Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Unit Telecommunications Networks for Emergency Management

Protection and safety of the territory and of the built environment
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Mauro Femminella
  • Mauro Femminella - Didattica Ufficiale
  • 48 ore - Didattica Ufficiale - Mauro Femminella
Course Regulation
Coorte 2018
Learning activities
Ingegneria della sicurezza e protezione dell'informazione
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Teaching unit: overview of the TCP/IP protocol stack (2 hours)
Teaching unit: application protocols (12 hours)
Teaching unit: transport protocols (8 hours)
Teaching unit: IP protocol (8 hours)
Teaching unit: overview of the data link protocols (4 hours)
Teaching unit: main wireless technologies for emergencies and GPS positioning (8 hours)
Teaching unit: laboratory experiments using open source IT tools (6 hours)
Reference texts
Reference readings:
J. Kurose, K. Ross, Computer networks and internet. A top-down approach, 6a (or 7a) ed., Pearson, 2013 (2017).
Material used by the teacher during the lesson will be provided through the Unistudium web platform.

Additional readings:
A. Pattavina, Reti di Telecomunicazione, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, 2003.
M. Gast, 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition, O'Reilly, 2005.
Educational objectives
This is the only course about telecommunications networks in the curriculum, and analyses the basic aspects of networking from a protocols and system point of view. The main objective of the course is to provide methodological and practical tools for the implementation of telecommunications networks and systems that can adequately support operations during emergencies. For this reason, after a general introduction to networking, particular emphasis will be given to the study of wireless networks, their interconnection with wired systems, their design and/or configuration in emergency scenarios, and positioning systems to be used in emergency, with particular attention to the GPS system.
The main project constraints that the student will be required to consider, depending on the applications to be supported in emergency scenarios, will be the offered functions and the system transmission capacity. The main knowledge acquired at the end of the course will be:

- basic elements of telecommunications networks, with particular emphasis on high-level protocols, for the interface with the applications to be used in emergency scenarios;
- knowledge of the network architectures of the most widespread wireless systems (LTE, WiFi), with particular attention to the offered functions and to the interconnection mechanisms with other networks;
- knowledge of the main positioning and navigation systems, and their potential use in emergency scenarios, with special focus on the GPS system.

The main skills, ie the ability to apply the knowledge acquired in the course, will be:

- evaluation of the most suitable technological solution to the considered scenario (local area, metropolitan, geographical/mobile, satellite network);
- capability to analyze the performance of a wireless network from the view point of service capacity;
- capability of implementing, through open-source software tools, experiments allowing understanding the basic principles of networks, with particular attention to wireless networks;
- master the tools for measuring the quality of a wireless network, with particular attention to the measurement of capacity and coverage.
In order to understand the teaching content and to be able to apply most of the techniques described, no further knowledge are required in addition to those already included in the courses of mathematics, physics, and basic computer science typical of the curriculum of any first level degree in engineering. This also includes experiments with open source software that will be carried out during the course.
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:

- Classroom lectures on all topics of the course. Students will be provided in advance with a copy of the slides used by the teacher through the University web portal (UNISTUDIUM);

- Classroom exercises on the blackboard. Students will be provided in advance with copies of the problems texts through the University web portal;

- Classroom laboratory exercises with the personal computer: each tutorial consists in the guided solution of a specific networking problem with open source IT tools. Students will be provided in advance with copies of the material to carry out the lab exercise autonomously either in the classrom or at home.
Other information
The lessons can be integrated with seminars. Lessons and lab experiences will be carried out in the classroom.
Learning verification modality
The exam includes a single written exam test to be held at the end of the course. This test consists of three questions, and has a duration of two hours. All questions are short compositions of technical reports aimed at ascertaining the level of knowledge and understanding achieved by the student on the theoretical and methodological contents of the course: TCP/IP protocol stack, LTE and WiFi wireless networks, GPS system. The final written test can be complemented by a final interview lasting approximately 30 minutes. This interview is at the discretion of the teacher and is requested in the case in which evident methodological imbalances have emerged from the written test on topics concerning different parts of the course. The interview can also be carried out upon student’s explicit request.

Alternatively, upon the student's request, the final exam can be replaced by the presentation of a written report on a laboratory testbed, prepared by the student with his own computing hardware, and concerning the creation of a WiFi network or a virtual network whose requirements are provided by the teacher well in advance. The test consists in an interview focused on project results and, when possible, in the practical test of the functioning of the designed system. The discussion will illustrate the issues raised by the assigned case, the possible alternative solutions, the adopted methodological approach and the analysis of the results. The duration of this test is variable and takes into account (when applicable) the time needed to set up the testbed, with an average duration of about 30 minutes.

Both assessment methods ensure to ascertain the knowledge and understanding of course topics, the ability to apply the acquired skills, the ability to exhibit them, and to the ability to learn and develop solutions with independent judgment.
Extended program
Teaching unit: overview of the TCP/IP protocol stack (2 hours): basic concepts on the separation of network functions in different protocol layers and functions relevant to each layer;
Teaching unit: application protocols (12 hours): operation of the DNS system, of the HTTP protocol and outline of messaging protocols (XMPP) and real-time application protocols (RTP);
Teaching unit: transport protocols (8 hours): basic functions of the transport layer, operation of the TCP protocol (applicability, connection set up and tear down, error control, flow control, congestion control), operation of the UDP protocol (applicability, basic functions)
Teaching unit: IP protocol (8 hours): basic principles of IP protocol, datagram mode, packet format, addressing and routing tables, outline of routing protocols;
Teaching unit: outline of the connection protocols (4 hours): functionality of layer 2, Ethernet switches;
Teaching unit: main wireless technologies for emergency networks and GPS positioning (8 hours): architecture of mobile LTE networks, WiFi networks (access and security algorithms), GPS system operation and applicability;
Teaching unit: laboratory experiments using open source IT tools to be used on a virtualized platform (6 hours).
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