69774 - Digital Communications and Internet

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Understand the basics of modern digital communication and telecommunication network, with particolar emphasis on computer networks.

Course contents

The following contents refer to the 12 credits course for the students of the Laurea in Ingegneria elettronica per l'energia e l'informazione.

The students of Laurea in Ingegneria e scienze informatiche should refer just to the section of NETWORKS of this description.


1. Random processes. Stationarity and ergodicity. Gaussian random processes. PAM random processes.

2. Theory of modulation (bandpass signals and systems). Modulation schemes based on sinusoidal carrier.

3. The thermal noise in devices. The AWGN channel. Effect of noise on received signal quality.

4. Introduction to baseband and passband analog and digital transmission systems.

5. Elements of information theory.


1. Introduction to telecommunication networks. Legacy networks and services. Computer network architectures: layering and the ISO-OSI Reference Model. Internet Architecture

2. Internet architecture and the TCP/IP protocols suite. UDP and TCP. The finite state machine of TCP.

6. Local Area Networks (LANs). The Ethernet LAN and IEEE 802.3. Wireless LANs and IEEE 802.11. LAN interconnection: repeaters, bridges, hub, switches and routers.

4. The IP protocol. Addressing, subnetting and supernetting, CIDR. Direct and indirect forwarding. Hosts, routers and Gateways.

5. Signaling and management in IP networks: ICMP, DHCP, NAT, ARP.

6. Routing in Internet. Authonomous Systems. Routing protocols Interior (IGP) and exterior (EGP). Examples of running RIP and OSPF.

7. The current trend of software defined networks (SDN). The Openflow protocol. Network Function Virtualization.




L. Calandrino, M. Chiani, Lezioni di comunicazioni elettriche, Pitagora Editrice, Bologna.
M. L. Merani, M. Casoni, W. Cerroni, Hands-On Networking. From Theory to Practice, Cambridge University Press, 1st edition (2009), ISBN-13: 9780521869850. 
J. F. Kurose, K. W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, Addison Wesley, 5th edition (2009), ISBN-10: 0136079679
ISBN-13:  9780136079675.

Teaching methods



Laboratory experiences using

  • oscilloscopes,
  • function generators
  • spectrum analyzers 


Practical training

  • protocol analysis withsoftware protocol analyzers (Wireshark)
  • configuration of host IP interfaces
  • running RIP and OSPF in simple networks
  • software defined network emulation using the mininet software and SDN controllers

Assessment methods

The assesment will include two parts, one for the teaching module in DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS and one for the teaching module on NETWORKS AND THE INTERNET.  

The exams are in Italian.

Please contact the Professors for details about the assesment in English.


The exam is a computer test.

Type of questions

The test has three types of questions

  • MCMA - Multiple Choice Multiple Answers, a question with three independent answers and the student must say whether each answer is TRUE or FALSE
  • MCSA - Multiple Choice Single Answer, a question with three questions and the student must pick the right one
  • OQ - Open Question, an open question about a topic of the course where student must write a short assay.

Structure of the test

The test is made of

  • 10 questions MCMA
  • 10 questions MCSA
  • 1 OQ


The OQ is given a mark L by the exam commission upon reading it, that may go from 0 to 30 points.

The MCMA questions are given a mark M  that may go from 0 to 30 points as follows:

  • every correct answer M = M+1
  • every wrong answer M = M-1
  • every unanswered questions M = M

The MCSA questions are given a mark S that may go from 0 to 30 points as follows:

  • every correct answer S = S+3
  • every works answer S = S-1.5
  • every unanswered questions S = S

The total score of the test is P=S+M+L and the final mark is given by V = P*0.36 rounded up to the closest integer.

Special rules

The exam is passed if the student gets

  • S+M >= 30
  • P >= 50

If a student does not answer the OQ the exam commission may ask for a short oral interview before giving a final mark.

Duration of the exam

90 minutes

Teaching tools

Lecture notes and slides available on the AMS Campus system.

Office hours

See the website of Franco Callegati

See the website of Davide Dardari