Course syllabus

Distribuerade system fk.

2021, LP3 – 7.5 hec (hp)
TDA297 (CTH), DIT290 (GU)

Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University

Course Examiner and responsible for the course:

Philippas Tsigas, tsigas [at] chalmers [dot] se

Course Assistants:

  • Dimitrios Palyvos-Giannas [Homework Assignment and Lab2], palyvos [at] chalmers [dot] se
  • Hannaneh Najdataei [Lab 1], hannajd [at] chalmers [dot] se
  • Deepak Desai, desaid [at] chalmers [dot] se

TAs  office hours for assistance on the assignments:

Every group has to (MANDATORY) book a slot for Lab 1 from the provided times in the course calendar. Only one group can pick the same time slot as there will be one TA available.

IMPORTANT: To participate in the lab sessions, you need to choose a time slot no later than January, the 31st. If you do not choose a time slot by then, your group will be assigned to an empty time slot.


Course Hours/Place:

The course starts on Monday, January 18th.
See also the Course Schedule. Note that it might be subject to changes during the course so check it regularly.

Programming assignments:

All programming assignments are to be done in groups of 2.
  • 1st Assignment is due 21st of February 2021
  • A small programming assignment in Data Stream Processing is due 12th of March 2021

Homework assignment:

The homework assignment is to be done in groups of 2. There are multiple deadlines for this assignment and the first one (paper selection) is due 31st of  January 2021. More information here.

  • List 1 Presentations (2020-02-11, 13.00-15.40): Zoom Link
  • List 2 Presentations (2020-03-08, 13.00-17:00: Zoom Link
  • List 1 Presentations (2020-03-09, 09:00-12:00): Zoom Link


We will use the Fifth Edition of the book titled "Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design" written by: George Coulouris, Jean Dollimore, Tim Kindberg and Gordon Blair, and published by Addison-Wesley, ISBN-10: 0132143011, ISBN-13: 9780132143011. For special themes we will use additional literature items (scientific papers), which will be specified/distributed during the course and, whenever possible, will be made available via the webpage of the course.


The slides and the recordings of the lectures will be published gradually after each lecture in the Course Schedule and in the respective Documents folder.
For more slides from last year, see the Files.

Reading Material:

For the exam you have to study:

  • Chapters: 15, 17, 18 5th edition of the Coulouris et al. book. If you have not studied "Transactions and Concurrency Control" before study chapter 16th also.
  • Chapter 1, 3 and 5 of the Master's Thesis.
  • Marc Shapiro, Nuno Pregui¸ca, Carlos Baquero, Marek Zawirski. Conflict-free Replicated Data Types. [Research Report] RR-7687, 2011, (

Reading material for the homework assignment can be found here. Also, you can find some old exams here.

Course Description

Distributed systems is a popular and powerful computing paradigm. Their importance increases as networked computers become more common than free-standing ones, especially since many different types of computers can be found in networks.

In this course we will see the points of inherent difference and strength of distributed systems compared with sequential or strongly-coupled systems; consequently, we will also study the issues and problems that have to be addressed and solved efficiently for these differences to be taken advantage of, so that the system retains its strength and high potential.

In particular, we will address and study the following issues in distributed systems:

  1. Synchronization: Continuation (after the course "Distributed Systems I") of the study of distributed clock-synchronization and its uses in mutual exclusion; study about resource allocation in general. Advance one step further, to see how to get solutions without the need for clock synchronization (and hence of lower cost in practice).
  2. Replication: The advantages and costs of replicating data: the potential improvement in response times and reliability, and the extra communication costs involved in keeping data consistent.
  3. Fault-tolerant Agreement in Distributed Systems: (a very special and significant problem, since it is a key issue in most synchronization and coordination problems in distributed systems) Study of the basic impossibility results and discuss their implications; proceed with solutions and protocols for systems with certain strengths and design structures.
  4. Resource allocation.
  5. Analysis and Design of Distributed Algorithms
  6. Data Streaming

Course Evaluation

A team of students representing the GU-CS students, the CTH International Master's program students, and the "local" CTH students is formed. The team's task is to:
- provide feedback from students
- take part in mid- and final-evaluation meetings
- write meeting minutes; and
- together with the teacher compile the final evaluation report.

The team is initially comprised of the following students (If you want to join lets us know. The list will be finalized during the first week of the course):

Course summary:

Date Details Due