Seminar in Computer Science 236806 (Winter 98/99)

Recent research in Distributed Computing

Instructor: Hagit Attiya
Time: Thursday 10:30-12:30
Place: Fishbach 461

The seminar concentrates on recent papers on the principles of distributed systems.  Special attention will be given to papers in two topics:

  • Better modeling of the underlying architecture; for example, new, refined complexity measures taking contention into account. These new models and measures give better predictions of algorithms’ performance on actual systems.
  • Development of a basic theory unifying diverse theoretical models, concentrating on what is computable in a distributed system, ignoring specific communication mechanisms.

Previous knowledge of distributed algorithms is necessary (see here).

The first two lectures will be given by the instructor, and will overview some of the topics we plan to cover.  They are based on a mini-course given before PODC/SPAA ’98.

Grading policy: 

Most of the grade is based on a class presentation (approximately 70%), see more details below.  The rest of the grade is based on class participation, and a small number of home assignments.

Class participation:

You are expected to show up in almost all lectures.

Your presentation:

Students will have to give a class presentation on a topic (from this list) in pairs.  Each pair will present a single lecture.  You will be required to:

  • Prepare material to hand out to the students at the start of your lecture.
  • Given one lecture (both members of the pair should be prepared to talk).
  • After the lecture, write a typed summary of your lecture (approximately 10 pages).
  • Suggest at least one homework question about your topic.  Based on these questions, I will create home assignments (about 2-3 assignments).
  • Lectures will be given according to the planned order.
  • Be prepared to give your lecture at least one week ahead of your planned slot!

Slides for more of the presentation can be found via thes list of topics.

Choosing a topic: 

Please send me email within a week (by 29.10.98) with your first and second priority.  Enclose your full names as well as e-mail addresses, and tell me about your time constraints (miluim, exams, weddings, trips to New Zealand, etc.).