TELE 9751 - Internet Design and Equipment Architectures

Session 1, 2017


Jun. 22
Here are some of the best short lecture videos to help you revise for the final exam: packet classification, buffering, traffic management, bridges, ATM, MPLS, Intserv, Diffserv, and caching and CDNs
Jun. 19
The final consultation session will be held from 5:00pm to approx 5:30pm on Thursday June 22.
Jun. 6
Consultation times for the next couple of weeks (in Tim's office: Hilmer 741): Wed June 7 at 3pm, Tue June 13 at 5pm.
Apr. 28
To give you an idea of what makes a good video for the assignment, you might want to watch some of the following videos that cover the first half of the course, i.e. weeks
  1. Intro,
  2. Traffic and switching modes (but don't cram slides and ask the viewer to pause the video),
  3. time-division fabrics and an interesting retro but effective presentation
  4. space-division fabrics, and
  5. optical
I'll try to mark assignments more regularly in future weeks, and post links to the best videos which you might want to use to revise for the final exam.
Apr. 16
For the week 8 lecture, please make sure that you are familiar with the topics mentioned on the background slide. That slide links to some online videos about the topics, and slides 34-38 for part a also review that background (and won't be covered in the lecture).
Apr. 9
  • For the week 7 lecture, please make sure that you remember the structure of IP addresses and the concept of longest prefix matching, e.g. see these slides, since the lecture on packet classifiction will build upon those ideas.
  • The groupings for the project are the same as the rows for the mid-session test - see the project page for details.
  • You should have received an email about your mid-session test, including your mark and some feedback. If you're interested in how you compare to other students, the list of marks for all students in the class is available here.
Apr. 6
The mid-session test will start at 6:30pm. You only need to bring your student ID card; pens will be provided; other materials (including phones, dictionaries, notes, etc) will need to be placed at the front of the lecture theatre.
Mar. 17
An alternative explanation of Time-Slot-Interchange switching
Mar. 9
The specification for the assignment is now online. This video gives an example of what you should create for the assignment. While 1 minute over-length, and some parts may be questionable (e.g. the 2nd definition at 2:40), overall it probably deserves a distinction grade.
Mar. 2
Another relevant textbook, which is available online through the library, is D. Serpanos and T. Wolf: Architecture of Network Systems. If you listen to podcasts, you might want to listen to The future of networking according to Pradeep Sindhu of Juniper
Feb. 24

Course description

This course provides detailed knowledge of the design of equipment and protocols used to build communication networks such as the Internet. The course has five parts: 1. Switches: The motivations for switched networks, and the fabrics that provide the core switching function inside switches and routers. This includes time- and space-division switches, and alloptical switches. 2. Algorithms and techniques for implementing other functions of switches and routers, such as packet classification, buffering, and traffic management. 3. Protocols used between switches and routers, such as the Spanning Tree Protocol and bridges, signalling protocols, fast packet switching and tag switching. 4. Other internetworking devices, e.g. caches, load balancers, and layer 4/7 switches. 5. Design of networks in terms of dimensioning links and nodes (equipment) in order to achieve performance objectives.

Course support

This course will use Moodle as the online learning tool

Lecturer In Charge

Lecturer: Dr. Tim Moors

Contact methods:

Face-to-face: During consultation time (in breaks during lectures), and 4-4:30pm+ on Thursdays in the Lecturer's office, room 741 in building E10
Email: For administrative matters only: t.moors AT unsw blah blah blah with “TELE9751” in the subject line.
To resolve course administration issues (e.g. timetable clashes or course enrolment variation), see the lecturer after the 1st lecture that you can attend.


The recommended book for this course is
G. Varghese: “Network Algorithmics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Designing Fast Networked Devices”, Morgan Kaufmann, 2005
This book is available through the bookshop.

Search in this book, using Google. a review The author has a course based on the book.

Another good, but older and so harder to find, book is:

S. Keshav: An Engineering Approach to Computer Networking: ATM Networks, the Internet, and the Telephone Network, Addison-Wesley, 1997
Notes about this book:

Recommended reading

See the web page.

For trade news about Internet equipment, see Light Reading. For a podcast about developments in the field of internet equipment, listen to Packet Pushers.


This course schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Class times and locations
Week Topic Mindmaps Partial MP3
Request MP3
1 Administrivia, switched networks, routers vs switches PDF by Tim MP3
2 Traffic characteristics/requirements, switching modes PDF by Tim
PDF by a student
3 Switch structures and time-division fabrics PDF !!!by a student MP3
4 Space-division switch fabrics
Examples of Mergesort Bitonic sort. Search for “batcher sorting network” in this book
PDF and .mm by a student MP3
5 Optical switching
NTT video Agilent video
PDF and .mm by a student MP3
6 Mid-session exam cover page sample Q&A Clock photos
7 Packet classification, animations .mm and PPT left and right parts by a student MP3
8 Buffering and separate slides for Active Queue Management and Explicit Congestion Notification

animations Statistical multiplexing TCP congestion control
Sample notes
packets showing ECN
Quiz Q1 Q2 Q3

.mm and left and right parts by a student MP3
9 Traffic Management and Scheduling WFQ animation
Quizes: Leaky buckets, fairness, WFQ, quizes
PDF by Tim
.mm parts a and b by a student
10 Bridging learning and STP animations .mm by a student
11 ATM, MPLS, intserv, diffserv .mm parts a, b, c by a student
12 Caches
Packets showing caching directives in use
.mm by a student
Material below this point in this table is yet to be updated for 2017

Which slides are important?

Many of the lectures above consist of many slides. Here are spreadsheets that provide a crude rating of the importance of lecture slides from the first half of the course (before the mid-session) and the second half of the course. If there is a discrepancy between the slide ID and page number, then use the slide ID - the page number may be slightly off. These are intended as aids to help focus your study for this course, but note the cautionary remarks in the top-left cell of the spreadsheets.

Analysis of the 2013 mid-session test questions found that 9 of 20 questions covered material that the spreadsheets rated as very important, 8 questions covered material that the spreadsheets rated as moderately important, and 3 questions covered material that was not listed as important. Put another way, in terms of the percentage of slides of each importance that were covered in the mid-session, 28% (9/32) of the very important slides were covered, 15% (8/52) of the moderately important slides were covered, and 1.3% (3/225) of the non-important slides were covered. Future results may differ from past performance.

Concept maps

concept maps provide a way to visualise the topics that are covered and their relationships. As an example, see this rough concept graph of the first lecture and the corresponding FreeMind source (use Firefox's “View - Page Source” to see the source which appears empty when the browser interprets it as HTML).

Learning activities


Bonus marks are available to students who help improve the course. Examples of contributions that might deserve bonus marks are: