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CMPT 431

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Distributed Systems

2009-3 Fall semester

Instructor: Richard Vaughan
Teaching Assistant: Abbas Sadat


  • 2009.9.18: HW1 ready. Due date changed to 28/9.
  • 2009.9.14: Pages posted
  • [old news archive...]

Class schedule

  • Mon, Wed, Fri 11:30-12:20 AQ 5030
Monday is a seminar class for paper discussions. Wednesday is a lecture. Friday is for reviewing the assignments and associated tools and techniques.

Office Hours

  • Richard Vaughan: Wed, Fri 12:30-13:30 (after class) in TASC1 8009
  • Abbas Sadat (TA): Fridays in CSIL hours to be announced


An introduction to the theory and practice of distributed systems, with an emphasis on application development and middleware, rather than Operating Systems. Students will use and develop several different distributed systems.

Assignments and Grading

By assignment and project, no final exam. Assignments are: N-body simulation scale-up:

  1. data structures only [Due 28/9] 20% [sign up for a meeting here]
  2. multi-thread [Due 19/10] 20%
  3. multi-process [Due 30/10] 20%
  4. multi-host (project) [Due 30/11] 40%
Students will give project progress reports in class. Assignment code and instructions are contained in the Universe Git project:

Useful texts

The following textbook is useful, but not essential.
  1. Distributed Systems Concepts and Design, G. Coulouris, J. Dollimore, T. Kindberg, Addison-Wesley Longman, 3rd Edition 2001 or 4th Edition 2005.
  2. A reading list of research papers on this web site


CMPT 300 and 371, A minimum grade of C- is required in all prerequisite courses

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