Welcome to "Routing Architectures and Protocols"

The "Routing Architectures and Protocols" course at Politecnico di Torino is available to all Computer Engineering (master-level degree) students. This page refers to the Academic Year 2017/2018.

Course overview

This course is organized in two parts. The first part focuses on routing algorithms (unicast and multicast) and routing protocols, for both intra-and inter-domain environments. The second part focuses on the most important functions and algorithms implemented in a modern network device (router, switch). In addition, an overview of the architecture of a modern network device and of the common network processor architectures will be given. Finally, new topics such as Software-Defined Networks and Network Functions Virtualization will be briefly presented.

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 and to manage static routing. Capability to analyze network traffic, particularly with respect to the most important protocols of the TCP/IP suite.


The course is taught by Fulvio Risso (fulvio.risso[at]polito.it) and Ivano Cerrato (ivano.cerrato[at]polito.it).

Lab and exercises

This course includes four labs, focusing on the most important topics presented in the lectures. Lab may include 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 assignment should be completed by groups of maximum two students.

In addition, we propose several homework focusing 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 the key helper to pass (successfully) the exam. Please note that the exam often includes some questions related to the lab exercises.

Personal projects and papers

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

Some possible topics are available here; please refer to the professor for more details or for other possible topics.

The list of papers for review is available here.


Usually the exam is a written text, with a variable mix of exercises, open-answer questions, and closed-answer questions. The texts of the previous exams are not available; student can be confident that exercises and questions are definitely similar to the ones already given as part of the learning material.

Students whose grade exceeds a given threshold (e.g., 27) 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.

More details about exam rules are available in the slides presented at the beginning of the course, which are available here.

Previous years

This course started for the first time in academic year 2011/2012; We list here the specific websites for each academic year: