architecture, design, engineering, and analysis of computer networks. Topics covered will include foundations on:

  1. Structure of networks: graph theory, centrality, spectral analysis, network flows, and network topology
  2. Identification of network entities: naming, addressing, indirection, translation, and location
  3. Operation of protocols and information transfer: automata, control theory, layering and cross-layering, Petri nets, protocol data units
  4. Policy and tussle: game theory, decision theory
  5. Resilience: dependability (reliability, availability, and maintainability), performability, fault tolerance, and survivability
Open-source tools will be used for network modelling and analysis.

This course is under continued development and this course page will be incrementally populated and updated.


EECS upper-level eligibility and engineering GPA ≥ 3.0 (for undergraduates), graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.

A networking class such as EECS 563 or 780 is not required as a prerequisite. However, these courses provide useful understanding on the application of the material in this course to the Internet.

Time and Location

EECS 784 will meet one evening a week on the Lawrence Campus; a discussion session meets only as necessary for rescheduled lecture sessions.

Course Offerings

Detailed information about individual offerings of this course will be located on the following pages, including schedule and homework assignments.

Generic course information and the latest version of the lectures are located this page below. Current and past SCN students, as well as other seriously interested parties are welcome to request to join the EECS 784 Facebook group and add the Google+ page.

Lectures and Readings

EECS 784 Lectures and Readings
Lecture Reading
Subject Key Concepts Required Optional
Graph Theory
Network Topology and Graph Spectra
Regular Networks
Random Graphs
Small-World Networks
Scale-Free Networks
Routing and Network Flows
Tusskle and Game Theory
Fault-Tolerance,, Dependability, and Resilience
Identification and Addressing
Protocols, Automata, Control Systems, and Layering


Optional Textbooks

M.E.J. Newman,
Networks: An Introduction,
Oxford, 2010

Ernesto Estrada and Philip A. Knight,
A First Course in Network Theory,
Oxford, 2015

Ted G. Lewis,
Network Science: Theory and Applications,
Wiley, 2009

John Day,
Patterns in Network Architecture: A Return to Fundamentals,
Prentice Hall Pearson, 2008
There will be required readings from this book for SCN-ID and SCN-PR. It is on reserve in Spahr Library, but you may wish to obtain your own copy for convenience.

Supplementary Textbooks

Network Science

David Easley and Jon Kleinberg,
Networks, Crowds and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World,
Cambridge, 2010

Alain Barrat, Mark Barthélemy, Alesandro Vespignani,
Dynamical Processes on Complex Networks,
Cambridge, 2008

S.N. Dorogovtsev and J.F.F. Mendes,
Evolution of Networks: From Biological Nets to the Internet and WWW,
Oxford, 2003

Ernesto Estrada,
The Structure of Complex Networks: Theory and Applications,
Oxford, 2012

M. E. J. Newman,
“The Structure and Function of Complex Networks”,
SIAM Review vol.45, no.2, pp. 167–256

Mark Newman, Albert-Lásló Barabási, and Duncan J. Wattseditors,
The Structure and Dynamics of Networks,
Princeton, 2006

Charles B. Duke, et al., Committee on Network Science for Future Army Applications,
Network Science,
National Academies Press, 2005

Graph Theory

Reinhard Dietsel,
Graph Theory, 4th ed.,
GTM 173, Springer, 2010

Jonathan L. Gross and Jay Yellen,
Graph Theory and its Application, 2nd ed.,
Prentice Hall, 1993.

Douglas B. West,
Introduction to Graph Theory, 2nd ed.,
Prentice Hall, 2001
This text has been used in KU MATH 725.

Vitaly I. Voloshin,
Introduction to Graph and Hypergraph Theory,
Nova Science, 2009

John N. Mordeson and Premchand S. Nair,
Fuzzy Graphs and Fuzzy Hypergraphs,
Physica-Verlag Springer, 2000

Spectral Analysis

Andries E. Brouwer and Willem H. Haemers,
Spectra of Graphs,
Springer, 2012

Piet Van Vieghem,
Graph Spectra for Complex Networks,
Cambridge, 2011

Regular Networks

V.E. Beneš,
Mathematical Theory of Connecting Networks and Telephone Traffic,
Academic Press, 1965

Daniel A. Reed and Richard M. Fujimoto
Multicomputer Networks: Message-Based Parallel Processing,
MIT Press, 1987

Chris Dhas, Vijaya K. Konangi, and M. Sreetharan, editors
Broadband Switching: Architectures, Protocols, Design, and Analysis,
IEEE Computer Society Press, 1991

Random Graphs

Béla Bollobás
Random Graphs 2nd edition,
Cambridge Press, 2001

Small-World Networks

Duncan J. Watts
Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and RandomnessRandom Graphs,
Princeton, 1999

Scale-Free Networks

Guido Caldarelli
Scale-Free Networks: Complex Webs in Nature and Technology,
Oxford, 2007

Network Flows

Ravindra K. Ahuja, Thomas L. Magnanti, and James B. Orlin,
Network Flows: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications
Chapman & Hall / CRC, 2006.

Deep Medhi and Karthik Ramasamy,
Netework Routing: Algorithms, Protocols, and Architectures,
Morgan Kaufmann / Elsevier, 2007.

Michał Pióro and Deepankar Medhi,
Routing, Flow, and Capacity Design in Communication and Computer Networks,
Morgan Kaufmann Elsevier, 2004

Anurag Kumar, D. Manjunath, and Joy Kuri,
Communication Networking: An Analytical Approach,
Morgan Kaufmann Elsevier, 2004

Game Theory

Martin J. Osborne,
An Introduction to Game Theory, 2nd. ed.
Ocford, 2004.
This text has been used in KU ECON 590.

Dependability and Performability

Roy Billinton and Ronald N. Allan,
Reliability Evaluation of Engineering Systems: Concepts and Techniques, 2nd. ed.
Plenum, 1992.

Wayne D. Grover,
Mesh-Based Survivable Networks: Options and Strategies for Optical, MPLS, SONET, and ATM Networking,
Prentice Hall, 2004.

This list under construction.


Algirdas Avižienis, Jean-Claude Laprie, Brian Randell, and Carl Landwehr,
Basic Concepts and Taxonomy of Dependable and Secure Computing”,
IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, vol.1, no. 1, Jan. 2004, pp. 11 33

L. A. N. Amaral, A. Scala, M. Barthélémy and H. E. Stanley,
Classes of Small-World Networks
PNAS, vol.97, no.21, pp. 11149–11152, Oct. 10 2000

Lars Backstrom, Paolo Boldi, Marco Rosa, Johan Ugander, and Sebastiano Vigna,
Four Degrees of Separation
arXiv, arXiv:1111.4570v3, Jan. 2012

Albert-Láaszió Barabási and Réka Albert,
“Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks”
Science, vol.286, Jan. 2012, pp. 509&endash;512
also in [NBW2006]

Anirban Banerjee and Jürgen Jost,
Spectral Characterization of Network Structures and Dynamics”,
Dynamics On and Of Complex Networks, Birkhäuser Boston Springer, 2009, pp. 117–132

Andrei Broder, Ravi Kumar, Farzin Maghoul, Prabhakar Raghavan, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Raymie Stata, Andrew Tomkins, Janet Wiener,
Graph structure in the Web
Computer Networks, Elsevier, vol.33, iss.1–6, June 2000, pp. 309–320

Egemen K. Çetinkaya, Mohammed J.F. Alenazi, Justin P. Rohrer, and James P.G. Sterbenz,
Topology Connectivity Analysis of Internet Infrastructure Using Graph Spectra
IFIP/IEEE RNDM 2012, Skt. Peterburg, Oct. 2012, pp. 115–121

Jon Crowcroft, Richard Gibbens, Frank Kelly, and Sven Östring,
Modelling Incentives for Collaboration in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
Performance Evaluation, Elsevier, vol.57, iss.4, Aug. 2004, pp. 427–439

Philip A. Chou, Yunnan Wu, and Kamal Jain,
Practical Network Coding
41st Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing, Oct. 2003

David D. Clark, Karen R. Sollins, John Wroclawski, and Ted Faber,
Addressing Reality: An Architectural Response to Real-World Demands on the Evolving Internet
ACM SIGCOMM FDNA Workshop, Karlsruhe, Aug. 2003, pp. 247–257

David D. Clark, John Wroclawski, Karen R. Sollins, and Robert Braden,
Tussle in Cyberspace: Defining Tomorrow’s Internet
ACM SIGCOMM 2002, Pittsburgh,
ACM SIGCOMM CCR, vol.32, no.4, Oct. 1999, pp. 347–356

Danthine, Andrée,
“Protocol Representation with Finite-State Models&rdquo
IEEE Transactions on Communications,
vol.28 no.4, Apr. 1980, pp. 632–642

John C. Doyle, David L. Alderson, Lun Li, Steven Low, Matthew Roughan, Stanislav Shalunov, Reiko Tanaka, and Walter Willinger,
On The ‘Robust Yet Fragile’ Nature of the Internet
PNAS, vol.102, no.41, pp. 14497–14502, Oct. 11 2005

Robert J. Ellison, David A. Fisher, Richard C. Linger, Howard F. Lipson, Thomas A. Longstaff, and Nancy R. Mead,
Survivable Network Systems: An Emerging Discipline,
Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute Technical Report CMU/SEI-97-TR-013, 1997 revised 1999

Linton C. Freeman,
“Centrality in Social Networks: Conceptual Clarification”
Social Networks, Elsevier, vol.1, no.3, pp. 215–239, 1978/1979

Christina Fragouli, Jean-Yves Le Boudec, and Jörg Widmer
“Network Coding: An Instant Primer
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, vol.36, no.1, Jan. 2006, pp. 63–68

L.R. Ford, Jr. and D.R. Fulkerson,
“Maximal Flow through a Network”
Canadian Journal of Mathematics, University of Toronto Press, vol.VIII, no.3, pp. 399–404, 1956

Michalis Faloutsos, Petros Faloutsos, and Christos Faloutsos,
On Power-Law Relationships of the Internet Topology
ACM SIGCOMM 1999, vol.11, no.3, pp. 19–36, Sep. 2008
ACM SIGCOMM CCR, vol.29, no.4, pp. 251–262, Aug. 1999
also in [NBW2006]

Geoff Huston,
The Changing Foundation of the Internet: Confronting IPv4 Address Exhaustion
The Internet Protocol Journal, vol.11, no.3, Sep. 2008, pp.19–36

Hamed Haddadi, Miguel Rio, Gianluca Iannaccone, Andrew Moore, and Richard Mortier,
Network Topologies: Inference, Modeling, and Generation
IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol.10, no.2, 2nd quarter, pp. 48–69

Rajesh Krishnan and David Starobinski,
Efficient Clustering Algorithms for Self-Organizing Wireless Sensor Networks”,
Ad Hoc Networks, Elsevier,
vol.4 iss.1, January 2006, pp. 36–59

R.E. Lyons and W. Vanderkulk,
“The Use of Triple-Modular Redundancy to Improve Computer Reliability”
IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol.6, no.2, Apr. 1962, pp. 200–209

John F. Meyer,
“Performability: A Retrospective and Some Pointers to the Future”
Performance Evaluation, Elsevier North-Holland, vol.14, no.3–4, Feb. 1992, pp. 2139–156

Aniket Mahanti, Niklas Carlsson, Anirban Mahanti, Martin Arlitt, and Carey Williamson,
“A Tale of the Tails: Power-Laws in Internet Measurements”
IEEE Network, vol.27, no.1, Jan. 2013, pp. 59–64

Alan Mislove, Massimiliano Marcon, Krishna P. Gummadi, Peter Druschel, and Bobby Bhattacharjee
On Measurement and Analysis of Online Social Networks
ACM IMC'07, San Diego, Oct. 2007, pp. 29–42

Ratul Mahajan, Maya Rodrig, David Wetherall, and John Zahorjan
Experiences Applying Game Theory to System Design
ACM ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Practice and Theory of Incentives in Networked Systems PIMS'04, Portland, Sep. 2004s, pp. 183–190

David W. Matula and Robert R. Sokal
“Properties of Gabriel Graphs Relevant to Geographic Variation Research and the Clustering of Points in the Plane”
Geographical Analysis, Wiley, vol.12 iss.3, Jul. 1980, pp. 205–222

Allen B. MacKenzie and Stephen B. Wicker
Game Theory and the Design of Self-Configuring, Adaptive Wireless Networks
IEEE Communications, vol.39 iss.11, Nov. 2001, pp. 126–131

Robert Meusel, Sebastiano Vigna, Oliver Lehmberg, and Christian Bidner,
Graph Structure in the Web – Revisited: A Trick of the Heavy Tail
ACM WWW 2014, Seoul, Apr. 2014, pp. 427–432

M. Naldi,
“Connectivity of Waxman Topology Models”
Computer Communications, Elsevier, vol.29 iss.1, Dec. 2005, pp. 24–31

M. E. J. Newman, D. J. Watts, and S. H. Strogatz,
Random Graph Models of Social Networks
PNAS, vol.99 supl.1, Feb. 2002, pp. 2566–2572

Pekka Nikander, Jukka Ylitalo, and Jorma Wall,
Integrating Security, Mobility and Multi-Homing in a HIP Way
ISOC Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), Feb. 2003, no.6

Tore Opsahl, Filip Agneessens, and John Skvoretz,
“Node Centrality in Weighted Networks: Generalizing Degree and Shortest Paths”,
Social Networks,
vol.32 iss.3, July 2010, pp. 245–251

Harry Rudin,
“An Informal View of Formal Protocol Specification”
IEEE Communications,
vol.23 no.3, Mar. 1985, pp. 46–52

James P.G. Sterbenz, David Hutchison, Egemen K. Çetinkaya, Abdul Jabbar, Justin P. Rohrer, Marcus Schö, and Paul Smith,
Resilience and Survivability in Communication Networks: Strategies, Principles, and Survey of Disciplines
Computer Networks, Elsevier
vol.54 iss.8, June 2010, pp. 1245–1265

James P.G. Sterbenz, David Hutchison, Egemen K. Çetinkaya, Abdul Jabbar, Justin P. Rohrer, Marcus Schö, and Paul Smith,
Redundancy, Diversity, and Connectivity to Achieve Multilevel Network Resilience, Survivability, and Disruption Tolerance
Telecommuniction Systems, Springer
accepted Apr. 2012

James P.G. Sterbenz and Rajesh Krishnan,
Multi-Modal Routing and Switch Node Architecture
DARPA / DOE / NASA / NIST / NLM / NSF Workshop on New Visions for Large-Scale Networks: Research and Applications,
Vienna VA, Mar. 2001

Jerome H. Saltzer, David P. Reed, and David D. Clark,
End-to-End Arguments in System Design”,
ACM Transactions on Computer Systems,
vol.2, iss.4, Nov. 1984, pp. 277–288

Jonathan S. Turner,
“Design of a Broadcast Packet Switching Network”
IEEE Transactions on Communications,
vol.36 iss.6, June 1988, pp. 734–743
also in [DKS1991]

Hongsuda Tangmunarunkit, Ramesh Govindan, Sugih Jamin, Scott Shenker, Walter Willinger
Network Topology Generators: Degree-Based vs. Structural
ACM SIGCOMM'02, Pittsburgh, Aug. 2002, pp. 147–159

Jeffrey Travers and Stanley Milgram
“An Experimental Study of the Small World Problem”
Sociometry, ASA, vol.32, no.4, Dec. 1969, pp. 425–443

Richard W. Watson
“The Delta-t Transport Protocol: Features and Experience”
IEEE LCN, Oct. 1989, pp. 399–407

Duncan J. Watts & Steven H. Strogatz
“Collective Dynamics of &lquo;Small-world&rquo; Networks”
Nature, vol.393 no. 6684, Jun. 1998, pp. 440–442
also in [NBW2006]

Wen-Xu Wang, Bing-Hong Wang, Bo Hu, Gang Yan, and Qing Ou
General Dynamics of Topology and Traffic on Weighted Technological Networks
Physical Review Letters, APS, vol.94 no. 18, 13 May 2005, pp. 188702-1–188702-4

Ellen W. Zegura, Kenneth L. Calvert, and Michael J. Donahoo,
“A Quantitative Comparison of Graph-Based Models for Internet Topology”,
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking,
vol.5 iss.6, December 1997, pp. 770–783


Grading will be based on the average of letter grades assigned to the various course components. The midterm exam grade will be based on a modified curve in which students are grouped by modes in the distribution. Final grades at KU do not have the + and – modifiers. Employer reimbursement and immigration status cannot be a consideration in the final grade.

EECS 784 Final Grade Modes
Aexcellent performance
Bgood performance
Cmarginal performance
Fnon-performance or academic misconduct

If you are having difficulty in the class I strongly recommended you discuss this early and not wait until exam time. Students are responsible for understanding course drop policies and deadlines.

EECS 784 Grading
30%2 section exams
20%participation in discussion
20%paper presentation and discussion leadership
30%project and report

Exams will be closed book and take approximately 1/2 of a class period. The exam information page contains detailed information on the requirements, structure, and grading of examinations for this course. You must also read the academic integrity page before taking an exam.

While you are responsible for all lecture and required readings, the following list outlines some of the most important topics likely to be covered on the exams for this course.

Exam 1: Fundamentals of Network Graphs

Exam 2: Advanced Network Graphs and Tussle

Paper Presentation and Class Participation

A major part of this course consists of presenting and discussing papers from the research literature. All students are expected to read the chosen papers before the corresponding class. Each student will be required to present and lead the discussion of several papers during semester.

The class participation grade for each student will depend on students asking insightful questions of the presentation that clearly demonstrate that the assigned papers have been read before class. Additionally, a short quiz will be given at the beginning of each class to test comprehension of the required readings; this will contribute to half of the participation grade.



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