Midterm Topic List
The midterm will be short-answer and conceptual. It will focus on broad
ideas instead of specifics. For example, it may ask "How is CRC used in the
link layer?", but will not ask "Compute the CRC checksum for this message."
- Know the difference between packet switching and
- Understand what a protocol is.
- Know that networks are designed in layers, and why.
- Know what the particular layers of the Internet are.
- Know what a socket is.
- Be able to explain the client-server model.
- Understand the general outline of how socket communication
happens (i.e. the server waits for a connection, then the two
use send and recv calls).
The Physical Layer
- Know what modulation is, along with frequency and amplitude.
- Understand what bandwidth and throughput are.
- Be able to say what the physical layer does and doesn't handle.
The Link Layer
- Understand what job the link layer accomplishes (and what it doesn't).
- Know why the link layer breaks data into frames.
- Understand the multiple access problem and how it can be solved.
- Be able to explain why the link layer does error detection.
The Network Layer
- Understand what the network layer does (and what it doesn't).
- Know what forwarding and routing are.
- Understand the IP addressing scheme.
- Be able to define what a subnet is, and why they exist.
- Know what DHCP is used for and roughly how it works.
- Understand what Network Address Translation is, and why it is used.
- Be able to explain queueing in routers, and how queues can be managed.
- Understand how routers forward packets.
- Understand the problem that routing algorithms solve.
- Be able to explain what an autonomous system is.
- Understand the difference between centralized and de-centralized routing
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