Advanced Networking - aa 2010-11

Past Academic year: bottom page

Welcome to the 2010/2011 edition of this course. It is one of the courses characterizing the "Systems and Networks" curriculum, and I have to say that this course is (obviously) much more oriented to networks and networked systems rather than to systems in isolation.

Our reference model is the Internet, and we will explore some topics in the three main layers:

I will teach most of the classes, but we will have the opportunity to have some in-depth seminars by other researchers.


  • 9 November: Thursday Nov. 11 there is no lesson. It should be the last "vacation" of the course.
  • 15 October 2010: Today there is no lesson we maintain the 3 hours on tuesday.
  • 5 October 2010: Today and next Tuesday Oct. 12 we do 3 hours ending at 7PM (short break around 5:30).
  • 15 September 2010: The week starting September 27 we do not have lessons.
  • Lessons are in room A 107 (or others if the multimedia systems are not working), Tuesday 4-6 PM and Thursday 8:30--10:30 AM.

Program and Methodology

Please, refer to ESSE3 for the formalities and the official program.

Our program this year will conduct us from IP routing to TCP congestion problems up to some fundamental multimedia protocols in the internet like SIP and H.323 and possibly to NATting techniques, and IPTV systems.


We do not have, as usual, a single official textbook. The reason is that finding 'advanced' topics in textbooks is not easy, if at all possible.

Some good basic networking books exist that cover all the material you are supposed to know from basic networking courses and also some of the material we cover.

Here are a couple of them:

  • Douglas Comer, Computer Networks and Internets (with Internet Applications), Prentice Hall
  • Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, Prentice Hall
  • James Kurose, Keith W. Ross, Computer Networking, a top down approach, Addison Wesley.

Douglas Comer also wrote several advanced books on many different facets of the Internet.These books are very good and cover all our material ... indeed much more than we actually do.


A project plus oral complement. Projects, as we discussed in class can be "practical" or theoretical. They can be done in groups. The effort per person should be around 2-3 weeks work. After the project is finished you can have the oral part. There is no fixed date to finish the exam, but to record it you MUST register before on ESSE3, so please remember to do that.

There is no fixed schema to assign the grade: to have a high vote you must do a good project and a good oral!! In general if the project is not satisfactory, I prefer to ask you to do additional work rather than jeopardizing the result. On the other hand, I'd like to see you one single time at the oral, so please, do not underestimate it.

Projects Assignment

There is nothing like a "list of projects". Projects are assigned on-demand, based on your interests and attitudes. So:

  1. Select one or more topics of the course that you liked more or find out other topics on networking that you are interested in;
  2. Think if you prefer doing a project "hands on" or more theoretic (normally a survey on the State of the Art);
  3. Send me an e-mail shortly (no more than 10 lines) describing your interests and thoughts to take an appointment;
  4. Decide the projects details with me;
  5. Enjoy it !!!!

Forthcoming Exam Dates

  • Monday, August 29, 2011
  • January/February 2012, together with the 2011/2012 edition

Please remember to register for the exam BEFORE finishing the project and taking the oral exam , otherwise we can't register the grade. I will use the ESSE3 on-line registration.

The dates above are just the bureaucratic date, you can take the oral any time making an appointment with me a few days (4-5 at least) in advance. Remember that you have to finish the project before taking the oral part of the exam. The oral will cover all we did in class, and is noramlly in form of a discussion, often joining together different parts and taking the notions there as an excuse to broaden the subject and investigate how familiar you have become with networking concepts.

Refer to ESSE3 for the remaining bureaucracy.

Material and Slides

Advice: RFCs pointers are offered for additional in-depth study, the ones indicated are normally not the only one related to one argument, but they are the "founding" ones. Study is expected to complement lessons, not to "learn by hart" the RFCs, which is useless since they are full of details not really necessary to understand a protocol, but necessary to guarantee interoperability in implementation.

Internet pointers, when appropriate and given, can be used to complements the notes taken in class. Please, try to avoid "googling around" with keywords of the lessons, because you end up finding tons of bad (often wrong!!) material and wasting a lot of time.

Meeting Me

The most obvious place to query, ask for clarifications, rise doubts and so on is the class, so tath everybody can intervene and be aware of clarifications. Questions can be done in Italian!!

Further minor queries can be done at the end (or before) the lesson.

If additional time is needed for complex queries or long problems send me an e-mail for an appointment. Try to specify the reason in the e-mail, this helps me preparing the answer and helps you formalizing it. Please, avoid dropping-by the office. Normally I cannot receive you on the fly and the only result is a waste of time. I do not set up a formal receiving hour: you can come at any time, just take an appointment.

If you have small quick doubts I can also try to solve them via e-mail, so that you don't need to come to my office for a 30 second answer!

Academic Years