News Archive


Check out what we have been up to in 2022

2022 was one of our best year ever, on many accounts. Check out our activity report to see what our group has been up to and what is in the tank for us for 2023.


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!


Internet Routing — 2021 Wrapped

Curious about what happened in the Internet in 2021? Check out this print depicting 1 year worth of BGP routing announcements observed on 256 Internet routers. "Behind the scenes" information available here


Opening keynote at ACM CoNEXT 2021

Laurent gave the introductory keynote at ACM CoNEXT 2021. The talk is entitled "The three tales of (correct) network operations" and summarizes our 10-year (and counting!) journey exploring the operational aspects of routing algorithms, focusing on three aspects in particular: verification, synthesis, and reconfiguration. You can find the slides here.


Tibor Schneider receives the ABB Research Award!

Tibor Schneider is one of this year's recipients of the ABB Research Award (ABB Forschungspreis) for his Master's Thesis entitled "Snowcap: Synthesizing Network-Wide Configuration Updates". He received the award at this year's "ETH Tag" on 20 November.


Laurent receives the 2021 ACM SIGCOMM "Rising Star" Award!

Laurent was selected for the 2021 ACM SIGCOMM "Rising Star" Award. The award is in recognition for outstanding research contributions, early in his career, toward improving the flexibility, correctness, and security of Internet routing. More information about the award and past recipients can be found online.


Maria will join Princeton ECE as an Assistant Professor starting Fall 2022!

Maria Apostolaki (2nd PhD student to graduate from NSG) will join Princeton's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Fall of 2022! Huge congrats to her!!


Snowcap accepted to ACM SIGCOMM 2021!

Our paper on how to synthesize safe network-wide configuration updates got accepted at ACM SIGCOMM 2021! Stay tuned to learn about how to schedule configuration updates in networks running distributed routing protocols while maintaining important safety properties.


How we try to enrich our students experience with online lectures

I had a lot of fun describing how we approach online teaching nowadays, and how we evolved our setup over the last 3 semesters already. If you are interested, you can checkout the talk recording here, and access the slides here.


Co-chairing ACM HotNets 2021

Laurent will co-chair ACM HotNets 2021 (the ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks) together with Prof. Minlan Yu from Harvard.


Check out our 2020 activity report

2020 has been a really "particular" year—including for our research group. And yet, despite everything, 2020 was also a good year for us. Check out our latest activity report to learn more about our research and teaching activities (and successes) in 2020.


2 of our papers recognized by an IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize 2021!

2 NSG papers (xBGP and Config2Spec) were recognized with an IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prizes (ANRP) this year! (Only 6 papers out of 76 submissions were awarded this year.)


Upcoming network verification paper accepted at USENIX NSDI 2021!

Our paper on "meta" network verification got accepted at the upcoming USENIX NSDI 2021! Stay tuned to learn about how we can automatically detect bugs lurking in network verifiers themselves.


New routing attack paper on cryptocurrencies accepted to FC'21

Maria's latest paper on how to de-anonymize cryptocurrencies transactions by abusing Internet routing got accepted to Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2021 (FC 2021)! 


Laurent gave the keynote at EuroP4

Laurent gave the keynote talk at EuroP4 (the 3rd P4 Workshop in Europe). He spoke about data-plane offloading (in the context of routing tasks) and programmable packet scheduling. You can check the talk on YouTube here, and the slides here. The talk is based on three recent NSG projects: Hardware-Accelerated Network Control Planes [HotNet's18], Blink [NSDI'19], and SP-PIFO [NSDI'20].


Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching!

After having won two Golden Owls in 2016 and 2019, Laurent has been awarded the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching! The aim of the prize, which is awarded by the student association VSETH, is to promote quality teaching, and to strengthen Switzerland as a science and research location. Huge kudos to our teaching assistants without whom this wouldn't have been possible!


Upcoming paper on routing security accepted at "Communications of the ACM"

Our paper on the impact of routing security on overlay networks (including Tor and cryptocurrencies) has been accepted to Communications of the ACM!


Three new NSG members!

As of Sept. 1st, three new members have joined NSG as PhD students. Welcome to Rui, Ege, and Roland!


Two papers accepted at HotNets 2020!

Our group got two papers accepted at ACM HotNets 2020! (It's now the seventh year in a row that our group publishes at least one HotNets paper).


Best Student Paper Award at SIGCOMM 2020!

Our paper on probabilistic network verification won one of the two "Best Student Paper Awards" at SIGCOMM 2020! Congrats to the entire team, and especially to Sam, the project lead.

Besides reading the paper, you can learn more about the project by trying out the code or by watching the presentation.


Our paper on the Mini-Internet platform was selected for the ACM SIGCOMM 2020 Best of CCR session!

"An Open Platform to Teach How the Internet Practically Works" is one of the three papers selected for being presented at ACM SIGCOMM 2020 in the Best of CCR session. Congratulations to the whole development team, and especially to Thomas, Tobias, and Tino!

Read more about the project in this APNIC blog post


P4 Learning is getting traction

Our public repository containing pedagogical material, demo and exercises to learn P4 programming has reached the symbolic bar of 100 stars on GitHub! Congratulations to Edgar who put most of the material together!


"Probabilistic Verification of Network Configurations" accepted at ACM SIGCOMM 2020!

Stay tuned to learn how one can verify not only "hard" network properties that must hold all the time, but also probabilistic properties that must hold a fraction of the time (such as Service Level Agreements).


New NSG member: Romain Jacob joins us as post-doc!

Romain obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich (ITET) under the supervision of Prof. Lothar Thiele. Welcome!


3 NSG lectures this Fall

Our group will offer three lectures this semester including a completely renewed Advanced Topics in Communication Networks lecture which will focus on advanced topics in Internet routing and forwarding. We'll also offer a seminar on Communication Networks (in collaboration with D-INFK). Finally, and as usual now, we'll teach the first part of Discrete Event Systems together with Prof. Lothar Thiele and Prof. Roger Wattenhofer. Check out our course webpage for more info.


Promotion to Associate Professor!

Laurent got promoted to Associate Professor (with tenure) by the ETH Board!


Coralie Busse-Grawitz receives the ABB Research Award!

Coralie Busse-Grawitz, one of our master students and future PhD student, is one of this year's recipients of the ABB Research Award (ABB Forschungspreis) for her Master's Thesis entitled "In-Network Inference with Random Forests". She received the award at this year's "ETH Tag" on 16 November.


Goldene Eule 2019!

For the second time after 2016, Laurent has been awarded the Golden Owl of the VSETH! The Owl is awarded by the VSETH, ETH Zurich's students association, and "honours lecturers who have provided exceptional teaching". Huge kudos to the teaching assistants from NSG without whom this wouldn't have been possible!


“(Self) Driving Under the Influence” accepted at ACM HotNets 2019!

Stay tuned to learn about how adversarial traffic inputs can mislead “data-driven” networks.


Final version for our upcoming two NSDI 2020 papers available

We just uploaded the final versions of our two upcoming NSDI 2020 papers: Config2Spec (specification mining) and SP-PIFO (programmable scheduling). Check them out! 


The first NSG PhD graduate!

Ahmed El-Hassany is the first PhD student graduating from our group! You can check out his work on network configuration synthesis and network verification here.


ERC Starting Grant 2019!

Laurent got awarded an ERC Starting Grant. The grant (SyNET) aims at automatically generating correct network configurations rather than verifying them. This also means that our group will soon recruit PhD students and postdocs. Ping us if interested!


New seminar lecture on "Learning, Reasoning and Control" in the context of Communication Networks

Starting from this fall, our group will offer a new seminar lecture. This year's topic will be "Learning, Reasoning and Control" in the context of communication networks. You can find more information about the seminar on our website: Please note that the number of seats is limited to 24.


Two papers at NSDI 2020!

We got two accepted papers at the upcoming NSDI (Spring deadline)! Stay tuned to learn about how to automatically "mine" network specifications from existing configurations (with Config2Spec) and how to closely approximate the behavior of programmable packet schedulers at scale, and on existing devices (with SP-PIFO).


If you're interested in programmable data planes, check out our (open) course materials

This semester we taught our first lecture on programmable data planes (check out the rest of our courses). Today we're happy to release all our materials including: slides, docs, examples, VM, and 7 weeks of detailed P4 exercises (with solutions): GitHub: Course Website:


"Blink: Fast Connectivity Recovery Entirely in the Data Plane" accepted at Usenix NSDI 2019!


"SABRE: Protecting Bitcoin against Routing Attacks" accepted at NDSS 2019!


"Hardware-Accelerated Network Control Planes" accepted at HotNets 2018!


Our new lecture "Advanced Topics in Communication Networks" starts in September

See for more details.


"NetHide: Secure and Practical Network Topology Obfuscation" accepted at Usenix Security 2018!


Check out our new website on Automated Network Captioning (i.e. network chatbots)

We just released our new website ( covering our work on network explainability with Net2Text. Check it out to see how we can make networks "talk" proper English.


Bayonet: Probabilistic Inference for Networks conditionally accepted at PLDI 2018!


Maria Apostolaki receives one of the IRTF/IETF Applied Networking Research Prize 2018!

Maria got nominated for her work on routing attacks on cryptocurrencies which got published at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. This is the fourth ANRP prizes our group receives, after DRAGON, Fibbing, and our work on seamless BGP reconfiguration.