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Walter Cerroni

Associate Professor

Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi"

Academic discipline: ING-INF/03 Telecommunications


Keywords: Next Generation Networks Software Defined Networking Network Function Virtualization Cloud networking performance Optical Networks

Walter Cerroni’s recent research interests are related to several aspects of next generation network design, control, management, resource optimization, performance evaluation, and experimentation. The most relevant topics include:

  • design and implementation of stateful and service-aware control plane solutions for Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV);
  • experimental assessment of NFV and SDN solutions in production-level software platforms for Cloud Computing, such as OpenStack;
  • design and implementation of intent-based northbound interfaces for virtualized infrastructure management in the ETSI NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) framework;
  • design, implementation, and performance evaluation of virtualized network functions in Cloud Computing environments;
  • modeling and performance evaluation of NFV solutions running on general purpose hardware and adopting virtual machine migration techniques;
  • modeling and design of inter- and intra-data center interconnection networks for Cloud Computing infrastructures;
  • design of programmable, software-defined, hybrid optical network architectures, with different switching techniques (e.g., based on circuit and packet paradigms);
  • deployment of session-layer protocols for efficient and integrated network and application resource management in data center interconnections;
  • performance evaluation of dynamic spectrum allocation techniques in flexible-grid optical networks;
  • assessment of the key parameters for the design and optimization of contention resolution mechanisms in the time, wavelength and space domains in optical networks;
  • optimization of header processing and internal device configuration functions within optical switching nodes;
  • development of dynamic routing techniques taking into account resource availability at each node in optical networks.


The research activities mentioned above represent the contribution to several national and international projects, including:

  • PRIN “GAUCHO - A Green Adaptive Fog Computing and Networking Architecture,” funded by the Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) from 2017 to 2020;
  • POR FESR “SACHER - Smart Architecture for Cultural Heritage in Emilia Romagna,” funded by the Emilia Romagna region from 2016 to 2018;
  • Activity 16406 “Certification Centre for Business Acceleration of SDN and NFV,” Action Line on “Future Networking Solutions,” funded by EIT Digital in 2016;
  • Activity 15270 “SDN at the Edges,” Action Line on “Future Networking Solutions,” funded by EIT Digital in 2015;
  • Activity 13132 “Smart Networks at the Edge,” Action Line on “Future Networking Solutions,” funded by EIT ICT Labs in 2013;
  • Network of Excellence “EINS – The Network of Excellence in Internet Science,” funded by the European Union in the VII Framework Program from 2012 to 2015;
  • PRIN “SFINGI - Software router to Improve Next-Generation Internet,” funded by the Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) from 2011 to 2013;
  • Network of Excellence “BONE – Building the Future Optical Network in Europe,” funded by the European Union in the VII Framework Program from 2008 to 2010;
  • PRIN “OSATE – Optics in Switching Architectures: Theory and Experimentation,” funded by the Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) from 2006 to 2007;
  • Network of Excellence “e-Photon/ONe – Optical Networks: Towards Bandwidth Manageability and Cost Efficiency,” funded by the European Union in the VI Framework Program from 2004 to 2007.


From January to August 2008, as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, USA, Walter Cerroni worked in collaboration with local faculty and graduate students on quality of service scheduling techniques in hybrid optical circuit and burst switching networks.

From May 2003 to April 2005, as a Research Associate at CNIT, Walter Cerroni worked in the framework of the national project “GRID.IT – Enabling platforms for high-performance computational grids oriented to scalable virtual organization,” funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research within the FIRB 2002-06 program and including participants from leading Italian research organizations. During this period his research was focused on the study of network infrastructures, based on optical packet switching, enabled to the transport of traffic generated by grid computing applications.

From May 2000 to July 2003, as a PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Bologna, his main research topics were related to node architectures and performance evaluation of DWDM photonic packet-switched networks. He was involved in the IST project “DAVID – Data and voice integration over DWDM,” funded by the EU in the V Framework Program from June 2000 to October 2003. He also participated to the activities of national projects “IPPO – IP Optical Packet Networks,” and “INTREPIDO – End-to-end Traffic Engineering and Protection in IP over DWDM Networks,” funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research within the PRIN 2001-02 and 2003-04 programs, respectively.

From November 1998 to December 1999, as an intern at the Alcatel Corporate Research Center, Dallas, TX, USA, Walter Cerroni’s research focused on multicast-enabled architectures for optical IP routers and algorithms for the computation of minimum-cost multicast trees in optical networks.

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