Communication Networks

 Benjamin Steinert


+49 7071 29-70575

I work from home sometimes. Please send me an email when you can't reach me on the phone.

Raum B307

Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationsnetze

Universität Tübingen

Wilhelm-Schickard-Institut für Informatik

Sand 13, 72076 Tübingen



I'm a researcher and PhD student at the Chair of Communication Networks at the University of Tübingen. From 2014 to 2018 I studied Cognitive Science (B.Sc.) at the University of Tübingen. Afterwards, I changed my focus to Computer Science (M.Sc.) where I graduated in 2021, also at the University of Tübingen.


2014 - 2018
B.Sc. Cognitive Science

Graduated at the University of Tübingen on 30.05.2018

M.Sc. Computer Science

Graduated at the University of Tübingen on 10.03.2021

2020 - today
Research Assistant

Researcher and PhD student at the Chair of Communication Networks at University of Tübingen

Research Interests

Software-Defined Networking

Network management is complex and error-prone. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) aims to eliminate maintenance processes and to provide simple network management. This is done by allowing explicit and centralized control over the networking devices. Benefits of SDN over classical networking include programmability, centralized control, network flexibility, improved performance, easy implementation, efficient configuration, and enhanced management.

P4: Programming Protocol-Independent Packet Processors

P4 is a domain-specific language for programming protocol-independent packet processors. With P4, the data plane functionality of forwarding devices such as routers and switches is not fixed, but can be specified programmatically. Custom headers and protocols can be declared in a P4 program together with a description of the forwarding behavior based on match+action tables. Thereby the P4 language is target-independent which means that a P4 program can be compiled for very different types of software and hardware, called P4 targets.

Network Function Virtualization

Network Functions (NFs) process network traffic and thereby provide functionality that is vital for today’s distributed networks. Examples are DPI, firewalls, load balancing or NATs. Packets traverse these functions in order to be monitored, analyzed, filtered, or processed otherwise. Traditionally, these NFs are supplied as hardware appliances that are manually set up by network operators. This involves manual configuration and wiring of the appliances. Network Function Virtualization aims to move the functionality from hardware appliances to software that can be run on COTS hardware.

Service Function Chaining

The process of chaining virtual service functions requires the configuration, deployment, and interconnection of the respective network function instances. The resulting ordered set of service functions is called a service function chain. Research in Service Function Chaining (SFC) aims to automate the process of provisioning network services as virtual service function chains.



  • Summer Term 23: Lecture Network Softwarization (Supervising & Lecturing selected chapters) & Network Security Lab (Supervising)
  • Winter Term 22/23: Internet Lab (Supervising)
  • Summer Term 22: Lecture Network Softwarization (Supervising & Lecturing selected chapters) & Internet Lab (Supervising)
  • Winter Term 21/22: Network Security Lab (Supervising)
  • Summer Term 21: Lecture Network Softwarization (Supervising & Lecturing selected chapters) & Internet Lab (Supervising)
  • Winter Term 20/21: Network Security Lab (Supervising)

Supervised Theses

  • B.Sc. Thesis: "A Web-based (Network Testbed) Configuration and Connectivity Monitor for the Internet Lab at the University of Tübingen" (2023)
  • M.Sc. Thesis: "Design und Implementierung einer Erweiterung eines eBPF-basierten SFC Proxy für Inband VNF-Telemetrie" (2023)
  • B.Sc. Thesis: "Design and Implementation of a Self-test Utility for the Internet Lab at the University of Tübingen" (2023)
  • B.Sc. Thesis: "Design of a New Experiment for the Network Security Lab: Securing BGP Routes with RPKI" (2022)
  • B.Sc. Thesis: "Implementation of a Web-Based Visualizer for Service Function Chaining Infrastructure" (2022)
  • M.Sc. Thesis: "XDP/eBPF-Based Implementation and Performance Comparison of an SFC Classifier" (2022)
  • M.Sc. Thesis: "P4-LISP: Implementation and Evaluation of a LISP Infrastructure using P4-programmable Switches" (2022)
  • M.Sc. Thesis: "Design and Implementation of an Extensible eBPF-based Proxy for SFC-unaware VNFs" (2021)

Project Work


A more powerful and flexible network for Baden-Württemberg


In order to provide end users a familiar quality of experience the underlying network has to be equipped with new innovative technologies and solutions. The state project bwNet2020+ aims to leverage new innovative approaches in order to support the expansion and modernization of the BelWü network and university networks.

Professional Activities

Reviewer for the following international journals, magazines, conferences, and workshops:

  • IEEE 22nd International Conference on High-Performance Switching and Routing (HPSR 2021)
  • 33. Edition of International Teletraffic Congress (ITC-33 2021) 
  • Conference on Networked Systems (NetSys 2021)