Computer Networks Architecture and Protocols


This curricular unit (UC) aims at consolidating and developing the knowledge of students in the field of computer networks and data networks, through the exposition and study of several principles, algorithmsm and protocols that support the operation of these networks.

The UC has not only a strong theoretical component associated with the design of key protocols in todays Internet, but also a strong practical component related with the configuration and operation of data networks.


  • Fundamental concepts related with the operation and architecture of modern data networks.
  • Understand the operation and design of routing protocols.
  • Concepts related with the operation of modern data networks (not only the Internet but also Data Centers)

Know how to do:

  • Configure and administration of data networks at several abstraciton levels.
  • Use in an correct way routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP)
  • Teste and experimental validation of the correct operation of a data network.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Carlos Antunes Leitão, Pedro Abílio Duarte de Medeiros


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language



Fundamental knowledge on Computer networks.


  • José Legatheaux Martins, "Fundamentos de Redes de Computadores - Ilustrados com base na Internet e nos Protocolos TCP/IP," 1ª Edição, FCT/UNL, 2018. Online version at:
  • Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie, “Computer Networks – A Systems Approach,” Online version at:
  • Hamed Haddadi and Olivier Bonaventure (editors), “Recent Advances in Networking”, Volume 1, ACM SIGCOMM eBook, August 2013 (online version available)
  • Ivan Marsic, “Computer Networks – Performance and Quality of Service,“ Rutgers University, 2013 (online version at:
  • Selection of Research Papers

Teaching method

Lectures presenting fundamental concepts, algorithms and fundamental techniques in an interative way with students.

Laboratory classes focused on the design and configuration of computer networks (in adequate equipment) and a set of 5 mini projects to be developed in group.

Evaluation method

2 midterm tests (or allternatively an exame that replaces the tests): 50%

  - each midterm has the same weight for this component.

  - each student can take up to two A4 pages, manuscripted with whatever information they want. These are delivered at the end of the midterm and must be identified with name and number.

5 Mini Projects (that must be conducted in the advanced networking lab in groups of 3 students): 50%

 - first mini projeto - RIP protocol (10%).

 - second mini projeto - OSPF protocol (10%)

 - third mini projeto - BGP protocol (10%)

 - fourth mini projeto - Quality of Service (10%)

 - fifth mini projeto - Combining everything (60%)

(there is an optional mini project - zero - valued in 5%, being this weight removed from the fifth project). 

Components resuts are rounded up to the 2 decimal place, and final grade rounded up to units.

The course has mandatory frequency. To get approval at frequency the student must have a final grade >= 9.5 at the project.

Subject matter

  1. Fundamental Concepts on Computer Networks
    1. IP Addresses (IPv4 e IPv6)
    2. Networks and Subnetworks
    3. Support protocols for local networks (ARP & DHCP)
  2. Switched Networking
    1. Switched Network Operation (vs Hubs)
    2. Minimum Spanning Trees
  3. Routing Protocols
    1. Distance Vector Protocols
    2. RIP
    3. Link State Protocols
    4. OSPF
    5. External Gateway Protocols
    6. BGP
  4. Quality of Service and Traffic Shapping
  5. Transport Protocols
    1. 4.1 UDP
    2. TCP
    3. QUICK
  6. Network Services and Abstractions
    1. Firewalls
    2. NAT
    3. VPN
    4. Tunnels
  7. VLANs
  8. Software Defined Neworks
  9. Data Center Networks


Programs where the course is taught: