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Computer Networks: A Systems Approach Hardcover – Oct 27 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 749 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2 edition (Oct. 27 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558605142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558605145
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 19.5 x 4.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,378,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


I am pleased to report that this great book has gotten better. ...if you want to understand how networks work, not just how the packet headers are formatted, this is the book to read. -- From the foreword by David Clark, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Peterson and Davie have brilliantly distilled the vast body of seemingly ad hoc knowledge that underlies the Internet architecture into a cohesive and easy-to-understand textbook. The topics are keenly relevant and are covered not just by describing how things work, but more importantly, by providing the rationale for why things were designed as they were. An excellent choice for an introductory course in computer networks that also serves as a valuable reference for the networking professional. -- Steve McCanne, FastForward Networks

This book is the best resource available to appreciate the numerous and detailed design issues underlying modern networks like the Internet. It is thorough yet concise, and many subtle and difficult issues are explained well. The second edition continues this tradition by adding and expanding on issues of intense recent interest, such as wireless access, multimedia, quality-of-service, and security. -- David G. Messerschmitt, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author

Larry L. Peterson is a Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. He has been involved in the design and evaluation of several network protocols, as well as the x-kernel and Scout operating systems. He is Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, has served on program committees for SOSP, SIGCOMM, OSDI, and ASPLOS, and is a member of the Internet's End-to-End Research Group.

Bruce S. Davie joined Cisco Systems in 1995, where he is a Cisco Fellow. He works on the development of Quality of Service features and is actively involved in the Internet Engineering Task Force. Prior to joining Cisco, he was Chief Scientist at Bellcore and conducted research on gigabit networks.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is definitely not for computer scientists. This is more like computers for non-engineers. The book's examples are lacking in quantity and depth. Let's start from the beginning. This book is not for a network programming course, so why waste valuable pages with code. Explanation of spanning trees needs more comprehensive and in depth examples. IPv6 needs to be expanded. Illustration of tcp handshakes and other network traffic need to show packet traces. The TCP state diagram is not clear as to who does what (see TCP/IP Illustrated Volume 1 for a good state diagram). The flow control section could be a little more illustrated. The variable annotations for adaptive retransmission confused 95% of the class. Much of TCP Congestion Control was simply not explained well. But if there were more specific examples, to include packet captures instead of tiny tic marks on a graph, maybe the student could deduce what is happening on the network. The text also has a section on network security which should be entitled encryption + some other stuff. It would also be nice if they explained how 7 x 43 = 301 = 1 mod 60. For those who are not Euclid's algorithm, taking the explanation in the previous sentence one step further would greatly help the masses. I could go on about this book, but the bottom line is don't by it unless you have to and then if you can resell it to the campus bookstore, sell it. It won't be a long term reference in any way.
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Format: Hardcover
There's little question that networks are more important now than they ever have been. This book is perfect for anyone who wants a broad understanding of computer networks, both of their history and evolution, and important issues today. If you're looking for a text covering network programming, look elsewhere, since most of the code samples are only there for illustrative purposes, and are thus brief or incomplete. Instead, what you'll find here is extensive coverage of issues involved with network design, such as network protocols, security issues, congestion control, routing algorithms, link-level technologies, and more. Although the reading can be slow at times, given the somewhat theoretical nature of the subject, overall the authors have done a great job of keeping the discussion interesting and relevant. Of special note were the end-of-chapter discussions of unresolved issues facing today's network architects and designers.
All in all, if you want to gain an understanding of computer networks, this book will provide a great foundation to build upon.
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Format: Hardcover
A few months ago, I needed to quickly re-educate myself about Weighted Fair Queueing (WFQ). I have a bunch of networking texts on my bookshelf, but I automatically reached for the first edition of Peterson & Davie. I got what I needed: a clear, thorough, yet self-contained discussion. I even got a little extra from the text, which pointed me at other related topics and raised some open problems.
It's true that several of those other books cover WFQ, but I've learned over the last few years that I might as well start with Peterson & Davie, because I usually end up there. They cover almost all of the interesting topics in computer networks, and at just the right level of depth for a quick introduction or refresher. (The authors wrote this as a textbook, and I don't doubt that it would also be an excellent foundation for a graduate level course.) I'm glad to see the second edition, because they've included new material, as well as expanding some of the existing coverage.
This is not the book for exhaustive and definitive coverage of every network protocol; to get a fuller story, readers should turn to the concise list of references cited at the end of each chapter. (In fact, I found at least one mistake in their coverage of HTTP, an example that simply won't work, which is repeated in exercise 24 of chapter 9 -- some students might find this confusing.) But into a book that one can actually lift, Peterson and Davie have crammed a remarkable breadth and depth of detail, written with a clarity often missing from the primary source material.
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Format: Hardcover
This book should be on your shelf if you intend to study networking in the near future. It covers the fundamentals of networking real well. The bonus, of course are working examples written in C.
The book deals extensively on the design of a network. It tells us the desirable features a network should have and goes on to real world examples of the implementation of these ideas. This is another really good thing about the book. It forces you to think along the lines of a network designer and makes you realize the importance and effort put into different networks and protocols.
The working C code is also a really nice feature. This gives you a jumpstart in case you arent much into design as much as you are into coding. The good thing about the programs are that they are extesible, meaning that they can be extended to whatever levels required. Overall, its a good buy.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a marketing professional and was asked to read this book by a client. Needless to say, the prospect of wading through a dry, historical summary of how computer networks arrived at their current state was less than appealing. I was pleasantly surprised, however, right from the beginning. The writing is clear and while it does cover certain topics in more detail than I required I wasn't penalized for glossing over them. This book is something rare, a great introduction to the topic for laypersons and a detailed examination of how networks have evolved and where they will likely go in the future. I read it a few months back and find myself still using it as a reference since almost every term catalogued in the index is explained at several levels in the text. Simply put, this book is well written and easily read, a rarity in this field.
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