Concepts of Distributed Systems

Fall 2006/2007

Intended for: OOTI


      This site was updated on 12 12-2006 at 13,30


NOTE: the examination schedule is out. You may modify it according to your liking provided that: a) I am not involved in discussion and b) I receive an update no later than 13.00 on Wednesday.



Slides of organization. The course represents 4 weeks of work consisting of 6 lectures (2-3 hours each), 9 presentations by students (2 students, preparing an article, 1h per presentation) and a practical assignment described in a presentation and a demo (group assignment, 2 groups in total). The course is given together with the course ‘real-time systems’ by dr. van der Stok. The practical is also the closure of the course real-time-systems. For CDS you also have to write an essay of four pages based on an article of your choice; this is the basis for a brief oral examination.

·         Lecture 1: Introduction and overview, slides

·         Lecture 2: Communication, slides

·         Lecture 3: Processes, slides

·         Lecture 4: Synchronization, slides

·         Lecture 5: Consistency & replication, slides

·         Lecture 6: Security, slides


The course is given in the same period together with the course ‘real-time systems’ by dr. van der Stok. The schedule of both courses is given here.



Instructions and hints for the presentations and the essays. Please read, and again while you are working on it.

I expect to have two groups presenting on a meeting, so prepare for 45 minutes + questions, per topic.


Assignments for presentations:

The articles and links here represent starting points for a presentation. Some articles are a subject in themselves and the presentation will focus on just that article. Other articles represent a system and are more an overview. Such an article is usually more on the surface (also: easier to read) and the presentation requires that you also look at related articles. Therefore, the following list is based on the subject that the presentation should have. The idea of the presentations is to have a system as the topic.


Here is last years list, I am updating this. However, topic-wise it will not change very much.



The essay, which is due on December 1 should be on a different topic than the presentation. The idea is that each of you proposes a research paper on some distributed systems topic. The essay that you write takes the form of a review of the paper, as described in the slides with the hints on presentation. The names and topics will be published here. The papers must be proposed to me by November 13.



My feedback on the presentations is intended to help you improve. You should not regard it as just criticism. It also does not mean that my presentations are perfect. It will be published on the links below.

·        16-11

·        22-11

·        30-11



J.J. Lukkien HG 5.07, tel.: 5147



·        The essay

·        The practical exercise rounds up both courses: real-time systems and this one. The exercise is done in two groups and will be finished with a demo and a presentation.

·        For CDS I will have meetings with people and have a discussion on

o       topics in the book

o       your essay

o        your presentations

The course must be finished this year. It is not allowed to let things pile up into subsequent courses. Seek a balance between the level of your work and investment of time – enough is enough.


·         See the information in the slides

·         For the essays – restrict yourself to last year:

1.      look in the following IEEE journals: internet computing, parallel and distributed technology, pervasive computing, mobile computing, transactions on parallel and distributed systems, transactions on networking

2.      in addition: Distributed Computing, Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, Parallel Computing

3.      check ACM / IEEE conferences on subjects. Don’t forget peer-to-peer.

·         For clocks, see also P.K. Sinha, Distributed Operating Systems - Concepts and Design, Ch. 6

·         The overview article on clocks, by Ramanathan

·         Lamports article on logical clocks

·         A directory with papers on clock synchronization

·         Chandy and Lamport’s article on distributed snapshots

·         Theses on load balancing, one, and another one

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