Architecture of Distributed Systems (2IMN10)

Academic year 2017/2018, Semester A, Quarter 1

See also CANVAS for information. Eventually, the information on this page will migrate to CANVAS. "For the time being, in case of inconsistencies THIS PAGE will be decisive.

General information

Target audience:
Business Information Systems (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Optional
Computer Science & Engineering (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Optional
Cyber Physical Systems (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Optional
EIT ICT labs Embedded Systems (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 2)   Optional
Embedded Networking (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Mandatory
Embedded Software (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Optional
Embedded Systems (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Mandatory
Software Science (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Optional
System Science (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Mandatory
Web Science (Graduate School)   Master's degree program (year 1)   Optional
Dr. R.H. Mak, MF. 6.067, tel. 3719, (expertise group SAN,
Prior knowledge:
2IP25 - Software engineering (recommended)


This page will be updated regularly during the lecturing season. The table below contains all updates. The most recent ones are indicated in color.

Answers to the exam of January 25, 2018 available.
Answers to the exam of November 9, 2017 available.
Course material w.r.t. mandatory book sections updated
No lecture on Friday, October 27.
Deadline Essay extended to Monday, October 30 at 23:59.
Slides lecture on CBSE available.
Slides lecture on Replication available.
Essay assignment available. Deadline Friday, October 27 at Midnight.
Slides lecture on Scalability available.
Slides lecture on Quality Attributes available.
Deadline homework assignment 2 moved to Wednesday, October 11.
Slides with answers to homework assignment H1 available.
Results of homework assignment 1 available in CANVAS.
Slides lecture on Naming available.
New version slides lecture on Interaction styles available.
Homework Assignment 2 available.
Slides lecture on Interaction styles available.
Slides lecture on Architectural styles available.
NO LECTURE on Friday, September 15
Homework Assignment 1 available.
Example for Homework Assignment 1 available.
Slides Introduction UML available.
Slides Introduction lecture on architecture available.
Slides Introduction lecture on distributed systems available.
Course outline slides available.
Last change: Jan 29 2018, 13:43


Course material:
Maarten van Steen; Andrew S. Tanenbaum (third edition, version 01)
Distributed systems

A free copy of the above book should be obtainable from the web-site (I have not tried this :-) ).
In case you already own a copy of the previous edition of this book that will do as well.

Andrew S. Tanenbaum; Maarten Van Steen (second edition)
Distributed systems Principles and Paradigms ,
Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007.

that will suffice as well.

Powerpoint presentations in pdf-format (and as slideshow if relevant)

DayDate HourLocation Remarks Homework
WednesdaySeptember 6 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
FridaySeptember 8 3 + 4Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
WednesdaySeptember 13 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal Hand out HW1
FridaySeptember 15 3 + 4Traverse Dorgelozaal CANCELED
WednesdaySeptember 20 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal Hand in HW1
FridaySeptember 22 3 + 4Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
WednesdaySeptember 27 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal Hand out H2
FridaySeptember 29 3 + 4Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
WednesdayOctober 4 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
FridayOctober 6 3 + 4Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
WednesdayOctober 11 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal Hand in H2
FridayOctober 13 3 + 4Traverse Dorgelozaal Hand out Essay
WednesdayOctober 18 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
FridayOctober 20 3 + 4Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
WednesdayOctober 25 7 + 8Traverse Dorgelozaal ---
FridayOctober 27 3 + 4 No lecture ---
MondayOctober 30 23:59 Hand-in Essay


At the end of the quart, on Thursday, November 9 (13:30 - 16:30) there will be a written exam.
Furthermore, you will have to make a series of homework assignments and write an essay on a research paper.
Homework assignments and the essay may be done in groups of three students, to be registered in CANVAS.
Grades for homework and essay obtained in previous academic years are null and void.

Your final grade will be based on

Moreover, your score for each part has to be at least 4.0.

For the written exam part there will be a re-exam on Thursday, January 25, 2018 (18:00 - 21:00 !!!) .
For the essay and homework there will be no second opportunity offered.
The results obtained for essay and homework can be combined with either the regular written exam or the reexam.
If you take both the regular written exam and the re-exam, the highest score will count.

Answers to this year's exams

For the answers to the exam of November 9, 2017 see here.
For the answers to the exam of January 25, 2018 see here.


For this course you will be assigned obligatory homework. Your answers should be written in English and should be handed in as a pdf-file via CANVAS.
Ensure that your work is registered for all members of your group.
Furthermore, ensure that you identify your work appropriately, i.e., choose a traceable filename, e.g., "2IMN10_HW<nmb>_<author1>_<author2>_<author3>.pdf".
In addition the pdf-file itself should contain a title page with your names and student identity numbers.

Handout and deadlines will be arranged via CANVAS.

Anwers to exercises:


For the final assignment of the course, the essay (30% of the final grade), you must choose one out of the following three topics:

  1. Scalability of Google technologies
  2. Highly available data stores
  3. Architecture of massive multiplayer online games
Students that follow this course as a reprise of course (2IMN10) in 2016-2017 and that handed in an essay then, MUST CHOOSE A DIFFERENT TOPIC this year. This holds for ALL students of a group. If this presents a problem consult the responsible lecturer.
The outcome of the assignment is a research paper of at most 10 pages (not counting larger diagrams or cover page), which should start with a half page abstract.
See the schedule for the deadline for handing in your essay.

In view of prior experience, mind the guidelines below. In particular, pay attention to the remarks concerning copying literature: --- copying without proper indication about what is copied will be considered fraud ---

Mind the following aspects: Since the essay is handed out before the end of the lecture series, it might be convenient to browse the slides of forthcoming lectures to get an idea of how to address certain concerns in your essay (e.g. ). For this purpose, these slides will be made available in advance, although updates may become available later.

Some previous exams with solutions

Beware that answers to questions, especially in the older exams, contain references to slides of slide sets that have been modified since. So the answer you are looking for may, in fact, not be on the indicated slide. With a little additional search effort, however, you should be able to find a corresponding slide in the current slide sets.



Besides the obligatory book (either one of the two below)

the following books are recommended

Remarks regarding this page can be sent to R.H. Mak