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Developing an Android-Based Layer 3 Switch as a Senior Project

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Information and Network Security

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Pat Smith Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts

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Mr. Pat Smith lives in Edmond Oklahoma. He has been married for 32 years to Dr. Virginia Smith, a leading expert and author in the field of higher education. He has a son who is a physician and daughter who teaches physics and chemistry. Mr. Smith enjoys long distance road cycling and board games. He gained his undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma in Computer Engineering in 1984. Following this he worked in industry for Conoco Inc, Du Pont, and Cisco Systems. At Cisco Systems he worked with Cisco customers designing and deploying core Internet designs and technologies. In 2005 Mr. Smith earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from Colorado State and 1 year later left industry to teach engineering at Oklahoma Christian University. Mr. Smith’s emphasis is in first year student success, mentoring young engineers, and data communications. He consistently scores well in student feedback and enjoys regular strong relationships with his students and classes.

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This paper presents a project based course that has been developed to teach advanced data communications and network systems concepts. The course is an elective course and has as a prerequisite a data communications course that included data link through transport layer topics. In the course the students will implement a router (layer 3 switch) using the Java programming language on an Android platform. Simplified protocols have been developed for each protocol layer for the router. These include an emulation of the physical layer, Ethernet layer, IP layer and associated support protocols such as ARP, CRC and one’s complement checksum calculation. In addition a distance vector routing protocol is developed along with all supporting forwarding and routing data structures. The emulated layer 1 protocol uses UDP and IP as a “media” for transmission, hiding the details from the upper layers. All student android-routers are eventually connected in a ring topology to verify successful implementation of all protocols. At the end of the project an instructor-provided android instant messenger application is installed and students are able to exchange messages from the application using the routed lab network for message delivery. Throughout the course students learn data communications topics at an advanced level by implementing each protocol in their router. A deeper understanding of how layers 1-3 in the IP stack work is achieved, and also how routers and switches are implemented. Students are prepared for entry level network design or network system development.

Smith, P. (2016, June), Developing an Android-Based Layer 3 Switch as a Senior Project Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26743

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