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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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