Computer Networks book cover

Computer Networks

A Systems Approach

This best-selling and classic book teaches you the key principles of computer networks with examples drawn from the real world of network and protocol design. Using the Internet as the primary example, the authors explain various protocols and networking technologies. Their systems-oriented approach encourages you to think about how individual network components fit into a larger, complex system of interactions. Whatever your perspective, whether it be that of an application developer, network administrator, or a designer of network equipment or protocols, you will come away with a "big picture" understanding of how modern networks and their applications are built.

Networking professionals and upper level undergraduate and graduate students in CS, EE, and CSE programs.

Paperback, 920 Pages

Published: March 2011

Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN: 978-0-12-385138-3


  • I have known and used this book for years and I always found it very valuable as a textbook for teaching computer networks as well as a reference book for networking professionals. This Fifth Edition maintains the core value of former editions and brings the clarity of explanation of network protocols in the introduction of the most up-to-date techniques, technologies and requirements of networking. Beyond describing the details of past and current networks, this book successfully motivates the curiosity, and hopefully new research, for the networks of the future.--Stefano Basagni, Northeastern University

    Peterson and Davie have written an outstanding book for the computer networking world. It is a well-organized book that features a very helpful "big picture" systems approach. This book is a must have!--Yonshik Choi, Illinois Institute of Technology

    The Fifth Edition of Computer Networks: A Systems Approach is well-suited for the serious student of computer networks, though it remains accessible to the more casual reader as well. The authors’ enthusiasm for their subject is evident throughout; they have a thorough and current grasp of the interesting problems of the field. They explain not only how various protocols work, but also why they work the way they do, and even why certain protocols are the important and interesting ones. The book is also filled with little touches of historical background, from the main text to the "Where Are They Now" sidebars to the papers described in each chapter's "Further Reading" section-these give the reader a perspective on how things came to be the way they are. All in all, this book provides a lucid and literate introduction to networking.--Peter Dordal, Loyola University Chicago

    I have used Computer Networks: A Systems Approach for over five years in an introductory course on communications networks aimed at upper-level undergraduates and first-year Masters students.  I have gone through several editions and over the years the book has kept what from the beginning had been its main strength, namely, that it not only describes the ‘how,’ but also the ‘why’ and equally important, the ‘why not’ of things.  It is a book that builds engineering intuition, and in this day and age of fast-paced technology changes, this is critical to develop a student's ability to make informed decisions on how to design or select the next generation systems.--Roch Guerin, University of Pennsylvania

    This book is an outstanding introduction to computer networks that is clear, comprehensive, and chock-full of examples.  Peterson and Davie have a gift for boiling networking down to simple and manageable concepts without compromising technical rigor.  "Computer Networks" strikes an excellent balance between the principles underlying network architecture design and the applications built on top.  It should prove invaluable to students and teachers of advanced undergraduate and graduate networking courses.--Arvind Krishnamurthy, University of Washington

    Computer Networks: A Systems Approach has always been one of the best resources available to gain an in-depth understanding of computer networks. The latest edition covers recent developments in the field. Starting with an overview in Chapter 1, the authors systematically explain the basic building blocks of networks. Both hardware and software concepts are presented. The material is capped with a final chapter on applications, which brings all the concepts together. Optional advanced topics are placed in a separate chapter. The textbook also contains a set of exercises of varying difficulty at the end of each chapter which ensure that the students have mastered the material presented.--Karkal Prabhu, Drexel University

    Peterson and Davie provide a detailed yet clear description of the Internet protocols at all layers. Students will find many study aids that will help them gain a full understanding of the technology that is transforming our society. The book gets better with each edition.--Jean Walrand, University of California at Berkeley

    Morgan Kaufmann published the 5th edition of "Computer Networks: A Systems Approach" a few weeks back. If you were a student of computer networking given the task of learning the most important information but allowed only one book to read, this is the one I'd recommend. With more than 900 pages, this book covers all of the essential technologies of networking and now features appropriately expanded coverage of the most current technologies including wireless, security and

    "Computer Networks covers its subject in very fine and analytical detail and a conceptual framework like that of the ISO model maps only approximately to the realities of network systems. All the same, by using the ISO model as a rough template, Peterson and Davie are able to put across this complex subject in a way that readers can easily grasp. The ‘systems approach’ also emphasizes how each component fits into and works with the larger networking infrastructure…. As such, the fifth edition looks set to win its place on the bookshelf - or more likely open on the desk - of anyone who needs to learn the intricacies of modern networks or requires a comprehensive reference work. It doesn’t hurt that the text is very readable. Newcomers to networking technology will need to look elsewhere for a gentle introduction, but anyone with a good grasp of the key concepts will find this book an easy path to understanding the greater complexities. The book also provides readers with access to free, downloadable network simulation software and a lab experiments manual."--Network Security

    "Intended for upper division undergraduate or graduate courses in computer science, the fifth edition of this comprehensive textbook on networking is revised and updated to include the latest developments in wireless networking, mobile broadband and the latest Internet applications and services. The volume begins with a review of networking fundamentals and proceeds to cover topics such as advanced internetworking, end-to-end protocols, congestion control and resource allocation, network security, and application integration. Chapters include illustrations, tables and exercises and access to additional online resources is provided."--Reference and Research Book News

    "First published in 1996, this classic textbook has undergone major revisions over the years to keep abreast of current technological developments. The book aims to provide the reader with a foundation in computer networks and to act as a textbook for a university level networks course. It boasts two highly respected and knowledgeable authors, one of whom is professor of science at Princeton University. As such it concentrates heavily on theory, covering general principles and concepts as much as practical issues such as resilience, scalability and reliability…The thoroughness of the book cannot be faulted and the readable, accessible style is further enhanced by useful diagrams and boxed summaries throughout the text, along with exercises to check the reader’s understanding. Anyone hoping for a crash course in the subject or to learn over a few weekends should be warned that the book is 800 pages long with several pages of exercises at the end of each chapter. As such working through the volume from end-to-end is likely to be a serious undertaking. A computer network professional who is looking for a useful desktop resource may wish to look at some of the cheaper options, such as the excellent O’Reilly books, which cover the practical aspects more thoroughly at the expense of the theory. In fairness, however, the book is not aimed at this audience and serves the beginner, student or trainer very well, providing a comprehensive course and excellent source of reference."--review on
    "The book has undergone many revisions in order to keep up with the latest developments in networking…each successive edition of the book is better than the previous edition."--Computing Reviews, October 2012


  • 1 Foundation

    1.1 Applications

    1.1.1 Classes of Applications

    1.2 Requirements

    1.2.1 Perspectives

    1.2.2 Scalable Connectivity

    1.2.3 Cost-Effective Resource Sharing

    1.2.4 Support for Common Services

    1.2.5 Manageability

    1.3 Network Architecture

    1.3.1 Layering and Protocols

    1.3.2 Internet Architecture

    1.4 Implementing Network Software

    1.4.1 Application Programming Interface (Sockets)

    1.4.2 Example Application

    1.4.3 Protocol Implementation Issues

    1.5 Performance

    1.5.1 Bandwidth and Latency

    1.5.2 Delay × Bandwidth Product

    1.5.3 High-Speed Networks

    1.5.4 Application Performance Needs

    1.6 Summary

    2 Getting Connected

    2.1 Perspectives on Connecting

    2.1.1 Classes of Links

    2.2 Encoding (NRZ, NRZI, Manchester, 4B/5B)

    2.3 Framing

    2.3.1 Byte-Oriented Protocols (PPP)

    2.3.2 Bit-Oriented Protocols (HDLC)

    2.3.3 Clock-Based Framing (SONET)

    2.4 Error Detection

    2.4.1 Two-Dimensional Parity

    2.4.2 Internet Checksum Algorithm

    2.4.3 Cyclic Redundancy Check

    2.5 Reliable Transmission

    2.5.1 Stop-and-Wait

    2.5.2 Sliding Window

    2.5.3 Concurrent Logical Channels

    2.6 Ethernet and Multiple Access Networks (802.3)

    2.6.1 Physical Properties

    2.6.2 Access Protocol

    2.6.3 Experience with Ethernet

    2.7 Wireless

    2.7.1 802.11/Wi-Fi

    2.7.2 Bluetooth/802.15.1

    2.7.3 Cell Phone Technologies

    2.7.4 Security ofWireless Links

    2.8 Summary

    3 Internetworking

    3.1 Switching and Bridging

    3.1.1 Datagrams

    3.1.2 Virtual Circuit Switching

    3.1.3 Source Routing

    3.1.4 Bridges and LAN Switches

    3.2 Basic Internetworking (IP)

    3.2.1 What Is an Internetwork?

    3.2.2 Service Model

    3.2.3 Global Addresses

    3.2.4 Datagram Forwarding in IP

    3.2.5 Subnetting and Classless Addressing

    3.2.6 Address Translation (ARP)

    3.2.7 Host Configuration (DHCP)

    3.2.8 Error Reporting (ICMP)

    3.2.9 Virtual Networks and Tunnels

    3.3 Routing

    3.3.1 Network as a Graph .

    3.3.2 Distance Vector (RIP)

    3.3.3 Link State (OSPF)

    3.3.4 Metrics

    3.4 Implementation and Performance

    3.4.1 Ports

    3.4.2 Fabrics

    3.4.3 Router Implementation

    3.5 Summary

    4 Advanced Internetworking

    4.1 The Global Internet

    4.1.1 Routing Areas

    4.1.2 Interdomain Routing (BGP)

    4.1.3 IP version 6 (IPv6)

    4.2 Multicast

    4.2.1 Multicast Addresses

    4.2.2 Multicast Routing (DVMRP, PIM, MSDP)

    4.3 Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)

    4.3.1 Destination-Based Forwarding

    4.3.2 Explicit Routing

    4.3.3 Virtual Private Networks and Tunnels

    4.4 Routing among mobile devices

    4.4.1 Challenges for Mobile Networking

    4.4.2 Routing to Mobile Hosts (MobileIP)

    4.5 Summary

    5 End-to-End Protocols

    5.1 Simple Demultiplexer (UDP)

    5.2 Reliable Byte Stream (TCP)

    5.2.1 End-to-End Issues

    5.2.2 Segment Format

    5.2.3 Connection Establishment and Termination

    5.2.4 Sliding Window Revisited

    5.2.5 Triggering Transmission

    5.2.6 Adaptive Retransmission

    5.2.7 Record Boundaries

    5.2.8 TCP Extensions

    5.2.9 Alternative Design Choices

    5.3 Remote Procedure Call

    5.3.1 RPC Fundamentals

    5.3.2 RPC Implementations (SunRPC, DCE)

    5.4 Transport for Real-Time Applications (RTP)

    5.4.1 Requirements

    5.4.2 RTP Design

    5.4.3 Control Protocol

    5.5 Summary

    6 Congestion Control and Resource Allocation

    6.1 Issues in Resource Allocation

    6.1.1 Network Model

    6.1.2 Taxonomy

    6.1.3 Evaluation Criteria

    6.2 Queuing Disciplines

    6.2.1 FIFO

    6.2.2 Fair Queuing

    6.3 TCP Congestion Control

    6.3.1 Additive Increase/Multiplicative Decrease

    6.3.2 Slow Start

    6.3.3 Fast Retransmit and Fast Recovery

    6.4 Congestion-AvoidanceMechanisms

    6.4.1 DECbit

    6.4.2 Random Early Detection (RED)

    7 End-to-End Data 451

    7.1 Presentation Formatting

    7.1.1 Taxonomy

    7.1.2 Examples (XDR, ASN.1, NDR)

    7.1.3 Markup Languages (XML)

    7.2 Multimedia Data

    7.2.1 Lossless Compression Techniques

    7.2.2 Image Representation and Compression (GIF, JPEG)

    7.2.3 Video Compression (MPEG)

    7.2.4 Transmitting MPEG over a Network

    7.2.5 Audio Compression (MP3)

    7.3 Summary

    8 Network Security

    8.1 Cryptographic Building Blocks

    8.1.1 Principles of Ciphers

    8.1.2 Symmetric-Key Ciphers

    8.1.3 Public-Key Ciphers

    8.1.4 Authenticators

    8.2 Key Pre-Distribution

    8.2.1 Pre-Distribution of Public Keys

    8.2.2 Pre-Distribution of Symmetric Keys

    8.3 Authentication Protocols

    8.3.1 Originality and Timeliness Techniques

    8.3.2 Public-Key Authentication Protocols

    8.3.3 Symmetric-key Authentication Protocols

    8.3.4 Diffie-Hellman Key Agreement

    8.4 Example Systems

    8.4.1 Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)

    8.4.2 Secure Shell (SSH)

    8.4.3 Transport Layer Security (TLS, SSL, HTTPS)

    8.4.4 IP Security (IPsec)

    8.4.5 Wireless Security (802.11i)

    8.5 Firewalls

    8.5.1 Strengths and Weaknesses of Firewalls

    8.6 Summary

    9 Applications

    9.1 Traditional Applications .

    9.1.1 Electronic Mail (SMTP, MIME, IMAP)

    9.1.2 World Wide Web (HTTP)

    9.1.3 Web Services

    9.2 Multimedia Applications

    9.2.1 Session Control and Call Control (SDP, SIP, H.323)

    9.2.2 Resource Allocation for Multimedia Applications

    9.3 Common Services

    9.3.1 Name Service (DNS)

    9.3.2 Network Management (SNMP)

    9.4 Overlay Networks

    9.4.1 Routing Overlays

    9.4.2 Peer-to-Peer Networks

    9.4.3 Content Distribution Networks

    9.5 Summary


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