CS176A - HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT 1
Due: April 11 (By 11:59pm)
success of the Internet heavily depends on a wide range of well-defined
protocols. Protocols are languages that computers use to communicate
with each other. This assignment will help you better understand how
protocols play important roles in the Internet and in other networks. A
second objective of this assignment is to improve your writing skills,
in particular, your paper structure and presentation style, use of
visual aids, and using the Internet to search for content and
literature. (You may not agree now, but some day you will recognize
that your communication skills are as important as any other skill you
have learned at UCSB.)
Assignment Write a 1500-2000
word essay describing a networking protocol. Besides using the
textbook, you very likely will make use of various online resources and
articles. Feel free to add in charts, pictures or graphs that you find
relevant to your essay. Proper citations are mandatory.
writing this essay, you will want to pick a specific network protocol
that is or was widely used in the Internet. However, you are strongly
encouraged not to choose a protocol from among those we will discuss in
gory detail (e.g. IP (v4 or v6), TCP or UDP) this quarter. There are
other protocols that we will only survey (e.g. HTTP, PPP, OSPF and
BGP), that might therefore be reasonable choices. And finally, there
are even more protocols that we will not have time to discuss at all
(e.g. 802.11, DOCSIS or SMTP) that you might be interested in learning
about. (Note: be aware, some protocols (e.g. FTP), are so simple that
it would be hard to write much about.)
In your essay, you will
need to describe the context in which your protocol operates as well as
details about what your protocol does and how it does it. However, the
exact content of your essay and its format are up to you. To help guide
you, consider the following questions:
- What is the particular protocol you choose?
- What is motivation of designing such a protocol?
- What is a typical usage scenario?
- Which layer of the OSI stack does your protocol work at?
- Who (or which organization) standardized it?
- Are there alternate protocols that solve basically the same problems?
- If there are some competitors, what are the advantages and disadvantage of both of them?
A good starting point to this assignment would be to read: TCP/IP Overview and History. (3 pages).
1. Tips on writing a good essay: http://www.hrm.strath.ac.uk/links/docs/academic-writing.pdf. Google for more!
Any paper that quotes or refers to the work of another person should
include a "citation" or reference to that work. A guide to writing
citations can be found at http://www.hamline.edu/administration/libraries/bush/handouts/citations.html.
Please email/meet the TA if you need any help or guidance with your assignment.
Submission The assignment is due by April 11th by 11:59pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.
The assignment should be submitted using the course web site. The
preferred file format is HTML or PDF format. Because the web site
only allows one file to be submitted, if you have multiple files,
you should use a commonly available (tar or zip) to combine your four
files into a single file.
Grading Guidelines The following guidelines will help you better understand how your essay will be graded.
- Presentation style and layout
- Length of the essay (your essay should be more than 1500 words but less than 2000)
- Proper citations
Cheating Policy This assignment is to be done individually. Cheating will not be tolerated. Please read the UCSB Academic Code of Conduct
to find out more about Student Conduct and Discipline. Of particular
relevance to this assignment is the need to properly cite material you
have used. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism.