IS 450/650: Data Communications and Networks — Fall 2015

Times: Tuesday 4:30pm – 7:00pm
Location: Janet & Walter Sondheim  113
Instructor: Nirmalya Roy
Instructor’s Office Location and Hours: ITE 421,  Thursday 1:30pm – 3:00pm, or by appointment
Instructor’s Email: nroy at umbc dot edu

Course Descriptions: This is an upper-undergradaute and first graduate-level course in computer networks for students in information systems. This course will introduce students to the key concepts of underlying wired, and wireless networking. The layered architecture of the network protocol stack will be the focus of discussion. Alongside, a variety of case studies will be drawn from the Internet, combined with practical programming exercises. At the end of the semester, students will well understand several concepts, including the Internet architecture, HTTP, DNS, P2P, Sockets, TCP/IP, Routing protocols, IEEE 802.11, wireless and sensor networking, mobile computing, cellular and satellite networks, security, etc.

Course Objectives: This course aims at introducing the students to modern computer networks, in particular the Internet. We will discuss basic network architecture, design principles, different protocols, and applications. We will study the application, transport, networking, and link layers. We will also cover basic topics of network security and management. Students are expected to perform various projects and homework assignments to obtain hands on knowledge.

Course Topics:

* Introduction to Networks
* Application Layer
* Transport Layer
* Network Layer
* Link Layer
* Wireless and Mobile Networks
* Network Security

Course Prerequisites: MATH 215 / MATH 221 or equivalent

Required Textbook:
Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, 6th Ed., by James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross. Addison-Wesley, 2012

Course Requirements and Grading:

Homework, Quizzes & Class Participation 30%
Hands-on Data Communications Research & Development Project  20%
1 mid-term exam  20%
Final Exam  30%

Quiz and Exam Makeup: There will be no exam or quiz makeup. Missed exam/quiz will result in zero mark.

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all lectures.

Tentative Course Schedule:
(Subject to change as the semester progresses)

Week Date Topic Handout Due Notes
 1  9/1 Course overview, logistics, etc. Course Syllabus Course Overview
 2  9/8 Introduction to Basic Terms and Concepts: Internet, network edge, core, circuit and packet switching, TDM, FDM, delay, loss etc. Introduction
Chapter 1
 3  9/15 Introduction to Basic Terms and Concepts: protocol layers, layered architecture etc. Application Layer: client-server, peer-peer, services  etc. Quiz 1 Application Layer
Chapter 2
 4  9/22 Application layer: Introduction to HTTP, FTP, Email etc. Homework 1 Research Project
 5  9/29 Application layer: Introduction to DNS, Socket programming etc. Hands-On Project Plan


 6  10/6 Transport layer: Introduction to transport-layer services, multiplexing/demultiplexing, reliable data transfer etc.  Quiz 2 Transport Layer
Chapter 3
 7  10/13 Travel (No Class)
 8  10/20 Transport layer: pipelined data transfer protocols, Go-Back-N, Selective Repeat. Midterm Exam Review Midterm Exam Review
 9  10/27 Midterm Exam
10  11/3 Hands-on Data Communications Project Update

TCP Continued: flow control, connection management, congestion control.

Project Update Template
11  11/10 TCP congestion case study. Homework 2
12  11/17 Network Layer: Introduction, Routing & Forwarding etc. Internet Protocol (IP), addressing, etc. Online Class Network Layer Part 1,
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
13  11/24 Netork Layer: NAT, ICMP, IPv6, tunneling, routing algorithms: link state and distance vector, Internet routing, BGP, broadcast using center-based trees etc.  HW2 Network Layer Chapter 4


14 12/1 Final Project Demo Presentation (First 8 groups – 12 mins each group) Quiz 3 (Study Guide)
15 12/8 Final Project Demo Presentation (Second 8 groups – 12 mins each group)

Final Exam Review

Final Exam Review
16 12/15 Final Exam (3:30 to 5:30 pm) Final Project Report due 12/13 by email Final Project Report Template

Hands-on Data Communications Research and Development Project (Sponsored by Constellation Energy):
In general in an upper undergraduate and lower graduate level computer networking course we discuss fundamentals of networking and communications in theory but most often we do not get the opportunity to test it on real everyday devices. Sometime we do simulation study to fulfill that requirement. In this course we will have an important component as part of our learning curve to deploy, test, compare, and if needed to make changes to the communication protocols to have access to real data on real devices commercially available in the market. In this semester, we will specifically focus on exploring devices for green building energy management such as smart plugs for fine-grained energy metering in home environment. For example, iMeter Solo, Z-Wave Smart Energy Power Strip, Enmetric Systems; all are smart plugs which are used for measuring power consumption of different appliances in an intelligent building environment. Believe it or not these devices advocate different types of communication protocols such as Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11.x), ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4), Bluetooth, X10, ANT, or Bluetooth low energy (BLE), Power Line Communication (PLC) etc., based on an application specific requirements and device hardware-software compatibility.

The idea of this project is to set up those real devices in your own living environment and find out what communication protocol has been employed to transport the DATA and how useful it is for that specific application? Is there a better alternative? At the end of this study we would like to hear from each group of students about your recommendation for a specific device, the technology it has used, how it has been deployed to communicate data? A comparative study on different communication protocols we use in our day to day lives, either knowingly or unknowingly based on different metrics such as range, power consumption, RSSI signal strength, security etc., would be well appreciated by the peers and albeit by the instructor!

All the devices will be provided by the Mobile, Pervasive and Sensor Computing (MPSC) Lab in the Information Systems department at UMBC. We heartily acknowledge our sponsors Constellation Energy to make this student hands-on data communications and networking project possible in Fall 2015.

The project is motivated by our effort on developing non-intrusive, energy-efficient, cost-effective scalable technological solutions for green building and independent living applications.  Please see the following Wall Street Journal article on sensor enabled technologies for independent living. Please recall that it is not possible to scale this system if the underlying communication protocols are not robust, energy-efficient, secure, fault-tolerant and universally acceptable with their coexistence in a variety of different hardware or software domains.

Logistics, Requirements & Deliverables:
1. Form a group of 3 students at the undergraduate-level and 2 students at the graduate-level.

2. Decide by the last week of September what devices you want for your project. Keep in mind that our goal is to find out which device should be an ideal choice for large scale smart home and green building energy management applications. So keep an eye on the cost of the device along with its hardware and software versatility to make a win-win recommendation.

3. You are expected to give a demo of how your system works, what underlying communication protocol has been deployed and why?

4. Submit a 3-page report (undergrads team) and a 6-page report (grads team) to the instructor by email. More details will be provided later.

A list of potential smart plug devices and possible projects: (Please be innovative and go beyond it!)

1. Z-wave Smart Metering and Communication:
i) Aeon Labs DSA02203-ZWUS Z-Stick Series 2;
ii) Aeon Labs DSC24-ZWUS Smart Switch Z-Wave Appliance Module
iii) Aeon Labs DSC06106-ZWUS – Z-wave Smart Energy Switch
iv) Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Smart Energy Power Strip

2. Insteon Energy Metering and Communication:
i) iMeter Solo – INSTEON Power Meter (Plug-In)
ii) PowerLinc Modem – INSTEON USB Interface (Dual-Band)

3. Enmetric System for Intelligent Plug load Management and Power Telemetry Communication
i) Enmetric PowerPort
ii) Enmetric Wireless Bridge

4. SiteSage (previously was known as eMonitor)
i) Powerhouse Dynamics: Energy Management System
ii) SiteSage for Homes M-24h Energy Monitor (formerly eMonitor 4-24)

5. PeoplePower
i) Presence Pro Energy – for Android

6. Nest Lab
i) Nest Thermostat

1. Review: My First Four Months With an Energy Monitor
2. Smart Home in a Box (SHiB) (ADL monitoring toolkit in smart homes at large scale)
2. Using Sensor Technology to Lower Elder Care Costs

Group No Team Member Project Title Device
 1 Kameron Robinson, Andrew W, Logan W Building Occupancy & Energy Monitoring Nest Thermostat
 2 An Tran and Husher Harris II Be Safe: Monitoring the Driving Behavior and Road Condition Actron CP9599 U-Scan
 3 Jenna Tart & Nicole Quigley Energy Efficiency: How to Make UMBC Better Insteon Power Meter
 4 Ian Erickson & Peter Servano Stay Fit: Measure Your Daily Habits and Sleep Patterns Samsung Gear
 5 Eliyahu Drapkin, Ben Fach & Ar kar Kyaw Win The Correlation between Stress and Sleep Intel Basis
 6 Stephanie Blaney, Aaron Levine & Benjamin Bakkegard Smart Energy Monitoring Z-Wave Smart Energy Switch
 7 Navin Ramnarain, Joshua Joseph & Cyril Jacob Amazon Echo: Siri For Your Home Amazon Echo
 8 Praveen Bachoti, Daren Seto & Inshaal Amjad Foot to Server: Data Transmission, Interference & Delay from your Smart Shoes Nike Sensor
 9 Eurphan McLaughlin & Devonte Quasie-Woode Smart Employee Tracking Estimote Beacons
10 Maurice DeBeary, Raymond Kobe & Gregory Goldfarb Smartphone File Sharing: NFC(Android) vs Airdrop(iPhone) Smart Phones
11 Bipendra Basnyat & Babatunde Olowosuko Raspberry Pi ­ NFC Scanner Raspberry Pi
12 Arash Fallah & Dagnachew Kebede Improve Sleep through Metabolic Analysis during Different Stages of Sleep Jawbone UP 3
13 Daniel Cano Hueros, Joshua Avrick & Ken Izuchukwu Cataloging Activity during a Weight-Lifting Session Intel Basis
14 Marjeta Cedilnik & Varun Tewari Fitness and Sleep cycle Intel Basis
15 Nicholas Wilson & Anthony Stoute Diagnosing Stressors through Glucose and Heart Rate Readings Microsoft Band
16 Mubasher Shan, Faraz & Ahmed Kazmi Motion Sensor

Student Support Services: UMBC is committed to eliminating discriminatory obstacles that disadvantage students based on disability. Student Support Services (SSS) is the UMBC department designated to receive and maintain confidential files of disability-related documentation, certify eligibility for services, determine reasonable accommodations, develop with each student plans for the provision of such accommodations, and serve as a liaison between faculty members and students regarding disability-related issues. If you have a disability and want to request accommodations, contact SSS in the Math/Psych Bldg., room 213 or at 410-455-2459. SSS will require you to provide appropriate documentation of disability. If you require accommodations for this class, make an appointment to meet with me to discuss your SSS-approved accommodations.

Academic Integrity: Cheating in any form, will be subject to discipline according to university regulations. Projects that contain plagiarized materials will receive an automatic letter grade of ‘F’. Multiple violations will be handled according to university regulation. Please refer to Academic Integrity for more information.