CSC3121 : Distributed Systems
- Offered for Year: 2017/18
- Module Leader(s): Dr Paul Ezhilchelvan
- Teaching Assistant: Mr Matthew Collison
- Owning School: Computing
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||10|
To explain how concepts and techniques from computer networking, operating systems, and object-oriented programming can be combined to develop distributed systems. The course will cover the underlying theory of event ordering, logical and physical clocks, and then the practical aspects of distributed system structuring using the client-server approach.
Outline Of Syllabus
Structuring distributed applications: using client-server and remote procedure calls; also how atomic transactions, with their \'ACID\' properties provide a reliable way of sharing of information; design challenges in remote procedure calls and in realizing ACID properties; the solutions commonly deployed to address these challenges, together with their conceptual underpinnings (7 weeks).
Ordering of events: using logical and physical clocks.(2.5 weeks).
Alternative approaches to concurrency control in ACID realisations: timestamp ordering. (1.5 weeks).
Practical aspects: analysing a distributed system design and designing a total order delivery system.
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||22||1:00||22:00||Lecture follow-up|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||22||1:00||22:00||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||26||0:30||13:00||Revision for end of semester exam & exam duration|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||11||1:00||11:00||Practicals|
|Guided Independent Study||Project work||11||1:00||11:00||Coursework|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||21||1:00||21:00||Background reading|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Techniques and theory are presented in lectures. Two pieces of coursework seek to provide students with the experience of applying concepts and algorithms in solving challenging design problems. Developers from local middleware companies may be invited to offer seminars on how taught concepts are applied in practice.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Practical/lab report||1||M||8||Investigating & criticising a given system design for an application scenario. 4 pages.|
|Practical/lab report||1||M||12||Building a vital service of ordered message delivery to multiple computers. 4 pages.|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The method of examination is designed to test the students' possession of knowledge as well as understanding of the concepts and techniques that underpin the organisation of distributed computing.
Coursework 1 will emphasise the importance of causal order related issues in the design of distributed systems. It describes an application scenario and requires the student to reason why the system design is flawed.
Coursework 2 will enable the students to appreciate the use of logical (not physical) clocks in building a vital service of ordered message delivery to multiple computers, without having to know the bound on message communication delays.
Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in the MOF.
N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.