Communication Protocols

Course Description

Theoretical models of communication and coordination in a network. Communication protocols: information units exchange, communication control, flow control, error handling. Model of communication protocol, analysis and synthesis methods of protocols, application of finite state automata models. Petri nets and process algebras. Communication protocols in IP network. Communication protocols in new generation networks - protocols of access and core network, mobility and security. Measurement methods and instrumentation.

General Competencies

Students will gain theoretical knowledge of network communication models and deep understanding of principles and methods used for analysis and synthesis of communication protocols, including formal specification, verification and validation. They will have theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as skills related to development of Internet and mobile network protocols, including general mobility and security features.

Learning Outcomes

  1. identify network communication models
  2. design communication protocols
  3. analyze communication protocols and processes in the networks
  4. synthesize communication protocols
  5. develop Internet and mobile network protocols
  6. apply different models in the modeling and analysis of protocols
  7. select appropriate method for specification and verification of protocols
  8. modify communication protocol after its validation and testing in real environment

Forms of Teaching


Lectures, with lecture notes and presentations available in advance on the web.


Midterm exam and final exam.

Laboratory Work

Complex laboratory assignments that include design, simulation and analysis of communication protocols. Specification and verification of communication protocols using software tools Promela/Spin (Protocol meta language and model checker for communicating processes), Petri/DaNAMiCS (Petri nets)

Experimental Exercises

Selected communication protocol models implemented using software tool IMUNES are demosntrated during lectures as well as examples of modeling protocols using Promela/Spin and Petri nets software tools.


Selected communication protocol models implemented using software tool IMUNES are demosntrated during lectures as well as examples of modeling protocols using Promela/Spin and Petri nets software tools.


Regular consultations hours with lectureres each week.

Acquisition of Skills

Literature search on communication protocols. Building software environment for communication protocol design and anslysis.

Programming Exercises

Personal software package IMUNES, programming language Promela. Communication protocol modelling, simulation and emulation using software tool IMUNES, Promela/Spin and Petri/Dynamics.

Other Forms of Group and Self Study

Homeworks related to communication protocols.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Homeworks 0 % 20 % 0 % 20 %
Class participation 0 % 5 % 0 % 5 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 30 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 30 %
Final Exam: Oral 15 %
Exam: Written 0 % 60 %
Exam: Oral 15 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Introduction to communication protocols. Protocol structure, protocol blocks, layers and plains. Basics of protocol design. Basic model of communication protocol: information units exchange, communication control, flow control, error handling.
  2. Analysis and synthesis methods of communication protocols. Modeling of communication using finite state automata, automata communication, transition sequence, global state.
  3. Modeling of communication using Petri net. Structure, implementation and characteristics of Petri net and derived models of Petri nets.
  4. Application of basic and derived Petri net models in the modeling and analysis of protocols.
  5. Models of calls and services. Basic call and service process, synhesis of algorithms for call and service processing. Call control protocols.
  6. Communication protocols in IP network. Protocol IPv6: datagram format, basic and optional headers, addressing. Control protocols IVMPv6, NDP, DHCPv6.
  7. Mobility in IP network. Introduction of IPv6 in the network. Addressing, functional entities, procedures of mobile nodes and routing in mobile IPv4. Access point discovery, address autoconfiguration, registration and routing procedures in mobile IPv6.
  8. Interior gateway protocols. Process of packet routing, routing area, stateless routing. Routing protocols RIP and OSPF.
  9. Exterior gateway protocols. Autonomy system, protocol BGP: messages, attributes, communication. Case study: CarNET network, CIX (Croatian Internet Exchange).
  10. Signalling protocols in the Internet. Prtocol SIP: architecture and operations. Session initiation: direct call and call usin proxy. Signalling transport in IP network: SIGRTAN, BGCP, BICC, TRIP. Implementation example: Softswich.
  11. Data communication and protocols in mobile network. General packet radio service (GPRS), SNDCP (Sub Network Dependency Convergence Protocol) i GTP (GPRS Tunneling Protocol) protocols. Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution (EDGE), SMS and MMS.
  12. Protocols and services of 3G networks. Mobile network UMTS: radio access network UTRAB, interfaces and protocols of core network (PDCP), addressing, international roaming.
  13. Communication protocols in new generation networks – protocols in access network, mobility and security. High speed packet access (HSPA), integration with WLAN. Evolution beyond 3G, long term evolution LTE. Mobile virtual network operator MVNO, market aspects of mobile network.
  14. -
  15. -

Study Programmes

University graduate
Information Processing (profile)
Theoretical Course (1. semester)
Telecommunication and Informatics (profile)
Theoretical Course (1. semester)


I. Lovrek (1997.), Modeli telekomunikacijskih procesa - Teorija i primjena Petrijeve mreže, Školska knjiga
G. J. Holzmann (1991.), Design and Verification of Computer Protocols, Prentice-Hall (on-line)
Y.-B. Lin, I. Chlamtac (2001.), Wireless and Mobile Network Architectures, John Wiley & Sons
G. J. Holzmann Addison Wesley 2003 (2003.), The SPIN Model Checker: Primer and Reference Manual, Addison Wesley

Associate Lecturers