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Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet Hardcover – July 17, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0201976991 ISBN-10: 0201976994 Edition: 2nd
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The most up-to-date introduction to the field of computer networking, this book's top-down approach starts at the application layer and works down the protocol stack. It also uses the Internet as the main example of networks. This all creates a book relevant to those interested in networking today. By starting at the application-layer and working down the protocol stack, this book provides a relevant introduction of important concepts. Based on the rationale that once a reader understands the applications of networks they can understand the network services needed to support these applications, this book takes a "top-down" approach that exposes readers first to a concrete application and then draws into some of the deeper issues surrounding networking. This book focuses on the Internet as opposed to addressing it as one of many computer network technologies, further motivating the study of the material. This book is designed for programmers who need to learn the fundamentals of computer networking. It also has extensive material making it of great interest to networking professionals.

About the Author

Jim Kurose is currently a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts. He is the eight-time recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Technological University, the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the college of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, and the recipient of the 1996 Outstanding Teaching Award of the Northeast Association of Graduate Schools. He has been the recipient of a GE Fellowship, an IBM faculty Development Award, and a Lilly Teaching Fellowship.

Dr. Kurose is a former Editor-In-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Communications and of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. He is active in the program committees for IEEE Informcom, ACM SIGCOMM, and ACM SIGMETRICS. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University.

Keith Ross is the Leonard Shustek Chaired Professor in the Computer Science Department at Polytechnic University. He has previously been a professor at both Euricom Institute in France and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1999, he co-founded the Internet startup Wimba.com.

Dr. Ross has published over 50 papers and written two books. He has served on editorial boards of five major journals, and has served on the program committees of major networking conferences, including IEEE Infocom and ACM SIGCOMM. He has supervised more than 10 Ph.D. theses. His research and teaching interests include multimedia networking, asynchronous learning, Web catching, streaming audio and video, and traffic modeling. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 2 edition (July 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201976994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201976991
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Digital Puer on April 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm a graduate student in Comp Sci, and I recently had the opportunity to take a networking class again just to refresh my basic knowledge (my dissertation topic isn't related to networks). It was a pleasant surprise for me that the class utilised this textbook. I have been at the university level in CS for 8+ years (grad + undergrad), and this book is *by far* the best introductory computer science textbook I have ever read in any CS subject.
The book is very well-written and extremely interesting to read. I was never bored in any chapter. Kurose and Ross are knowledgable experts in their field, and their exposition of the material is fantastic. Unlike Tanenbaum's book, they start at the application layer and move down. IMHO, this is a far better pedagogical strategy, because young students these days already have an excellent layer-5 understanding thanks to daily interaction with HTTP, IM, P2P file sharing, etc. If I remember correctly from my undergrad days, my own experience in a bottom-up approach, starting at the physical layer, really put me to sleep and put me off from networking. That's a shame, because networking is a really exciting field.
The best parts of the book are the breadth, thorough use of real-world topics, and the illustrations. In fact, the diagrams and illustrations are just plain great. Most technical writers often rely too much on the written word. Here, the authors augment almost every pair of pages with an illustration; this is simply remarkable. The explanations of fundamental topics (such as packet-switching, DNS, TCP congestion control, IP routing, and ethernet) are *extremely* clear. More advanced topics are very up-to-date, covering cutting-edge subjects such as P2P, CDNs, security, NATs, 802.11, RTP, etc.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I never read a book that was more clear then this one. Also while the book is rather theoretical, it contains so much real case studies and interesting facts that the reader keeps his motivation from the start to the end of the book. Here is a comparison with Tannenbaum 's famous book on computer networking.
-Both books go deep and give fairly rigorous explantion without too much mathematics. Only some basic math and basic probablility is required like binomial distributions etc ...(remark however these books do not delve into the details of mathematical queueing models etc ...)
-This book is very up-to-date with the latest internet technologies like point-to-point file sharing, streaming and multimedia. Tannnenbaum does not contain the latest developments in these fields.
-The physical layer is explained in more details in Tannenbaum.
Other layers are explained with the same level of details in both books.
-This book reads better then Tannenbaum without sacrifying rigour. It contains also much more real-life case-studies.
-The concepts in this book are explained in a much clearer way then Tannenbaum. I perceived Tannenbaum as sometimes confusing. The authors of this book have so good didactic skills that they could explain complex networking topics to chimpansees....
Conclusion : this is the only book I know in computer networks that goes deep enough and explains the concepts in a clear way...If you are looking for the best book on computer networking, stop looking : here it is !!!.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am a new graduate student who had already taken a networking course in my undergrad but, my foundation was very shaky. I never saw the big picture and as a result, I had developed a dislike for Networks. However, because of an approaching summer internship in a networking company, I had to take an undergard course in Networking to brush up my networking knowledge. Fortunately for me, the instructor followed this text. The course turned out to be the best course I ever took in my life, mainly thanks to the textbook. This book by Kurose and Ross is ABSOLUTELY fantastic. Not only am I now confident about the fundamentals but I can also see at a glance the whole field of networking with its rapidly expanding frontiers. I wish I had this textbook in my undergrad course.
A word about the approach followed by the book - I always considered top-down approach to be the most natural way to learn a new topic. Indeed, what could be more natural than gradually going from the known to the unknown. The authors take you through a journey from the application layer consisting of the wonderful applications like WWW, email which we all use but whose inner workings we never knew. Assuming transpost layer services as given, the authors show you how these applications actually work. As soon as you understand this, you just can't stop wondering what is under the hood of the transport layer, i.e., what are the workings of the transport layer. And thus goes the wonderful journey across the various layers until you end at the link layer. And to top it all, the authors wrap up their book with a brilliant discussion of topics which deal with issues across all layers. These are the Multimedia Networking, Network Security and Network Management.
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