14:332:456 Network-Centric Programming

Course Catalog Description: 

14:332:456 Network-Centric Programming (3)
Advanced programming with a focus on developing software for networked systems using Linux as a reference platform. Topics: Programming Tools, Software Design, Environment of a UNIX Process, Memory Allocation, Garbage Collection, Process Control, Process Relationships, Signals, Reliable Signals, Threads, I/O Multiplexing, Datagram and Stream Sockets, Multicasting, Device Driver and Kernel Programming, Secure Programming.

Pre-Requisite Courses: 


Co-Requisite Courses: 


Pre-Requisite by Topic: 

1. C/C++ Programming Methodology
2. Data Structures and Algorithms
3. Familiarity with Operating Systems

Textbook & Materials: 

W. R. Stevens, B. Fenner, A. M. Rudoff, Unix Network Programming, Vol. 1: The Sockets Networking API, 3rd Ed., Addison-Wesley, 2003.


W. R. Stevens and S. Rago, Advanced Programming in the UNIX(R) Environment, 2nd Ed., Addison-Wesley, 2005.

Overall Educational Objective: 

To introduce students to the development of network software using Linux as a reference platform and introduce computer systems concepts from a programmer’s perspective. To create a foundation for further study and professional practice in software development.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated:
1. An ability to develop both connection-oriented and connectionless network programs, define the difference between them, and to choose the appropriate primitive for different applications requirements.
2. An ability to understand the performance characteristics and implement both incremental and concurrent network servers using threads or processes.
3. An ability to understand the essence of security exploits. Preventing, discovering, and correcting security weaknesses in network software, in particular access control, buffer overflow, and SQL insertion.
4. An understanding of the Linux IO Multiplexing, process address space organization, and development tools.
5. The ability to understand and implement the key elements of the World Wide Web, the HTTP protocols and web servers.

How Course Outcomes are Assessed: 

  • Homeworks (40 %)
  • Class Discussions (10%)
  • One Mid-Term Exams (20 %)
  • Final Exam (30 %)

N = none S = Supportive H = highly related



Proficiency assessed by

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of Mathematics, science, and engineering


HW Problems, Exams

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments and interpret data


Design problems in HW and Exams

(c) an ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability


(d) an ability to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team


(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve ECE problems


HW Problems, Exams

(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility


(g) an ability to communicate in written and oral form


HW Problems, Class Discussions

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of electrical and computer engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context


(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning


Lectures, subsequent courses

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues


HW Problems, Exams

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for electrical and computer engineering practice


HW (including problem solution simulation and design)

Basic disciplines in Electrical Engineering


Depth in Electrical Engineering


HW, Quizzes, Exams

Basic disciplines in Computer Engineering


HW, Exams

Depth in Computer Engineering


HW, Exams

Laboratory equipment and software tools


Linux, GNU C Development Env.

Variety of instruction formats


Lectures, Laboratory problem sessions, Office hour discussions

Topics Covered week by week: 

Week 1: Course Introduction; Unix Programming Environment: Build Systems, Configuration Management, Debuggers
Week 2: Unix I/O: Standard I/O library, I/O system calls, redirection; Manipulating files and directories, File Access Control
Weeks 3 and 4: File access over the HTTP Protocol; Sockets Network Programming: Stream and Datagram sockets; Process Address Space and Environment, Process Control and Relationships
Weeks 5 and 6: Basic and Reliable Signals
Week 7: Server design
Weeks 8 and 9: Threads, synchronization primitives, I/O Multiplexing, hourly exam
Week 10: Broadcasting and Multicasting
Weeks 11: Device Drivers: Interrupt Handling, Char, Block, and Network Drivers, Kernel Development
Weeks 12 and 13: Secure Programming: Access Control, Buffer Overflow, Covert Channels, Secure Sockets
Week 14: Network Programming in Java, Remote Procedure Calls
Weeks 15 and 16: Review and Final Exam

Computer Usage: 

Use of Linux in Homework assignments and exams.

Laboratory Experiences: 

All homeworks and exams require use of the computer laboratory.

Design Experiences: 

~80% Homework problems are design-oriented problems, which require students to design and implement computer programs that meet specified requirements. ~80% problems in the Exams are design related.

Independent Learning Experiences : 

1. Computer Programming Home-Work, 2.Testing (Quizzes, Exams)

Contribution to the Professional Component: 

(a) College-level Mathematics and Basic Sciences: 0.0 credit hours
(b) Engineering Topics (Science and/or Design): 3.0 credit hours
(c) General Education: 0.0 credit hours
Total credits: 3

Prepared by: 
May, 2011