Master course in
Communications Engineering
 Year 1 - Semester 1
Year 1 - Semester 1
Communication and network systems [Computer network design and control]
  • Network planning and management
  • Routing and QoS-routing
  • Cloud computing and virtualization
  • Software defined networking
  • Network slicing
  • Traffic control algorithms and QoS support
  • Congestion control
  • Data distribution systems
Communication and network systems [Communication systems]
  • Modern Communication Systems and their physical layer
  • Wireless channel models (AWGN, multipath fading, Doppler)
  • Multiplexing (TDM, FDM) and Multiple Access (TDMA, FDMA, CDMA, NOMA)
  • Frame synchronization, Randomizers
  • Introduction to error detection (CRC), error correction (block codes), and ARQ
  • Digital modulations (PSK, QAM, APSK)
  • OFDM modulation and its application
  • Use cases and relative Link Budgets: space links and 5G
Signal, image and video processing and learning [Signal processing: methods and algorithms]
  • Review of discrete-time signals and systems
  • Introduction to non-stationary random processes
  • Estimation theory
  • Spectral estimation
  • Time-frequency analysis
  • The Kalman filter
  • Detection theory
Signal, image and video processing and learning [Image and video processing and learning]
  • Multidimensional filters and transforms
  • Data, image and video compression
  • Convolutional and deep neural networks for image analysis
  • Generative adversarial networks
Machine learning for networking
  • Programming in Python: the language, numerical libraries, machine learning libraries
  • Introduction to machine learning
  • Linear dimensionality reduction approaches: principal component analysis, linear discriminant analysis
  • Clustering approaches: agglomerative hierarchical clustering, K-Means, DBSCAN
  • Classification methods: Gaussian models and generative classifiers, logistic regression, support vector machines, decisions trees
  • Regression methods: ordinary and generalized least squares, support vector regression
 Year 1 - Semester 2
Project: Software-defined communication systems
  • project management and planning
  • projects in these areas:
    • Ultra-high-capacity transcontinental optical links
    • Communication- and energy-aware mission planning and control for cooperative UAVs
    • Virtual services for autonomous mobile systems
    • Satellite link for communications and ranging
    • High-speed data-center links
    • Probabilistic and statistical tools to detect network attacks
    • Digital signal processing techniques to audio time series
  • project design, implementation and validation
  • final project presentation 
Optical fiber communications
  • Optical fiber networks: scenarios of application
  • Introduction to the key optoelectronic components for optical fiber communications
  • Linear and nonlinear propagation effects in single-mode optical fibers
  • Intensity-modulated and direct detection (IM-DD) systems: performance and scalability in short reach scenario for datacenter and Fiber-to-the-Home optical access networks
  • PM-QAM coherent transmission systems: performance and scalability for long haul ultra-high bit rate fiber links
  • Long-haul reconfigurable optical networks (seminar given by external experts)
  • Quantum cryptography (seminar given by external experts)
  • Transoceanic submarine systems (seminar given by external experts)
Information and communication theory
  • Basic concepts from Information Theory
  • Source coding for data compression
  • Channel capacity and capacity formula for the additive Gaussian channel
  • An elementary introduction to block and convolutional codes
  • Channel estimation (Single Carrier and OFDM)
  • Adaptive Equalization ML and MMSE (Single Carrier and OFDM)
  • Iterative channel decoders (LDPC, turbo, polar)
  • Carrier, Timing and Frame Synchronization
Wireless access electromagnetics
  • Introduction to antenna as system components
  • Antenna system parameters
  • Noiseless and noise link budget
  • Low and medium gain antennas for broadcasting, mobile communications, WiFi/WLAN, IoT (slot, patch, dipole)
  • UWB antennas
  • High-gain, reconfigurable and MIMO antennas (arrays) with beamforming
  • Fixed beam, scanning beam MIMO
 Year 2 - Semester 1
Project: Applied communication systems and IoT
  • project management and planning
  • projects areas (still to be defined)
  • project design, implementation and validation
  • final project presentation 
Network measurement laboratory
  • Configuration of hosts in Local Area Networks, IP addresses management, subnetting/supernetting
  • Traffic monitoring using sniffers in LAN: TCP, UDP and HTTP
  • Performance measurement for file transfers in wired and WiFi networks  
  • Impact of delay and packet losses 
  • Analysis of traffic traces collected from real networks
  • Post-processing tools to extract information out of the raw data
  • Statistical methods and data mining techniques to find correlations and solve classification problems
Signal processing and optical transmission lab
  • Signal Processing laboratory: 
    • DSP implementation of linear filters and their application to lossless audio compression
    • Program templates and input/output interfaces 
    • Basic FIR and IIR filtering structures 
    • Real-time filtering of audio signals
    • Lossless coding based on FIR predictors
    • Real-time lossless coding of audio signals, validation and testing
  • Optical Communications laboratory 
    • Spectral measures of laser sources and their wavelength and power characterizations
    • Experimental procedure for the joint of optical fibers and corresponding measurement of the joint attenuation 
    • Experimental characterization of passive optical devices 
    • Realization of an optical amplifier and corresponding experimental characterization 
    • Spectral characterization of optical sources through optical spectrum analyzers and high resolution methods
Signal processing and wireless transmission lab
  • Signal and Image Processing laboratory
    • Introduction to compression
    • Decorrelation techniques for signals and images
    • Quantization
    • Source coding
    • DSP architecture and development tools  
    • DSP implementation of a compression algorithm
    • Program template and in/out interfaces
    • predictor, quantizer, lossless source coder
    • validation and testing  
  • Wireless transmissions laboratory
    • Physical layer of broadband fixed and mobile radio-communication standards
    • Structure and main functions of conventional and software defined digital radio transceivers
    • Software defined radio (SDR) platforms Lab
    • Implementation on SDR platform (Ettus B210 and National Instruments USRP-2901) of some common transceiver blocks suitable for most wireless communication standards (WiFi, LTE, DVB)
    • Test and measurements of the performance of some implemented receiver algorithms
Open optical networks
  • State-of-the art transceivers for optical communications
  • Foundations of optical fiber propagation and modeling its impairments
  • Amplifiers and passive components
  • WDM spectral use and standards
  • ROADMs and node structure in general
  • YANG, Netconfig, GMPLS, OTN
  • Emulation of optical layer in photonic networks
  • Routing spectral and wavelength assignment
  • Multilayer orchestration
  • Physical-layer-aware network analysis, design and optimization
Computer system security
  • Computer systems (in)security: problems and attacks (sniffing, spoofing, DOS, ').
  • Basic protection techniques: steganography, cryptography, digest, X.509 certificates, certification authorities (CA) and public-key infrastructures (PKI).
  • Authentication techniques (password, challenges, Kerberos) and related hardware devices (token and smart-card).
  • Network security: the IPsec standard to protect IP networks; security of the network configuration and management protocols; firewall and IDS to create protected subnets; virtual private networks (VPN); security of wireless networks.
  • Application security: e-mail protection (PGP, S/MIME), web security (SSL, TLS) and remote access protection (SSH, SSL, TLS), securing web applications.
  • Secure document workflow and e-commerce; national and international legislation about e documents; digital signature and e documents; the SET protocol and other e-payment systems.
5G and next-generation mobile computing
  • 5G and beyond cellular connectivity
  • Network architecture
  • Radio Access Networks
  • Edge computing
  • Mobile service virtualisation
  • Virtual resource allocation
  • Hands-on approach to mobile services
  • Service orchestration
Advanced wireless communications
  • Multivariate information theory
  • Review of linear algebra
  • MIMO channels
  • Water-filling
  • Capacity of a deterministic MIMO channel
  • Ergodic capacity of a random MIMO channel
  • Nonergodic capacity and outage probability
  • Diversity
  • ML MIMO receiver
  • Channel estimation
  • Space-time code design criteria
  • Beamforming
  • Orthogonal space-time codes
  • Alamouti codes
  • MIMO receivers
  • Successive interference cancellation
  • Equalization for digitally interfered channel (MIMO, OFDM, Massive MIMO, Multi user)
  • Channel estimation for multivariate channels
  • Machine learning in digital receivers
  • Iterative digital receivers
  • Nonlinear channels
  • Models of power amplifiers
  • Effects of nonlinearity on linear modulations
  • TX and RX techniques for the nonlinear channel
  • Introduction to CPM, modulations and variants
  • Multivariate information theory
  • Review of linear algebra
  • MIMO channels
  • Water-filling
  • Capacity of a deterministic MIMO channel
  • Ergodic capacity of a random MIMO channel
  • Nonergodic capacity and outage probability
Satellite navigation systems
  • Localisation and positioning techniques, radionavigation principles
  • Uncertainty causes and error sources
  • Basics of reference systems and satellite orbits
  • Signal processing for radionavigation
  • System architecture of GPS and Galileo systems
  • GNSS receivers architectures
  • GNSS applications
 Year 2 - Semester 2
Operational research
  • How to build a mathematical optimisation model
  • Computational complexity
  • Elements of network flows
  • Local search heuristics
  • Meta-heurisics (tabu search, simulated annealing, genetic algorithms, etc)
  • Applications to optical networks (logical topology design, routing and wavelength assignment)
  • Applications to green networking
Cloud computing and data center design lab
  • Cloud computing e virtualization
  • Data center addressing, routing
  • Data center topologies: leaf-spine, multilayer, Google Jupiter, hybrid optical/electronic switching
  • Traffic monitoring and stream processing: probabilistic data structures (hash tables, bloom filters, sketches, HLL)
  • Power-aware data center design