Advanced Topics in
Communication Networks
Fall 2022

This course covers advanced topics and technologies in computer networks, both theoretically and practically. In the Fall 2022, the course will cover advanced topics in Internet routing and forwarding.

The goal for this course is to provide students with a deeper understanding of existing and upcoming Internet routing and forwarding technologies used in large-scale computer networks such as Internet Service Providers (e.g., Swisscom or Deutsche Telekom), Content Delivery Networks (e.g., Netflix) and Data Centers (e.g., Google).

Besides covering the fundamentals, the course will be “hands-on” and will enable students to play with the technologies in realistic network environments, and even implement some of them on their own during labs and a final group project.


Dec 21 You can now find online the AdvNet exams from 2020 and 2021.
Sept 21 The recordings of yesterday's first lecture and exercise tooling demo are now available (see below).
Important Contrary as we thought initially, we are unable to use ETH live streaming service for our course. For the time being, students unable to attend the course can refer to the recordings.
Aug 30 We are getting ready for the upcoming semester, can't wait to kick off a new edition of AdvNet
If you intend to follow the course, you can already join the course's Slack workspace.
It is necessary to use an @ethz.​ch or @student.ethz.​ch email address for signing up. If you do not have such an address, contact us.


Professor Laurent Vanbever


  • Romain Jacob   Coordinator
  • Ege Cem Kirci
  • Albert Gran Alcoz
  • Roland Schmid
  • Edgar Costa Molero
  • Joël Lingg   Student
  • Lukas Röllin   Student

Research group. Networked Systems



Location & time

Tuesdays, 2:15 pm–4 pm

Exercise sessions
Tuesdays, 4:15 pm–6 pm

  In-person     ML E 12
     Online       Live stream from the ETH Video Portal
Recordings   ETH Video Portal


The course will cover advanced topics in Internet routing and forwarding such as:

  • Tunneling
  • Hierarchical routing
  • Traffic Engineering and Load Balancing
  • Virtual Private Networks
  • Quality of Service/Queuing/Scheduling
  • IP Multicast
  • Fast Convergence
  • Network virtualization
  • Network programmability (OpenFlow, P4)
  • Network measurements


  • Communication Networks (227-0120-00L), Computer Networks (252-0064-00L) or equivalents.
  • Good programming skills (in any language) are expected as both the exercises and the final project will involve coding.

Performance assessment

  • 6 ECTS credits
  • 70% of the final grade will be based on the final (written) exam, while the remaining 30% will be based on one graded group project (as a continuous performance assessment task). The project will start around week 3-5. Students repeating the course must decide at the beginning of the semester if they want to keep their previous project grade and inform the instructor accordingly.

We add materials (slides, recordings, labs) as the course progresses.

Week 1
 Lecture    Introduction, Course organization. Introduction to PISA and P4
Exercise   Introduction to P4
Week 2
 Lecture    PISA, P4 and stateful constructs
Exercise   P4 for Layer 2
Week 3
 Lecture    Stateful constructs, Tofino, and Load balancing
Exercise   Load balancing in P4
Week 4
 Lecture    Probabilistic data structures
Exercise   Heavy-Hitter detector and Count-min Sketch
Week 5
Week 6
 Lecture    RSVP-TE and QoS
Exercise   RSVP
Week 7
 Lecture    Fast convergence
Exercise   Loop-Free Alternate (LFA)
Week 8
 Lecture    Fast convergence (end), Project kick-off
Exercise   Ask me anything
Week 9
 Project    Hacking, hacking, hacking...
Exercise   Project support
Week 10
 Project    Hacking, hacking, hacking...
Exercise   Project support
Week 11
 Project    Hacking, hacking, hacking...
Exercise   Project support
Week 12
 Project    Hacking, hacking, hacking...
Exercise   Project support
Week 13
 Project    Hacking, hacking, hacking...
Exercise   Project support
Week 14
 Project    Final presentation