Department and Course Number: cs 499

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Department and Course Number: CS 499

Course Title: Introduction to Distributed Computing

Total Credits: 4

Course Coordinator: Daisy F. Sang, Professor of Computer Science

Last Update: October 7, 2003

Current Catalog Description

Distributed computation models. Network architecture and internetworking. Distributed objects and remote invocation. Synchronization and distributed algorithms. Processes and threads. Transaction and distributed file servers. Case studies. 4 lectures/problem-solving. Prerequisite: CS 241 with grades of C or better, or consent of instructor.


G Coulouris, J Dollimore, T Kindberg, Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design. Third Edition. Addison-Wesley, 2001


H Attiya, and J Welch, Distributed Computing: Fundamentals, Simulations and Advanced Topics. McGraw Hill, 1998.

N Lynch, Distributed Algorithms. Morgan Kaufmann, 1996.

G Tel, Introduction to Distributed Algorithms. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

J Farley, Java Distributed Computing. O'Reilly, 1998.


A recognition of the complexity involved with developing communication software systems. An overall perspective of key distributed programming concepts, techniques, and tools. An introduction to distributed algorithms, synchronization, communications and transactions.

Prerequisites by Topic

Data Structures and Algorithms

Programming Proficiency

Basic Operating Systems

Basic Computer Systems


Characterizations of distributed systems (2 hours)

Distributed computation models (2 hours)

Network architectures (2 hours)

TCP and UDP (2 hours)

Internet addressing (2 hours)

Java socket programming (4 hours)

Distributed objects and remote invocation (2 hours)

Broadcast, convergecast, leader election (4 hours)

Routing algorithms (4 hours)

Mutual exclusion (2 hours)

Distributed Agreement (2 hours)

Network File System (NFS) (2 hours)

Domain Name System (DNS) (2 hours)

Object replication and consistency control (2 hours)

Recovery and Fault Tolerance (4 hours)

Laboratory Projects

Implementation of a two-way chat application consisting of a server and multiple clients. Java socket-based communication was used. (2 week)

Implementation of a distributed bank with a set of branches. TCP was used for communication between branch server objects and branch GUI objects. (2 week)

Implementation of a distributed bank with message logs for recovery from branch server fail stop failure. (3 weeks)

CSAB Category Content



Theoretical Foundations


Data Structures

Software Design

Programming Concepts

Computer Architecture

Theoretical Content

Formal message passing network model and distributed algorithms are covered. Fundamental distributed algorithmic problems include broadcast, convergecast, election, resource allocation, mutual exclusion, deadlock detection, consensus and clock synchronization. Complexity measures such as communication complexity and time complexity for distributed algorithms are used for worst-case analysis.


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Department and Course Number: cs 499 iconThe Short Textbook of Medical Microbiology : [textbook]/ Satish Gupte. 9th ed. New Delhi : Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd., 2006. 509 p
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