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. We are also part of the ETH ICE center.

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.

A few recent examples of practical systems we have built include: Blink, Config2SpecBayonetFibbingiTAP, Net2Text, NetComplete, NetHideSDX, SyNET, SDNRacer, SP-PIFOStroboscope, and SWIFT. We are also currently looking at the impact of routing attacks on systems overlays such as cryptocurrencies and anonymity networks. To learn about our work, please check out our research and publications pages.

Our flagship lecture is Communication Networks offered in the Spring semester. We also offer a lecture on Advanced Topics in Communication Networks in the Fall semester (topic: programmable networks). We also offer a Seminar in Communication Networks (current 2019 topic: Learning, Reasoning and Control). Check our courses page for more information.


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).

Recent selected publications

Config2Spec: Mining Network Specifications from Network Configurations

Rüdiger Birkner, Dana Drachsler Cohen, Laurent Vanbever, Martin Vechev

USENIX NSDI 2020. Santa Clara, California, USA (February 2020).

SP-PIFO: Approximating Push-In First-Out Behaviors using Strict-Priority Queues

Albert Gran Alcoz, Alexander Dietmüller, Laurent Vanbever

USENIX NSDI 2020. Santa Clara, California, USA (February 2020).

(Self) Driving Under the Influence: Intoxicating Adversarial Network Inputs

Roland Meier, Thomas Holterbach, Stephan Keck, Matthias Stähli, Vincent Lenders, Ankit Singla, Laurent Vanbever

ACM HotNets 2019. Princeton, NJ, USA (November 2019).

Blink: Fast Connectivity Recovery Entirely in the Data Plane

Thomas Holterbach, Edgar Costa Molero, Maria Apostolaki, Alberto Dainotti, Stefano Vissicchio, Laurent Vanbever

USENIX NSDI 2019. Boston, Massachusetts, USA (February 2019).

SABRE: Protecting Bitcoin against Routing Attacks

Maria Apostolaki, Gian Marti, Jan Müller, Laurent Vanbever

NDSS Symposium 2019. San Diego, CA, USA (February 2019).

Hardware-Accelerated Network Control Planes

Edgar Costa Molero, Stefano Vissicchio, Laurent Vanbever

ACM HotNets 2018. Redmond, WA, USA (November 2018).

NetHide: Secure and Practical Network Topology Obfuscation

Roland Meier, Petar Tsankov, Vincent Lenders, Laurent Vanbever, Martin Vechev

USENIX Security 2018. Baltimore, MD, USA (August 2018).

Bayonet: Probabilistic Inference for Networks

Timon Gehr, Sasa Misailovic, Petar Tsankov, Laurent Vanbever, Pascal Wiesman, Martin Vechev

PLDI 2018. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (June 2018).

Stroboscope: Declarative Network Monitoring on a Budget

Olivier Tilmans, Tobias Bühler, Ingmar Poese, Stefano Vissicchio, Laurent Vanbever

USENIX NSDI 2018. Renton, Washington, USA (April 2018).

NetComplete: Practical Network-Wide Configuration Synthesis with Autocompletion

Ahmed El-Hassany, Petar Tsankov, Laurent Vanbever, Martin Vechev

USENIX NSDI 2018. Renton, Washington, USA (April 2018).