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Bits, Signals, and Packets: An Introduction to Digital Communications and Networks
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  • Title Bits, Signals, and Packets: An Introduction to Digital Communications and Networks
  • Author(s) Hari Balakrishnan, Christopher Terman, and George Verghese
  • Publisher: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (2012)
  • Hardcover/Paperback: N/A
  • eBook PDF files
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10/ASIN: N/A
  • ISBN-13: N/A
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Book Description

This book is an introduction to several fundamental ideas in electrical engineering and computer science, using digital communication systems as the vehicle. The three parts of the course - bits, signals, and packets - cover three corresponding layers of abstraction relevant to the system:

  • binary representation, compression (source coding), and error correction (channel coding) for messages transmitted across a noisy link;
  • signal representation of binary messages for transmission across a shared physical channel subject to distortion and noise;
  • efficient, reliable communication across networks made up of multiple links.

Topics investigated in depth include:

  • Bits: Information and entropy, Huffman coding and LZW compression, error correction with linear block codes and convolutional codes (Viterbi decoding).
  • Signals: Additive Gaussian noise and the relationship between noise variance and bit errors, linear-time invariant channel models, frequency-domain (Fourier) analysis, spectral content of signals and filtering, modulation and demodulation.
  • Packets: Media access protocols (TDMA, Aloha, and carrier sense), packet-switched networks, queues, and Little's law, network routing (distance/path vector & link-state protocols), and reliable data transport (adaptive timers, stop-and-wait, sliding windows, round-trip time and bandwidth-delay product concepts).

These topics form the basis of communication systems like the Internet.

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