IS250 Computer Based Communications Networks and Systems

Spring 2011


The 250 course project will give you an opportunity to research the technical, economic, business, and public policy aspects of a networking technology of your choice. The technology subject matter can be in the form of a network architecture (e.g., NDN, 4G cellular), a communications protocol (e.g., Secure BGP, SCTP, WiMax), a distributed network application (e.g., Tor, bitTorrent), a networking resource or infrastructure (e.g., 800MHz spectrum, GENI), a networking technology (e.g., agile radio, optical router, networked sensors), or even a networking paradigm (e.g., user-directed routing, network virtualization, cell switching, mobile ad hoc networking, streaming multicast for movie distribution). The technology can be already widely deployed, under development by a startup, or a proposal presented in an academic publication or an IETF Internet Draft.

The project deliverable includes a 3000-5000 word paper that covers the following aspects of the technology: (i) what is the motivation/value of this technology; (ii) what are related and/or alternative technologies, and how are they similar or different; (iii) what are the basic working principles behind this technology; (iv) what are the economic characteristics or consequences of this technology; (v) what are potential business models for this technology, or what are some economic obstacles to the adoption of this technology; (vi) what are the public policy issues associated with this technology. A good paper will include clear exposition of how the technology works as well as original analysis of the key economic, business, and policy issues for the technology. The paper should include an abstract and proper citations of references.

In addition, you will give an 10-15 minute in-class presentation at the end of the semester, summarizing the key findings of your research and answering questions from the class.

A one-page project proposal is due on 3/15, before 2pm, via email to
i250hw@ischool.berkeley.edu. The proposal must include the following information: (i) network technology, (ii) major features/issues related to the technology; (iii) preliminary and/or expected findings, (iv) bibliography.

The project can be undertaken either individually or in teams of two. No larger group sizes are allowed.