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Course module: 202001579
Internet Measurements
Course info
Course module202001579
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact R.M. van Rijswijk - Deij
Examiner M. Jonker
Examiner R.M. van Rijswijk - Deij
Contactperson for the course R.M. van Rijswijk - Deij
dr. A. Sperotto
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
Upon completing the course, students are able to:
  • Understand why measuring at Internet scale is an important tool to advance network technology
  • Understand the two main approaches to Internet measurement: active and passive measurements
  • Understand the basic building blocks needed to set up a measurement (packet inspection, flows, active probing)
  • Evaluate existing Internet measurement studies, focusing on the quality and reproducibility of the results
  • Analyse the ethical implications of a measurement and the potential disruptive impact of a measurement
  • Analyse Internet measurement results using state-of-the-art big data techniques
  • Design their own Internet-scale measurement
Have you ever wondered how a change in one of the Internet's protocols affects its users? How Internet traffic varies between day and night, weekdays and weekends, school holidays and exam periods? If some Internet companies really are too big to fail? You are not the only one. Measuring the Internet is vital to keeping the Internet stable and secure, and to inform policy for the Internet community and governments.

The Internet Measurements course will teach you everything about global, Internet-scale measurements, based on state-of-the art research done at the university. We will explain basic measurement concepts, such as the difference between passive measurements (where you just observe ongoing network traffic) and active measurements (where you actively send probes). We will discuss the ethics of Internet measurements, using censorship measurements and botnet-based measurements that the academic community found questionable. We will be using state-of-the-art big data analysis techniques, such as Apache Spark, to work with some of the very large datasets collected by the OpenINTEL measurement project ( And right from the start, you will be designing your own Internet-scale measurement together with a group of students, to answer your own questions about the whys, hows and whats of the global Internet.

There will be traditional classroom lectures, supplemented by (video) lectures and background information provided via our MOOC platform based on Open EdX. Grading is based on individual exercises via the MOOC platform, a group assignment to design an Internet-scale measurement and a short written final exam.

A basic understanding of layered communication protocols/systems. This is covered in: Network Systems ( 202001026 / module 3 B-TCS).

The course Empirical Security Analysis and Engineering (202100073) is a natural continuation for students interested in both security and empirical work.
Assumed previous knowledge
Network Systems ( 202001026 / module 3 B-TCS).
Participating study
Master Computer Science
Participating study
Master Electrical Engineering
Participating study
Master Internet Science and Technology
Required materials
Recommended materials
Instructional modes

Project supervised

Project unsupervised

Self study without assistance

Assignments, Exam

Kies de Nederlandse taal