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Fatbrain ReviewDesigned for computer science and electrical engineering majors, this advanced text introduces computer networks. The author takes an engineering approach to the study of networks; he focuses on conceptual understanding and network design tradeoffs -- definitely not the usual protocol or algorithmic approach. This approach removes the need for simplification and inaccurate toy models. These simplified models often lack details on network behavior and alternative solutions.
With a top down approach, the author overviews today`s global Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Internet and Telephony networks. He first discusses their histories and technical challenges. He then examines specific system design techniques and requirements such as protocol layering, multiple access, addressing and routing. Here, problems and possible solutions are included. His discussion of system design emphasizes the significance of error and flow control for growing and more complex networks. By the last section, students have the background to delve into the details of protocols, headers, stack performance, interfaces and implementations.
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