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TCOM 500 Course Wiki for Fall 2011

Current Announcements 12/23/2011 - Final exam and project scores have been posted on Sakai, and the course's overall grades are available from Course-in-Touch.
Note that you will be able to check your exam out from Dru's desk at the beginning of next year, but as per university policies you will not be able to take it with you.
The distributions of final exam scores and course grades are shown below.

Final Exam Scores
Course Grades

12/20/2011 (Roch): The solution for the final exam has been posted and as usual is available in the Solutions to past exams section of the wiki.



Old Announcements

12/19/2011 (Roch) - TCOM 500 final exam guidelines regarding the use of IP subnet calculator software and other similar software
There are many different software that have been developed to facilitate the job of network administrators. In particular, a number of software packages allow you to manipulate IP subnets and perform various operations on them.

I cannot realistically preclude the use of all such s/w (you can probably easily write an Excel macro or a Python script that provides similar functionality).

However, I wanted to put everyone on notice that when using any such software, you are responsible for the answers that the software provides, and if they are wrong you will get no partial credit. Getting a wrong answer from those tools in the context of an exam question is actually pretty common, as many are built for some specific purpose and don't necessarily handle accurately the nuances that an exam question may include. In those cases, and unless you really understand very well what the s/w does and how it relates to the question at hand, it is usually very difficult to realize what if anythings is wrong.

So just be warned, that in those instances it is not up to us to explain to you why the s/w if giving a different answer, and you wont be getting any partial credit for incorrect answers produced that way.

12/19/2011 (Hadi): Homework 9 is graded and available for pick-up.

12/16/2011 (Sangeetha): Homeworks 10 and 11 are available for pick-up.

12/09/2011 (Sangeetha): Solution to homework 11 is uploaded. Homework 8 is available for pickup.

12/05/2011 - FINAL EXAM - REMINDER, SCOPE AND STRUCTURE
Just a reminder that the exam will be held in Towne 100 on Tuesday 12/20/2011 from 12:00pm (noon) until 2:00pm.
The structure of the final exam will be similar to that of the midterm. It will be open-book, computers will be allowed but not Internet access, and the sum total of all the points for the problems will be more than 100, which will be the maximum possible score for the exam.
In terms of scope, the exam will cover the entire course content, although greater emphasis will be given to material that was not part of the midterm (there wont be any full problem on material included in the midterm, but you may be asked to call on that knowledge). The course coverage extends all the way to everything we saw about TCP, including material discussed in our last class, but it will NOT extend to material on scheduling and buffer management. In particular, while you have a homework problem on Fair Queueing, that topic will not be part of the final exam, as we did not really have time to do it justice.

12/05/2011 - REMINDER: Because I will be at a conference for the rest of the week, I will not have office hours on Wednesday. The TAs will have office hours and a recitation both this week and next, and I will hold office hours next week.

12/05/2011 - (Hadi): You can pick up your HW7 papers from Dru's office.

12/01/2011 - Because of the make-up class, Friday's recitation will take place at 4:00pm in Towne 319.

11/30/2011 - Homework No. 11 has been posted. Note that it is due on Friday December 9, 2011, by 2:00pm. You can either leave your hard copy with Dru Spanner outside my office or upload it into Sakai. The homework itself can be downloaded from Sakai or from the wiki.
(Hadi): In case of online submission, please make sure that you submit one document in pdf format.

11/28/2011 - Reminder that we have our make-up class on Friday at 5:30pm in Moore 216 (a different classroom). Note also that this will preempt the recitation that is normally held at that time. I'll check with the TAs to see if they can start the recitation earlier that day, so that people can attend it if they wish to. This will, however, also depend on whether or not the recitation classroom is available starting at an earlier time.

11/27/2011 - As was pointed out, the first additional problem in Homework No. 10 is the same as that of Homework No. 8. This was a cut-and-paste mistake, and there is obviously no need for you to redo it.

11/22/2011 - Homework No. 10 has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki as well as on the course Sakai site. It is due at the start of our 11/30/11 Wednesday class.

11/16/2011 (Sangeetha) - Homework 6 is available for pick-up.

11/16/2011 - Homework No. 9 has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki as well as on the course Sakai site. It is due at the start of our 11/23/11 Wednesday class.

11/13/2011 - (Hadi): The solution to Homework 7 is now uploaded to the solutions' page.

11/09/2011 - I have added a short discussion in the Course material Discussion Forum that expands on the exposed node issue we covered this morning.

11/09/2011 - Homework No. 8 has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki as well as on the course Sakai site. It is on the short side because we are a little bit behind in terms of coverage, and it is due at the start of our 11/16/11 Wednesday class.

11/09/2011 - The classroom for our Final Exam has been announced. The exam will be held in Towne 100 i.e., in Heilmeier Hall, our current classroom. Remember that the exam will be held on Tuesday December 20, 2011, from 12:00pm (noon) until 2:00pm.

11/03/2011 - Midterm scores have been posted on Sakai and you can pick-up your graded exam from Dru Spanner. Note that you will only be able to pick-up your own exam.
The distribution of exam scores is as shown below.

Midterm Statistics

11/01/2011 - Homework No. 7 has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki as well as on the course Sakai site. It is due at the start of our 11/09/11 Wednesday class.

11/01/11 - MAKE-UP CLASS - A total of 45 students voted.
The option with the most vote (31 vs. 22) was for Friday December 2nd at 5:30pm. It was also the option with the most people who could only make that date (23 vs. 14). As a result, our make-up class will be held on Friday December 2nd at 5:30pm.
Note: The class will be in a different location than our current classroom, namely, it will be in Moore 216.

10/28/2011 - (Hadi) Homework 5 is graded. You can see your grades in Sakai and pick the papers up from Dru's office.

10/27/2011 - ERRATUM - Question 1c) in Homework No. 6 should have been question 2c), i.e., it got copied incorrectly at the end of question 1) instead of question 2). An updated version of the homework has been posted with some minor clarification to the text of what is now question 2c) to make sure its scope was clear. Please make sure you use this last version.

10/26/2011 - The sixth homework has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki as well as on the course Sakai site. It is due at the start of our 11/02/11 Wednesday class.
Note: The homework is a bit on the "long side" as it will be the only homework on modeling and queueing, and it tries to cover most of that material. So try to get started on it early...

10/26/2011 - If you have questions about what your project presentation should include and how to structure it, please check the Project FAQs page where I have tried to summarize what you should be targeting. In case some aspects remain unclear, then post your question on the Projects Discussion Forum as both questions and answers may be of interest to other students.

10/25/2011 - The solution to the midterm exam has been posted in the Solutions to past exams section of the wiki

10/25/2011 - REMINDER Our first project presentations will be held this Thursday at 5:00pm in Towne 309.

10/20/2011 - (Hadi): On the recitation class of Friday Oct. 21st I will go over the 2010 midterm. You can see the solutions in the Private Content section of wiki.

10/20/2011 - (Hadi): Homework 3 is graded. You can see your grades in Sakai and pick the papers up from Dru's office.

10/19/11 - The solution of Homework No. 5 has been posted in the Assignment Solutions section of the wiki.

10/13/11 - I have added a slide in the Bits2Packets.pptx slide-deck (slide 41), which illustrates one scenario where having RWS = SWS can help avoid retransmitting some packets that the receiver has already correctly received.

10/11/11 - REMINDER: Our midterm exam will be held during the class of Monday October 24. It is an open-book exam and you will be allowed to use your computer and any document you may want to bring, but Internet access will be prohibited. If you are caught accessing the Internet, you will receive an immediate grade of 0 on the midterm and possibly an F for the class.
Because the exam may require some computations, you should come with a calculator that allows you to perform reasonable computations, including small formulas. Alternatively, you are free to use an Excel spreadsheet on your computer or any other computation program you are familiar with.
Note that although the exam is open book, any time you spend searching for material is time not spent writing down a solution. The main purpose for making the exam open-book is not so that you can locate relevant material in real-time, but to provide you with a safety net in case you suddenly forgot something.
Note that all past exams are available in the Solutions to past exams section of the wiki. You are encouraged to consult them, if only to get a better sense of what to expect. Exams from recent years are probably more representative, as the course's syllabus has changed slightly in the recent past.

The material that the exam will span includes everything we have covered up to an including Little's Law.

10/11/11 - The fifth homework has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki as well as on the course Sakai site. It is due at the start of our 10/19/11 Wednesday class.
Note: The homework is relatively short and covers similar material as what homework #4 covered. There wont be any homework next week since we will be having our midterm the following week on Monday 10/24 during class.

10/10/11 (Roch) - In response to a few questions I received, you can find additional information on the "Performance Modeling" material that we are currently covering and that is barely touched-upon in our textbook, in two of the online textbooks listed under Textbook and other references.
Specifically, Section 4.2 of Marsic's textbook provides some introductory material about basic queueing systems.
Conversely, Section 2.2 of Cooper's book gives some slightly more advanced discussions of birth-and-death processes that are essentially what most basic Markov chains are, with section 2.3 exploring the stationary distributions they give rise to. Chapter 3 is then devoted to the use of those techniques in developing queueing models.

10/10/11 (Sangeetha) - Homework 2 grades have been posted on Sakai. Please note that the maximum marks is 115 (and not 110 as specified in Sakai). It will be available for pick up from Dru Spanner's office on Wednesday.

10/10/11 (Sangeetha) - Office hours on Tuesday shifted to 11am permanently. I'll be holding office hours tomorrow at 11am.

10/06/11 - (Hadi): If you have some extra time, play around with this Demo of Go-Back-N protocol and kill some packets or acks to see what happens. Is it accurate?

10/06/11 - SCHEDULE FOR PROJECT PRESENTATIONS has been posted in Projects list & schedule. Please make sure you are aware of the date of your project presentation and of the format (scope and duration) of your presentation.

10/05/11 - REMINDER: Because next Monday and Tuesday (10/10 and 10/11) are part of Fall break, we wont have our usual class on Monday.

10/05/11 - The solution of Homework No. 3 has been posted in the Assignment Solutions section of the wiki.

10/05/11 - The fourth homework has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki. It is due at the start of our 10/12/11 Wednesday class.

10/03/11 - (Hadi): Homework 1 is now graded. You can see the grades in Sakai, and pick up your papers from Dru's office (Dru sits at the desk just outside my (Roch) office, i.e., next to GRW 367).

10/03/11 - IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ
Thanks to a student for pointing this out. Because the course's original time of 10:30am was changed shortly before the start of the semester, the date of the FINAL EXAM that was initially listed on the wiki was INCORRECT. It had not been updated based on the new course time. As per the Registrar's web page, the CORRECT date and time for our FINAL EXAM are Tuesday December 20, 2011, from 12:00pm till 2:00pm .

09/30/11 (6:00pm) - Project selections are now OFFICIALLY CLOSED

09/29/11 - The solution of Homework No. 2 has been posted in the Assignment Solutions section of the wiki.

09/28/11 - The third homework has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki. It is due at the start of our 10/05/11 Wednesday class.

09/27/11 - (Hadi): Important notes regarding online submission of homeworks:

  • Files must be in .pdf format.
  • Electronic version, must include your name on the first page, just like a hard copy.
  • In order to submit your homework online,
  1. Go to Sakai site.
  2. In the left panel, under Course Tools, click on Assignments.
  3. At the bottom of the page, click on the specific homework.
  4. In the page that opens, you can submit your homework at the bottom section.
  • Of course, you can just hand in a hard copy at the beginning of the class.

09/21/11 - The solution of Homework No. 1 has been posted in the Assignment Solutions section of the wiki.

09/21/11 - The second homework has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki. It is due at the start of our 9/28/11 Wednesday class.
Note: The assignment has also been added to the "Assignment" section of the Sakai site, which you can now use to upload an assignment file instead of having to send it by email to the TAs.

9/20/11 - (Hadi): If you want to send your assignment by email, please send it to both TA's (in a single email), and also make sure it is in .pdf format.
UPDATE on 9/23/11 (Roch): As mentioned above, assignments can now be submitted through the Sakai site, which is therefore the preferred mode of electronic submission.

9/20/11 - (Hadi): In homework 1, problem 21-b, Latency actually refers to Propagation + Queue delays. In general, note that latency is a relative term and might have different meanings in different problems. If the context doesn't make clear which definition is assumed, then you should ask.

9/12/11 - Slide 15 of the "Intro-short.pptx" slidedeck has been updated to fix a typo in the calculations.

09/09/11 - As mentioned in class, the first homework has been posted in the Assignments section of the wiki. However, it is only due at the start of our 9/21/11 Wednesday class.

09/06/11 - In order to accommodate the new class time, I had to shift my office hours. They will now be held on Monday and Wednesday as before, but from 2:30pm till 3:30pm instead of the previous 1-2pm slot.

08/24/11 - IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ - Because of difficulties in securing an adequate classroom, we had to move the time of the class. The days on which the class will be held are unchanged, but the time is. Specifically, the class will now be held on Monday and Wednesday from 12 noon till 1:30pm. The class will be held in Heilmeier Hall that is on the ground floor of the Towne building (Towne 100).

07/20/11 - The choice of the class textbook has been finalized, and the book has been requested from the Penn Bookstore.

06/16/11 - Classes will be held on Monday and Wednesday in the 10:30am-noon time-slot.

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Page last modified on December 23, 2011, at 11:36 AM