IK1203 Networks and Communication 7.5 credits

Nätverk och kommunikation

The course is an introduction to networking, protocols and communication.

We study how large international networks are constructed from the individual computers, via local area, city and national networks. We use the Internet as or working example of such a network. The aim of the course is to give insights into both the theory and practice of the area.

The focus of the course is on the protocols and algorithms used, and we will follow how they are used and implemented into the TCP/IP-stack - the basis of the Internet.

  • Education cycle

    First cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Spring 19 for programme students

Spring 19 for programme students

Spring 20 for programme students

Spring 20 TCOMK for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

The goals of the course is to teach the basics of networking and communication. For those interested in specializing in networking, it provides the fundamentals on which later courses build.

For those focusing on other areas of IT, it provides the basic knowledge needed to understand how networks and communication can be securely and effectively utilized in systems and applications.

After completing the course, students should be able to

  • describe and explain the basic terminology used in networking and communication
  • analyse communication scenarios and application requirements, and explain what methods and algorithms are suitable to use for a desired communication service
  • explain, model and analyse the behaviour of networks using different methods for error control, flow control and congestion control, and predict how such a system will react in response to different events and conditions
  • explain the functions of protocols of the different layers of the Internet model, and how different layers interact with each other
  • explain and implement basic algorithms and mechanisms for error detection, error correction, flow control, congestion control and routing
  • design, implement and analyse the behaviour of basic Internet applications and their protocols
  • explain different functions and concepts concerning equipment for communication and networks
  • compute and/or approximate the performance of communication systems, and suggest improvements.

Course main content

  • Flow control and error control: flow control (stop&wait, sliding window), error detection and error handling, error correcting codes, retransmission (ARQ).
  • Layered models: overview of OSI and TCP/IP.
  • LAN (Local Area Network) and LAN-systems: topologies, access- techniques and protocols, token ring, Ethernet, wireless networks bridged networks, spanning tree computation and VLAN.
  • Packet and circuit switching: WAN (Wide Area Network) and public networks, principles, characteristics and protocols.
  • Internetworking and IP: design principles and building blocks, connection oriented vs. connectionless protocols, Internet routing and Internet Protocol (IP).
  • Transport layer protocols: TCP, UDP.
  • Communcation models: "Client-server" and "peer-to-peer".
  • Applications: DNS, SMTP, FTP, HTTP, Telnet mm.
  • Network programming.


  • ID1018 Programming I
  • IE1204 Digital Design
  • IS1200 Computer Hardware Engineering

Or equivalent courses. 


James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross: Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, Global Edition, 7/E. ISBN-10: 1292153598, ISBN-13: 9781292153599. Pearson/Addison Wesley.


  • LABA - Laboratory Work, 3.0, grading scale: P, F
  • TENA - Examination, 3.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • UPG1 - Assignment, 1.5, grading scale: P, F

Offered by



Peter Sjödin, psj@kth.se


Peter Sjödin <psj@kth.se>

Supplementary information

The content in this course overlaps partly with IK2218 Protocols and Principles of the Internet 6 credits. 

Add-on studies

  • IK1550 Internetworking.
  • IV1013 Introduction to Computer Security


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2019.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.