Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
Computer networks
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Computer Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Cinema And Media Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Marchetto Guido   A2 ING-INF/05 71 0 9 0 9
SSD CFU Activities Area context
E - Per prova finale e conoscenza della lingua straniera
B - Caratterizzanti
Per la prova finale
Ingegneria informatica
Subject fundamentals
The course describes the most common architectures, algorithms and protocols used to implement computer networks, starting from the physical layer up to the most popular application layer protocols. The course goal is to give the students the elements needed to understand how computer and communication networks work, with particular emphasis to the Internet.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will gain knowledge on:
General concepts of computer networks: network classification based on the covered area, network topologies, switching techniques (circuit and packet), multiplexing and multiple access techniques, service models (client-server, peer-to-peer), layered protocol architectures, traffic characterization and QoS requirements.
Transmission channels, bit encoding techniques, access and transport networks.
Error recovery and flow control techniques: ARQ window protocols.
Data-link layer protocols.
Local Area Networks: architecture, protocols, interconnection.
Routing algorithms and protocols. Network protocols in the Internet, IP addressing and translation.
Internet transport layer protocols.
Internet application layer protocols.
The ability to apply the gained knowledge will be verified through lab experience and class exercise on course subjects. The attention will mainly be focused on the definition of IP addressing schema and of static routing table configuration, and on packet capture on LANs, both to passively analyze traffic traces and to detect and verify packet sequences when performing specific user level operations.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Basic skills in computer engineering (fist year course level). In particular, the student should be able to perform decima-to-binary and binary-to-decimal conversions, and he/she should have a basic understanding of how a computer works. Understanding of concepts such as frequency spectrum, its energetic interpretation and signal sampling is also requested. The student should also be familiar with basic physics concepts related to optics and electromagnetic fields.
Classroom lessons will cover the following topics:
- General concepts related to computer networks: classification based on the extension of the physical area covered, circuit and packet switching, connectionless and connection-oriented protocols, layered protocol architecture, requirements for the transmission of audio/video and non real-time data (1,6 CFU)
- Major physical media for data transmission, and related data encoding techniques (0,8 CFU)
- Data-link layer: principles of error recovery and flow control, point-to-point protocols, local area networks. (1,6 CFU)
- Network layer: IPv4, ICMP, ARP, and DHCP protocols, addressing schemes, NAT. (1,5 CFU)
- Network Analysis tools (0,2 CFU)
- Transport layer: UDP and TCP protocols. (0,6 CFU)
- Application layer: HTTP, SMTP, POP and IMAP protocols. (0,8 CFU)
- Laboratory (0,9 CFU)
Delivery modes
Exercises in the classroom will cover the following topics:
- Switching techniques
- Sliding window protocols
- Definition of addressing schemes for IP networks
- Definition of the static contents in routing tables, for IP networks
- Sequence of messages expected to implement a given operation initiated by the user, given a particular network configuration.
Sessions in laboratory will cover packet analysis on real traffic, captured either in passive way or after specific commands entered by students.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
The teacher will distribute the course material, and it will be available on the web pages of the course.
Additional reading:
- A. Pattavina: Reti di telecomunicazioni, Mc.Graw-Hill (in italian)
- J.F. Kurose, K.W. Ross: Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet
- A. Bianco, C. Casetti, P. Giaccone, Esercitazioni di reti telematiche, Capitoli 1-2-3, CLUT (in italian)
- F. Risso, Exercise collections (in english, available on the portal)
Assessment and grading criteria
2-hour written exam, organized as follows:
- 12 multiple-choice questions. Correct answer: 1 point, wrong answer: -0.5 points, empty answer: 0 points. The exam will be considered only if the overall score in this first part is higher than a given threshold. Otherwise, it will not be checked.
- 2 to 4 open questions. For each course part, the exam text may contain 1 theoretical question, 1 exercise, or 2 exercises.
The use of any teaching material is forbidden during the exam, as well as the use of a calculator of any type.
The evaluation of the numerical exercises will be based on both the final result and the procedure adopted to obtain it. Instead, in theoretical questions and exercises it will be evaluated the knowledge level of the explained concepts and topics.
The final mark will be evaluated as weighted summation of the two components, validated by a positive outcome of the final project.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

© Politecnico di Torino
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY
WCAG 2.0 (Level AA)