CS4552 Robust and Secure Network Design

A hands-on, projects-based, exploration of network layer design choices that directly impact the robustness and security a computer network. The course is intended for CS and non-CS majors. Students will develop research and troubleshooting skills through experiments performed on realistic network configurations. The network technologies covered include traditional networks based on distributed routing protocols such as OSPF, RIP and BGP, as well as software defined networks that employ centralized control. 


An advanced programming course, CS3502 or equivalent with consent of the instructor.

Lecture Hours


Lab Hours


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing the course, the student will be able to perform these tasks.

  • Elucidate the role of common routing protocols such as RIPv2 and OSPF and router configuration challenges pertaining to robustness and security requirements of enterprise networks.
  • Explain how the design of the software defined networking (SDN) architecture can reduce device configuration complexity and improve network robustness and security.
  • Enumerate the major hardware components of a SDN network.  
  • Explain the major design considerations for a SDN controller.
  • Explain entries in a SDN switch’s flow table and their roles in packet forwarding
  • Explain the role of the OpenFlow protocol for a SDN network and its relationship to the southbound interface.
  • Explain how the SDN controller software uses the northbound interface to support the programmability of network control.
  • Demonstrate the above outcomes by building and experimenting with a simulated SDN testbed.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deepen understanding of SDN via self-study as well as collaborative research.