- Hardcover: 864 pages
- Publisher: Pearson; 5 edition (March 31, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0136079679
- ISBN-13: 978-0136079675
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 240 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (5th Edition) 5th Edition
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About the Author
James Kurose teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research interests include network protocols and architecture, network measurement, sensor networks, multimedia communication, and modeling and performance evaluation. He received his PhD from Columbia University.
Keith Ross is a professor of computer science at Polytechnic University. He has worked in peer-to-peer networking, Internet measurement, video streaming, Web caching, multi-service loss networks, content distribution networks, voice over IP, optimization, queuing theory, optimal control of queues, and Markov decision processes. Professor Ross received his PhD in Computer and Control Engineering from the University of Michigan.
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The online supplementary content that comes with the book is also very beneficial and complement the book well.
What makes Kurose & Ross better for a first course in networking? It reads quite well (except for Chapter 5, I think the editor forgot to take a look at that one), which is an incredible achievement for a networking book. The flow of the book is much better, as is the approach to explanations. They approach their explanations of networking as though you are a person who has no exposure to networking. I do not think the Tanenbaum book is quite so careful. What does this mean in terms of the book? K&R uses many analogies to help you understand. It also has an entire section devoted to everything that happens, step by step, when a user requests a webpage. DHCP, ARP, TCP, HTTP, etc. This is great for the big picture.
Also, K&R motivates the materials by explaining the dilemma they faced at the time, what the conceptual design considerations are, and then you are primed for the explanation of the actual protocols. This is vastly helpful. Another point for K&R is the top down approach. It really provide a significant improvement for the average student.
Lastly, I think the scope and content of K&R is better for a first course in networking. They are quite detailed, yet they leave out other things that are extraneous to our current understanding of networking (e.g. Shannon's limit and Nyquist's Theorem -- the way my networking prof put it, those have been settled debates for many years, and don't really affect the study of networking today). Which lends itself to my final point: the math used in K&R is WAY more practical and intuitive. Propagation, Transmission, and Queueing delay, queueing efficiency, the difference in time between persistent and non-persistent HTTP, etc. Tanenbaum doesn't really have the unified picture in this regard, and some of the math in it is very unrealistic for a first course.
All in all, an incredible networking text.