Graduate students, researchers, and professionals in the field of computer networking
often require a firm conceptual understanding of its theoretical foundations.
Knowledge of optimization, information theory, game theory, control theory, and
queueing theory is assumed by research papers in the field. Yet these subjects are
not taught in a typical computer science undergraduate curriculum. This leaves
only two alternatives: to either study these topics on one’s own from standard texts
or take a remedial course. Neither alternative is attractive. Standard texts pay little
attention to computer networking in their choice of problem areas, making it a
challenge to map from the text to the problem at hand, and it is inefficient to
require students to take an entire course when all that is needed is an introduction
to the topic.
This book addresses these problems by providing a single source to learn about
the mathematical foundations of computer networking. Assuming only a rudimentary
grasp of calculus, the book provides an intuitive yet rigorous introduction to a
wide range of mathematical topics. The topics are covered in sufficient detail so
that the book will usually serve as both the first and ultimate reference. Note that
the topics are selected to be complementary to those found in a typical undergraduate
computer science curriculum. The book, therefore, does not cover network foundations,
such as discrete mathematics, combinatorics, or graph theory.