Last Modified: September 3, 2001

CS 587 Advanced Operating Systems - Fall 2001

Instructor Information

Instructor: Barney Maccabe
Office: EECE 236B
Phone: (505) 277-6504
FAX: (505) 277-6927
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-4:30 and by appointment

Changing Pages

I plan to keep this page fairly static. Topics that are expected to change have been moved to their own pages to make them easier to track.

General Policies

If you miss a class for any reason, you should check with other students in the class for any handouts. I will not keep copies of handouts (my office is already enough of a mess!)

Most of the activities in this class are to be done on an individual basis; however, you are encouraged to discuss the papers that you read and the home work assignments with each other. The line between acceptable and unacceptable collaboration is necessarily vague. The key point is that you are to write up your own solutions homework and you own reviews. My recommended strategy is to discontinue discussion once you have started writing your solution set for a homework assignment or reviews for a paper.

Email content, whether directed to the class mailing list or me personally, should be plain text (no html, please). Attachments must be postscript (viewable in ghostview, gv) or pdf (viewable in acroread).

Printed copies of homework solutions, project reports and your term paper may be placed in my department mailbox (on the first floor of FEC), at my office (EECE 236B), or at the start of class on the due date.

Mailing List information

The class mailing list will be used for announcements related to the class. To subscribe to the class mailing list, visit the following Web page:

Web Resources

Links to relevant sites will be added to this part of the page from time to time throughout the semester.

The Web page for the text book is here.


Coulouris, Dollimore, and Kindberg; Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design, 3rd Edition; Addison-Wesley, 2001

Student Photos

Grading and Activities

Activity Percentage Expected Number Basis
Exams 25% two exams:
a midterm exam on October 10th and
a final exam on December 13th
Quizes 10% 6 to 10 individual
Homework 10% 5 to 8 individual
Projects 15% 4 to 6 2-3 people
Reviews 15% 5 to 8 individual
Term Paper 25% one, approval by 10/19, final paper due 11/20 individual

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change the relative weighting should there be a substantial change in the expected number for any of the activities.


The two exams will be administered in-class and closed-book. They will focus on the reading material (text book and papers assigned for review) covered to the date of the exam.

The midterm exam will function as a buffer. If your grade on the final exam is better than you grade on the midterm, the midterm grade will be discarded. Otherwise, your midterm grade will constitute 40% of your exam score. If you miss the midterm exam for any reason, your final exam grade will be used for your exam score.

All students are required to take the final exam.


Quizes will be adminstered in-class, closed-book and at the start of class. They will not be announced prior to the quiz, and may cover any ofthe reading material assigned to the date of the quiz.


Homework assignments will be made from exercises in the text. While you are welcome to discuss the exercises with each other, you must write you own solution to the exercises.

Homework assignments will be announced on class mailing list and on the homework Web page. Each homework assignment will have a due date at the time the assignment is announced. Late solutions will not be accepted.

You may also submit your homework solutions through email.


Projects must be completed in small groups of 2-3 people; moreover, you must not work with the same person on more than two projects. The deliverable for each project is a short report, 1-4pages including graphs, illustrations and code fragments.


Reviews of papers should be not more than 1000 words and must be submitted using email in plain text (no attachments!).

Your review should summarize the technical content of the paper.

Term Paper

In the term paper you will contrast the approaches taken by two or three active research groups working on closely related projects. An example might be to contrast the approach taken by the Legion project at the University of Virginia to the approach taken in the Globus project leadby Argonne National Laboratories.

Before you begin the final stage of your term paper, you must have the subject of your paper approved. To get your topic approved, you must write a short (1-2 paragraphs) description of the projects you intend to compare and supply at least five references (no more than two Web based references). You must have your topic approved by October 19th.

While you are welcome to use relevant quotes from the available literature; however, you should use them sparingly. Your report should reflect your comparison of the research projects.

Your final paper should be 15-20 typeset, double spaced, pages including references and illustrations. This paper is due at the start of class on November 20th.