Welcome to the Local Area Networks Design (01NVYOV)

The Local Area Networks Design course at Politecnico di Torino is offered to all the Computer Engineering students. This page refers to the Academic Year 2017/2018.

Course overview

The course presents algorithms and protocols currently used in local area networks, mainly focusing on wired networks. Relevance is also given to practical lab exercises, useful to further improve the knowledge of the addressed topics.

The course is taught in Italian, although most of the documentation is in English.


General knowledge about computer networks. Detailed knowledge about the IP protocol and the most important protocols of the TCP/IP suite. Capability to design IP networks, assign and configure IP addresses to host and networks and to manage static routing. Capability to analyze network traffic, particularly with respect to the most important protocols of the TCP/IP suite (ARP, IP, ICMP, TCP).


The course is taught by:

Lab and exercises

This course includes four labs, focusing on the most important topics presented in the lectures. Lab includes not only configuration, but also fault generation and the dynamic analysis of the given protocol with respect to that fault. This is needed in order to understand how protocols react to external solicitations. Lab assignments, although not compulsory, should be completed by groups of maximum two students.

In addition, we propose several homework on the most important topics of the course.

Labs and homework are optional but strongly encouraged, even if no additional points are granted to students. However, in our experience, homework and labs represent a key helper to pass the exam. Please note that the exam often includes some questions related to the lab exercises.

Personal projects

Students with high average mark (>27/30) can ask to replace the exam with a special project. The project can focus either on research activities, or some teaching support activities. In most cases we require a short presentation (45 mins) in which the student presents the achieved results to the professors.

Possible projects:

  • Offloading network functions to the hardware: the Linux switchdev approach. Analysis of the solution and preliminary examples.
  • Offloading networking tasks to SmartNICs: experience from a prototype from a leading vendor.
  • Adding security to the Linux novel networking framework iovnet: user authentication and permissions.
  • Remotizing network services in the iovnet networking framework through gRPC.
  • Testing the interoperability between an eBPF 802.1D bridge and real Cisco devices.


Usually the exam is a written text, often including open-answer questions, exercises, and closed-answer questions. The texts of the previous exams are not available; exercises and questions are definitely similar to the ones already given as part of the learning material.

A mandatory requirement to pass the exam is that the total amount of points scored in the open answer questions is above a threshold, in order to avoid that a student may pass the exam without completing any exercise.

Student whose grade is >=26 have the possibility to ask for an additional oral examination. This consists in one question, whose outcome can improve or worsen the grade of the written examination.

Previous years

You can find web pages related to the past editions of the course at the following links: