University of Bonn

Institute of Computer Science IV
Communication and Distributed Systems

About us

Research and Teaching

The focus of the research and advanced teaching of the group "Communication Systems" is the area of high speed communication. The group has been working on this topic for more than ten years. Most of the research is funded by the DFG (German national research foundation), by the European Community and by industrial co-operation.

Classical Data communication

Most present computer networks use classic network protocols. These protocols distinguish between the communication system on the one hand and the application on the other hand. The application hands over data to the transport system which delivers them at the destination (after checking the integrity) to the application. Protocols like the "Transmission Control Protocol" (TCP) which is used in the Internet control the partition of the data, the examination of the received data, the retransmission of lost or corrupted data and, if necessary, the restoring of the order of data. An additional aim of these protocols is to protect the network from congestion.

Up to 1996, most of our research activities dealt with classic data communication as described above. The group designed and implemented universally usable protocols and examined the performance of networks. From today's view, the classical data communication protocols are still appropriate for communication forms such as file transfer and remote login.

Multimedia Communication

With the increasing importance of multimedia communication classical protocols are revisited from a different point of view. The "Application Level Framing" is an attempt to remove the dividing line between network and application. In many cases, only the application can decide whether lost or corrupted data shall be retransmitted or not. It is even possible to adapt the coding of the transmitted data to the quality of the communication channel.

We do research on the main aspects of multimedia communication in interdisciplinary co-operation. Together with the faculty of medicine a transport system is developed which enables multimedia access to a digital library containing medical knowledge. This interdisciplinary co-operation enables us to integrate communication mechanisms into the application and to test the practical benefit of the results.

Network management

Today, networks are in the heart of many institutions. Therefore problems have to be detected, localized and removed fastly. Apart from this fault management, configuration management (adding, replacing, updating of components, modification of the configuration, ...) and performance management (monitoring, bandwidth assignment, network optimization,...) are important aspects of nearly all networks today. In many cases, security management (access control, user authentication) and accounting management (usage statistics, costs,...) are very important, too.

The management of the networks of the institute of computer science is a challenge faced by the computer support group which is part of the Institute of Computer Science IV. This group is designing and implementing a network management platform called "BONNVIEW", which will simplify the operation of the networks of the institute in the future. Theory and real life situations, research and teaching unite to form an integrated whole with lots of tasks for our students and ideas for our research activities.


The teaching is closely related to the research activities of the group "Communication Systems". After introductory courses, students have the possibility to do practical work most of which is closely related to the ongoing research activities of the group. The students can extend their range of knowledge and their practical skills. They can choose tasks from the areas "simulation", "design and implementation of communication protocols", "network management" and "network security". Some of the tasks lead students directly to a master thesis.

Recent Research Activities

Detailed Information about recent research projects can be obtained from the home page of the Institute of Computer science IV. Currently the group is active in the following projects:
University of Bonn / Computer Science / Department IV

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