Computer Networking : Principles, Protocols and Practice
Olivier Bonaventure, Universite catholique de Louvain
Pub Date: 2011
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
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The book is more sufficiently comprehensive for an a single or introductory networking class for in an EE or CS program. It is sufficiently read more
The book is more sufficiently comprehensive for an a single or introductory networking class for in an EE or CS program. It is sufficiently conceptual with good visuals and does not delve into programming for either explications or exercises. Its selection of topics is comparable with commercial textbooks, arguably more modern and complete than some. Data communications and wide-area networking, ie, at lower protocol levels, is not emphasized. The book contains both exercises (with solutions) an simulation problems.
Content appears to be error-free and consistent with primary sources, ie RFCs.
All books in this field require constant refreshing - and the Open format may be much more amenable than print. Emerging topics - cloud, virtualization, software-defined assets - impact networking and will motivate further updates. Note that comparable print textbooks require approximately 3-year refresh cycles.
Clarity is a strength of the book. The author uses plain language, supported by appropriate graphics and symbology. Moreover, the author uses more personal sidebars throughout to add context and the right touch of informality.
The book embraces the better approach of "climbing the protocol ladder" which builds a framework for the cumulative understanding. Concepts are introduced in this order, such that material is consistently defined before further used.
The book is sufficiently modular in that, within the constraints of schedule of availability of lab equipment, later material can be omitted at the instructor's discretion.
As mentioned previously, the "classic" way to teach networking is to build a framework based on communication protocols that is cumulative. This book does this well, with appropriate
Book interface - navigation, presentation - are well-done. Ideally, I would ask for some interface that provides time-on-task on a per-student, per-login basis.
Book is grammatically excellent, readable - and more likely, translatable by international students.
This subject matter is technical and global, and cultural relevance is not an issue.
I am the last among my colleagues to adopt - and advocate for - a textbook. Evidence shows that having a common body of knowledge - taxonomy and ontology - improves our departmental outcomes. However, commercial options are both stale and costly, so this book (or one like it) may become our "common reader." I will adopt this next semester for a graduate class - on the strength of the later quantitative elements - and will make an internal recommendation at that time.
What I found interesting about this book is the author's approach to order of topic discussion. As was pointed out in the introduction, most read more
What I found interesting about this book is the author's approach to order of topic discussion. As was pointed out in the introduction, most textbooks that discuss computer networking, and the OSI and TCP/IP models specifically, is that it is standard practice to begin with the physical layer and make your way up to the application layer. In this text, readers were introduced to the application layer first. The rationale behind this is that the audience has changed dramatically since computer networking came into existence. Most students have had fairly extensive exposure to the Internet, so approaching it from the point at where these individuals are on familiar ground may make it more engaging for them and assist in information retention. Many of these students are not engineers, so starting out with bits and bytes may be less appealing to them. The text is a good adaptation of this way of thinking and I feel it could be very effective in bringing in and retaining future technologists.
There was no noticeable bias and the text is accurate in this content area.
Although this book takes a different approach to introducing computer networking to students, the fundamentals of networking are fairly stationary. This author refrained from that level of specificity that would render this book obsolete within a relatively short period of time.
The book maintained a high level of clarity. I feel that there were moments where the author took us "into the weeds", but the overall flow was well done.
There were no issues with consistency. Standard industry terminology was consistent throughout the text.
The book makes itself available in a modular approach. An example of this may be that an instructor may decide to only discuss the data-link and network layers when covering traditional layer 2 and 3 routing and switching.
The text covered the topics in logical, clear fashion. As I mentioned earlier, the order in which the topics are presented differ from other texts commonly used for this topic, but I do not see that as a detriment, but more a benefit to a more technically proficient student body.
The interface of the book is adequate. I saw no issues with the current structure.
I found the book to grammatically sound.
There are no issues related to cultural relevance with this text.
I enjoyed reviewing this text. I feel Dr. Bonaventure put together a well written textbook and I appreciate his approach in reorganizing topics based on a changing audience. I would recommend this book as a solid textbook for an introductory/intermediate networking class.
Table of Contents
2.1 Services and protocols
2.2 The reference models
2.3 Organisation of the book
3 The application Layer
3.2 Application-level protocols
3.3 Writing simple networked applications
4 The transport layer
4.1 Principles of a reliable transport protocol
4.2 The User Datagram Protocol
4.3 The Transmission Control Protocol
5 The network layer
5.2 Internet Protocol
5.3 Routing in IP networks
6 The datalink layer and the Local Area Networks
6.2 Medium Access Control
6.3 Datalink layer technologies
9 Indices and tables
About the Book
This open textbook aims to fill the gap between the open-source implementations and the open-source network specifications by providing a detailed but pedagogical description of the key principles that guide the operation of the Internet.
About the Contributors
Olivier Bonaventure is a Professor of Computer Science at Universite catholique de Louvain.