Science of Communication Networks – Spring 2016

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

News and Announcements

The first class session will be 21 Jan. 2016.

Feel free to join the EECS 784 Facebook group and add the Google+ page.

Influenza Precautions

If you have not yet gotten the flu vaccine, I strongly recommend you do so now. KU SHS has vaccine, and you can make an appointment to get it. It takes some days to build up the immunity, so you shouldn't wait until flu is widespread on campus due to student interactions that significantly increase interpersonal contact. It is extremely irresponsible to endanger others in your class because you have not bothered to get the flu shot.

If you are sick, particularly if you have a fever or are shedding virus by coughing and sneezing, do not come to class and infect others. You are most contagious when you are first getting sick before your immune system begins fighting the infection. See a doctor, and stay away until you are no longer sneezing, coughing, have a fever, or have been on an antibiotic for 24 hours if your infection is bacterial. Influenza is viral, and does not respond to antibiotics.

We will bring bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitiser to lecture sessions. I expect everyone to use it every time they enter the room. Other than not coughing and sneezing when sick, clean hands are the best way to protect you and others from the flu, as well other cold viruses and bacteria.

Course Description

EECS 784 offered as special topics courses 700
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 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.

Spring 2016 Offering Details

This page contains schedule, homework, and exam information specific to the Spring 2016 offering. Refer to the main EECS 784 page for generic course information including textbooks and exam topics.

Time and Location

Spring 2016
3150 Learned
 EECS 700-1000  EECS 700-1050 
LEC 65644LBN 65725

Instructor Office hours

Thu. 17:00–18:00 in 3036 Eaton (Lawrence), by appointment.
Email, skype chat, or call before you come to confirm my location and availability.
+1 785 864 7890 (Nichols)
+1 785 864 8846 (Eaton)
or by appointment


All email correspondence to the instructor must contain a subject line beginning exactly Subject: EECS690 - or Subject: EECS800 - followed by a meaningful indicator of the content. The former is so that automatic email filters are likely to do the right thing; the latter is so that we know what the email regards when looking at the folder view in an email client. Email not following this guideline is likely to get misfiltered and be unread.

Students are encouraged to join the EECS 784 Facebook Group and Google+ page for discussions among class members.


Tentative schedule of lectures, readings, assignments, and exams.

Dates in the future may change, as each semester progresses differently, and some lectures may have to be rescheduled to discussion days due to travel requirements. Lecture notes that do not have a 2013 date have not yet been updated for this term and are subject to minor changes before the corresponding class period.

EECS 784 Spring 2016 Schedule
Date Lecture Reading Project
Term Paper
Subject Key Concepts Required Optional Reference Presentation
 21 Jan. Administrivia and Ethics
SCN-AE [display]
draft presentation
due noon
two days before
 21 Jan. Preliminaries and Motivation
 [N2003]:1   N:1–5 
 28 Jan. Graph Theory
SCN-GT [display]
 graph types: 
 undirected, directed 
 graph replresentation: 
 adjacency matrix 
 graph metrics: 
 degree, clustering coĆ«fficient, betweenness 
 E:2–3, 14 
 [MMG+2007] (TC) 
 [BKM+2000] (JL) 
 [ZCD1997] (PW) 
 04 Feb. Graph Spectra and Network Topology
SCN-ST  [display] (presented 18 Feb.)
  [optional guest lecture]
 [CARS2012  L:2.4–2.7   [BH2012
 [BJ2009] (CP) 
 [TGJ+2002] (SL) 
 [HRI+2008] (BD) 
 11 Feb. Regular Networks
SCN-RN [display]  (presented 04 Feb.)
 Linear, ring, Manhattan grid, torus 
 Tree, star, hypercube 
 Geometric, gabriel, mesh-like graphs 
 Interconnection networks: crossbar, delta, shuffle 
 [N2003]:3   L:3   [B1965
 [T1998] (LL) 
 [MS1980] (SWB) 
 18 Feb. Random Graphs
SCN-RG  [display] (presented 11 Feb.)
 Erdős-Rényi and Gilbert random graph 
 Random geometric graph 
 Waxman Graph 
 [N2003]:4–5   N:12,13 
 [N2005] (ER) 
 [NWS2002] (CR) 
2 topic ideas
1–3 complete references each
due Mon. 22 Feb.
[LaTeX (BibTeX; PDF)]
 25 Feb. Exam 1  –  Eaton 2001 Conference Room fundamentals of network graphs
 03 Mar. Small World Networks
SCN-SW [display]
 [N2003]:6   L:5 
 [TM1969] (PN) 
 [WS1998] (TC) 
 [ASBS2000] (SSB) 
 [BBR+2012] (XS) 
 10 Mar. Scale Free Networks
SCN-SF [display]
 L:6   N:8.4, 14 
 [FFF1999] (AM) 
 [MCM+2013] (XR) 
 [BA1999] (SWB) 
 [DAL+2005] (CP) 
~2 page proposal
+ 5 references
due Mon. 21 Mar.
[LaTeX (BibTeX, figure; PDF)]
 17 Mar. spring break
 31 Mar. Routing and Network Flows
SCN-RF  [display]
[optional Medhi guest lecture]
 [MR2007]:4   [FF1956]   [WWH+2005] (BD) 
 [FBW2006] (SX) 
 [KS2006] (SWB) 
 07 Apr. Game Theory and Tussle
SCN-TG [display]
prisoner’s dilemma
Nash equilibrium
1, 2–2.7
 [O2004]   [CWSB2002] (PN) 
 [MRWZ2004] (SL) 
 [MW2001] (JL) 
 [CJKÖ2004] (PW) 
full abstract
detailed outline
updated references
due Mon. 11 Apr.
[LaTeX (BibTeX; PDF)]
 14 Apr. Exam 2 advanced network graphs
 19 Apr.
Fault Tolerance, Dependabiity, and Resilience
SCN-FT  [display]
 [LV1962] (LL) 
 [EFL+1999] (BD) 
 [M1992] (CR) 
 [SHC+2012] (SSB) 
 21 Apr. Identification and Addressing
SCN-ID  [display]
name, address, location
 D:5,8   [CSWF2003
 [H2008] (XR) 
 [NYW2003] (ER) 
 [SK2001] (PN) 
 26 Apr.
Protocols, Automata, Control Systems, and Layering
SCN-PR  [display]
 D:2,3,6  [P1981], [DA1992]  [SRC1984]  [R1985] (ER) 
 [D1980] (PW) 
 [W1989] (CP) 
draft paper
full references
due Mon. 02 May
 03 May
 05 May
Oral Presentations
oral presentation guidelines
electronic version
due by 12:00 noon
day before

final paper
due 12 May
in lieu of final exam
 24 May  final grades available

Entries in the Reading column are chapters and sections of the texts, or papers

Reading assignments: E = Estrada and Knight, N = Newman L = Lewis, D = Day,

Submission of Assignments

Term Paper Milestones

Term paper submissions must use the either the LaTeX and BibTeX style or MS-Word templates linked in the table. Students who are my thesis advisees are required to use LaTeX, since this is the required format for PhD dissertations, MS theses and MS project reports . All submissions must be as a PDF attachment by email to the instructor James P.G. Sterbenz <> by the 23:59 midnight on the specified day. The Subject: line must begin with the exact string EECS784 - term paper followed by the submission type {ideas, proposal, outline, draft, final}. Clicking on the mailto: URI above will properly address and subject-tag the email for term paper submissions. Refer to the main course page for further information.


EECS 784 Spring 2016 Exam Results
Exam  Minimum   Mean   Median   Maximum 
Midterm 1
Midterm 2


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