Lakehead University — Faculty of Engineering
Department of Software Engineering
ENGI 4557: Data and Digital Communications — Fall 2017

Accreditation Units: 3 hour lectures and 1.5 hour tutorial

C. E. Christoffersen (, Office: ATAC 5017, Tel.: 343-8352.
Class Web Site:
A. Leon-Garcia and I. Widjaja, “Communication Networks,” second edition, McGraw-Hill, 2004. ISBN:0-07-246352-X.


Week No.Topic Discussed Book Chapter
1 Overview of digital communications. -
1-3 Information theory. Data compression. 12
3-7 A/D Conversion. Channel encoding. Digital Modulation. Error detection/correction.3
8 Telephone networks. 4
9-10 Peer-to-Peer Protocols: ARQ Protocols. 5
11 Local area networks and protocols. 6
12 Packet switching networks and protocols. 7


Information related to class matters will be announced in class and posted on the web site.
Problem sets will be posted in class and on the class web site. Assignment problems may require self-study and/or programming. Acceptable languages are C or C++ and in some cases Octave or Phyton. Programs written in C/C++ must compile and run with the GNU compiler. Assignments will not be marked and thus are not to be submitted.
Due date:
Assignments will be given a due date, usually coincident with one tutorial session, by which they are expected to be solved.
Posted solutions:
Solutions will be posted after the due date.
Tutorial sessions:
Tutorials will consist in problem solving sessions, assignment advisory sessions, quizzes, or project advisory/presentation sessions. Students are responsible for knowing the material covered in such sessions.
when an assignment is due, a quiz based on the assignment questions will be scheduled during the tutorial time. Each student will normally answer the quiz individually.
Groups of at most three students will select a topic in consultation with the instructor. The students are expected to do significant self-study on the selected topic. An oral presentation of half-hour will be scheduled in the project/tutorial time for each group towards the end of the course. All students in the course are expected to attend such presentations. The final exam may include questions about some project presentations. A formal written report on the topic along with references, code, datasets and results must be submitted by the last day of classes. The project will be evaluated for correctness, complexity of the task undertaken, code development, documentation, and oral presentation.
Special accomodations:
If you are a student with a disability and think you may need accommodations, you are strongly encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and register as early as possible. For more information, please contact Student Accessibility Services,, SC0003, 343-8047 or

1 Examinations

There will be one midterm exam. The date and time will be announced.

A three-hour final exam will be scheduled by the Registrar office. Program snippets or pseudo-code can be required in the answers of the final exam. Questions from project presentations can also be included. All exams will be closed-book/closed-notes.

Note: No cellular phones, laptop computers, tablets, programmable calculators nor any other programmable or communication device are allowed in the exams.

Exam and quizzes marks:
Students have one week to register complaints about how an exam or quiz was marked. Students who believe an error has been made in marking must write a statement making their case and take it to the instructor.
Marks distribution:
Quizzes 10%, Project 15%, max{Midterm, Final} 25%, Final 50%

Note: An ’F’ grade will be assigned for failure to complete the project component of the course.

Student Learner Outcomes

  1. Explain fundamental concepts of digital communications including source and channel coding, and error control.
  2. Design programs that implement algorithms used in digital communication systems such as compression/decompression, error detection/correction.
  3. Utilize mathematical formulas to estimate quantization error, sampling rate, and bandwidth required for A/D conversion.
  4. Utilize Shannon channel capacity and Nyquist formulas to estimate the capacity of communication channels.
  5. Analyze the probability of error achieved using different error control techniques.
  6. Explain the structure of the telephone network.
  7. Describe how different ARQ protocols work.
  8. Analyze effective bit rate for links using ARQ protocols considering effects of bit error rate.
  9. Describe different approaches for medium access control.
  10. Analyze the performance of some types of LANs.
  11. Explain fundamental concepts about packet-switching networks.