The Networked Systems Group (NSG) is a research group in the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (D-ITET) at ETH Zürich led by Prof. Laurent Vanbever.

Our research interests are centered around complex network management problems, with the larger goal of making current and future networks (especially the Internet) easier to design, understand and operate. We are currently active in multiple areas including network programmability, data-driven networking, verification, routing, and security. Most of our projects are inherently multidisciplinary and tend to involve recent advances in programming languages, algorithmics, and machine learning.

We are active in several areas, a subset of which include:

Take a look at our research and publications pages for a full list.

Our flagship lecture is Communication Networks offered in the Spring semester. We also offer a (master-evel) seminar in the Spring semester, and a lecture on Advanced Topics in Communication Networks in the Fall semester. Check our courses page for more information.

Learn more about our recent research and teaching activities in our latest activity report (2021, 2020and in our 1-page research statement.


New paper accepted at EuroP4 2022!

Our paper "Reducing P4 Language's Voluminosity using Higher-Level Constructs" has been accepted at EuroP4 2022! In this paper, we present O4, an extension of P4, that incorporates three higher-level constructs (arrays, loops, and factories) to reduce the voluminosity of P4 code. 


New paper accepted at NeurIPS 2022!

Our paper entitled "Learning to Configure Computer Networks with Neural Algorithmic Reasoning" was accepted at NeurIPS 2022! In this paper, we explain how we can approximate routing computations using neural networks. Among others, doing so allows us to efficiently "invert" these computations enabling to automatically synthesize configurations from their intended output. This synthesis problem is known to be hard: actually, our recent ICNP 2022 paper shows that many instances of that problem are NP-hard/NP-complete. Having a away to approximate these computations allows us to "break" the inherent scalability barrier of solving these problems, at the price of accuracy. How to deal with this accuracy loss is amongst the many next questions we want to look at. Stay tuned!


Two papers accepted at HotNets 2022!

Our group will have two papers at this upcoming ACM HotNets workshop! These two papers will mark our 10th and 11th HotNets papers since 2014.

Stay tuned to learn more about:

1) How we plan to build the next-generation of network traffic generator by leveraging millions of code repositories hosted on code-sharing platforms such as GitHub;


2) How we intend to build generalizable machine learning (ML) models for predicting network traffic dynamics using the Transformer architecture.

As usual, you'll find the final version of the papers on our publications page in a couple of weeks.


Our group welcomes two new members!

We're thrilled to welcome two new post-docs in our team: Georgia Fragkouli (from EPFL) and Muoi Tran (from NUS)! 


New papers at NSDI'23 (2x), ICNP'22, IMC'22, and SOSR'22

This summer treated us well thus far, with no less than five papers acceptance! Stay tuned to learn more about:

  1. Improved traffic monitoring (NSDI'23)
  2. How to extend distributed routing protocols (NSDI'23)
  3. The computational complexity behind configuration synthesis (ICNP'22)
  4. How programmable networks can enable mass surveillance, and how to avoid it (SOSR'22)
  5. How often was the Internet infrastructure down these last few years (IMC'22)

As usual, all the papers will be made available on our publications page.


Three papers accepted at SIGCOMM 2022!

Our group will be well represented at this upcoming ACM SIGCOMM; we have three accepted papers! Stay tuned to learn more about: pulse-wave DDoS mitigations (ACC-Turbo), fast gray failure detection (FANcY), and buffer management in data centers (ABM). See you in Amsterdam!


Rüdiger Birkner won the Roger Needham PhD Award 2022!

Rüdiger Birkner, a fresh NSG PhD graduate, just won the Roger Needham PhD Award! The Roger Needham PhD award is an annual prize awarded to a PhD student from a European University whose thesis is considered to be an exceptional, innovative contribution to knowledge in the systems area. 


Check out our 2021 activity report

2021, wrapped! Check out our activity report to see what our group has been up to in terms of research and teaching activities. Spoiler alert: 2021 was busy, but fulfilling!

Recent selected publications

Enhancing Global Network Monitoring with Magnifier

Tobias Bühler, Romain Jacob, Ingmar Poese, Laurent Vanbever

USENIX NSDI 2023. Boston, MA, USA (April 2023).

xBGP: Faster Innovation in Routing Protocols

Thomas Wirtgen, Tom Rousseaux, Quentin De Coninck, Nicolas Rybowski, Randy Bush, Laurent Vanbever, Axel Legay, Olivier Bonaventure

USENIX NSDI 2023. Boston, MA, USA (April 2023).

Learning to Configure Computer Networks with Neural Algorithmic Reasoning

Luca Beurer-Kellner, Martin Vechev, Laurent Vanbever, Petar Velickovic

NeurIPS 2022. New Orleans, LA, USA (November 2022).

Generating representative, live network traffic out of millions of code repositories

Tobias Bühler, Roland Schmid, Sandro Lutz, Laurent Vanbever

ACM HotNets 2022. Austin, Texas, USA (November 2022).

A New Hope for Network Model Generalization

Alexander Dietmüller, Siddhant Ray, Romain Jacob, Laurent Vanbever

ACM HotNets 2022. Austin, Texas, USA (November 2022).

On the Complexity of Network-Wide Configuration Synthesis

Tibor Schneider, Roland Schmid, Laurent Vanbever

IEEE ICNP 2022. Lexington, KY, USA (November 2022).

Aggregate-Based Congestion Control for Pulse-Wave DDoS Defense

Albert Gran Alcoz, Martin Strohmeier, Vincent Lenders, Laurent Vanbever

ACM SIGCOMM 2022. Amsterdam, Netherlands (August 2022).

FAst In-Network GraY Failure Detection for ISPs

Edgar Costa Molero, Stefano Vissicchio, Laurent Vanbever

ACM SIGCOMM 2022. Amsterdam, Netherlands (August 2022).

ABM: Active Buffer Management in Datacenters

Vamsi Addanki, Maria Apostolaki, Manya Ghobadi, Stefan Schmid, Laurent Vanbever

ACM SIGCOMM 2022. Amsterdam, Netherlands (August 2022).

ditto: WAN Traffic Obfuscation at Line Rate

Roland Meier, Vincent Lenders, Laurent Vanbever

NDSS Symposium 2022. San Diego, CA, USA (April 2022).

Snowcap: Synthesizing Network-Wide Configuration Updates

Tibor Schneider, Rüdiger Birkner, Laurent Vanbever

ACM SIGCOMM 2021. Online (August 2021).

Metha: Network Verifiers Need To Be Correct Too!

Rüdiger Birkner *, Tobias Brodmann *, Petar Tsankov, Laurent Vanbever, Martin Vechev

USENIX NSDI 2021. Online (April 2021).

xBGP: When you can’t wait for the IETF and vendors

Thomas Wirtgen, Quentin De Coninck, Randy Bush, Laurent Vanbever, Olivier Bonaventure

ACM HotNets 2020. Chicago, Illinois, USA (November 2020).

P2GO: P4 Profile-Guided Optimizations

Patrick Wintermeyer, Maria Apostolaki, Alexander Dietmüller, Laurent Vanbever

ACM HotNets 2020. Chicago, Illinois, USA (November 2020).

Probabilistic Verification of Network Configurations

Samuel Steffen, Timon Gehr, Petar Tsankov, Laurent Vanbever, Martin Vechev

ACM SIGCOMM 2020. New York, USA (August 2020).