Computer Networks

Objectives | Lecturers | Content, material, and schedule | Lab Experiences | Exams | Bibliography | Final project


The course presents basic topics concerning computer networks. In particular, it describes the most common architectures, algorithms and protocols used in computer networks, starting from the physical layer, i.e., the aspects closer to the physics of electrical communications, up to the most popular high level protocols on which applications we use daily are based. The course aims at providing the elements needed to understand how computer and communication networks work, with particular emphasis to the Internet.


Prof. Guido Marchetto (guido.marchetto[at], tel. 011 090 7094

Lab assistant:

Ing. Marco Iorio (marco.iorio[at], tel. 011 090 7098

Lab Experiences:

The course includes a few guided lab experiences on key topics covered during lectures. The lab experiences allow students to experiment first hand mechanisms and protocols previously explained with the objective of facilitating understanding and assimilating them. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity by not only being present, but carefully going through all the proposed exercises striving to deeply understand what is being observed and ask the instructor for clarification and hints whenever they cannot make sense of what they see. Students will not be required to hand in the outcome of their lab experiences or write a report. However, lab experiences are integral part of the course and it is possible that the exams contain questions related to their content. Most of the suggested experiments can be carried out on any networked computer, hence without going to the lab in the appointed hours. However, during schedule hours assistance will be available in the lab to help with possible difficulties and issues.


The exam is an oral test consisting of two or three questions, possibly including practical case studies and design exercises, that will be used to drive an interactive discussion, rather than just a one way answer. For Computer Engineering students enrolled at Politecnico di Torino (i.e., excluding exchange students), passing the exam requires also to fulfill the Final Project requirement. The Computer Network course and Final Project will receive the same grade obtained as a combination of both the exam and the Final Projectevaluation. The evaluation of both exam and Final Project must be positive in order to pass the exam [this does not apply to students that are not enrolled in the Computer Engineering programme].


J. F. Kurose, K. W. Ross, “Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet. Sixth Edition”, Addison Wesley Longman, 2012.

Copy available on-line

Final Project:

In order to fulfill the Final Project requirements, students will be offered an additional question at the end of the Computer Networks oral test. The question will focus on Multimedia and QoS over the Internet, which is not addressed by the lectures and the students will have to study by themselves. Any study material can be used, including Sections 1 through 4 of Chapter 7 of the reference book proposed. The approach to studying this additional material should be the same as for the rest of the course: understand problems and principles of the solutions; memorizing details is not required. The Final Project and Computer Network course will receive the same grade obtained as a combination of both the Final Project evaluation and Computer Networks exam. The evaluation of both Final Project and exam must be positive in order to fulfill the Final Project requirements.