TELE 4642: Network Performance

Session 1, 2018


Course Outline (handout)

Lecturer: Dr. Hassan Habibi Gharakheili (Level 5, MSEB building, Email:; Prof. Vijay Sivaraman, Level 7, MSEB building, Email:
Lectures: Tue 9am-11am (CivEng G1) and Fri 10am-11am (Webst ThA)
Consultation: Tue 11am-12pm

Lab demonstrators: Ayyoob Hamza (Level 3, MSEB building, Email:, Minzhao Lyu (Level 3, MSEB building, Email:
Labs: Thu 1-2pm, Thu 2-3pm, Fri 11am-12pm, and Fri 12-1pm (all in ChemSc 713).

Aims: This course aims to develop an understanding of the tools and technologies for understanding and improving the performance of communication networks such as the Internet. It will introduce students to quantitative methods for loss and delay analysis in packet networks, using techniques from stochastic traffic modelling, Markov chains, and queueing theory. It will expose students to frameworks for optimisation and orchestration of network performance, including emerging paradigms such as software defined networking (SDN). The quantitative methods studied in this course will be applied to practical examples from network architecture and design, in domains ranging from data centres and wide-area networks to home networks, mobile networks, and content-delivery networks.

Student Resources: There is no one prescribed textbook for this course. Material from the following books will be used, and will be augmented with papers supplied via the course web-page:

Additional resources will be provided in lectures, posted on this web-site, or indicated where it can be found on the Internet.


Labs 30%
In-class Quizzes 30%
Final Exam 40%

Course Structure (Tentative and subject to change)

WeekTopic (Tuesday)Topic (Friday)ReadingLabs
1 27 Feb: Introduction 02 Mar: Discussion of Lab 1 [AR01: ch1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4.2, 2.4.3]
2 06 Mar: Probability Theory, Stochastic Processes 09 Mar: Queueing Systems [HP93: 4.3.1] [AR01: 2.6, 2.7(exercise 4,5,6), ch3, 3.6(exercise 12)] Lab 1 (due week 5)
3 13 Mar: M/M/1 queues 16 Mar: M/M/1 variants [AR01: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.8(exercise 14,15,16)]
4 20 Mar: Networks of queues 23 Mar: Quiz1 (10 points) [HP93: 5.1.3, 6.2], [AR01: 4.5, 5.1, 5.2], Sample Quiz 1 a, b, c, d
5 27 Mar: SDN concepts 30 Mar: Good Friday Holiday Mininet Lab 2 (due week 9)
-02 Apr - 06 Apr: Mid-session break
6 10 Apr: SDN control/data plane 13 Apr: Discussion of Lab 2
7 17 Apr: SDN use-cases: DC and inter-DC WAN 20 Apr: SDN use-cases
8 24 Apr: SDN use-cases: exchange points and home networks 27 Apr: Quiz2 (10 points) Sample Quiz 2
9 01 May: QoS and Traffic Models 04 May: Project discussion [KR07: 7.1(Multimedia Networking Apps), 7.5(Providing CoS), 7.6(Providing QoS Guarantees)] Project (due week 13)
10 08 May: Discrete Time Markov Chains (DTMC) 11 May: Project topic presentation CMU lecture 15
11 15 May: DTMC Applications: Ranking Web Pages 18 May: Slotted Aloha [VM06: 11.6], CMU lecture 17 (Sections 3 and 2)
12 22 May: DTMC Applications: Randomised Routing 25 May: Quiz 3 (10 points) Sample Quiz 3
13 29 May: Review 01 Jun: Project Presentations Sample Final Exam

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