CS 587: Advanced Operating Systems

Valid HTML

Last modified: Tue Mar 24 10:52:20 MST 1998
Barney Maccabe
Office hoursMWF 10-12


Distributed Operating Systems and Algorithms
by Randy Chow and Theodore Johnson
Addison Wesley, 1997


Date TopicReadingNotes
1/19 Martin Luther King Day (no class)    
1/21 Introduction/Overview Chapter 1 Overview, Chapter 1
1/26 Parallel and Distributed Systems Chapter 2 Parallel and Distributed Systems, Chapter 2
1/28 Kernel Design Strategies   Kernel Design
2/2 Processes and Threads 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 Threads
2/4 Time Services and Synchronization Mechanisms 3.4 and 3.5 Time, Synchronization and languages
2/9 Concurrent and Distributed Programming 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8  
2/11 Message Passing and RPC 4.1 and 4.2 Message Passing, RPC
2/16 Transactions and Name Services 4.3 and 4.4 Transactions
2/18 Mutual Exclusion and Elections 4.5 and 4.6 Distributed Algorithms
2/23 Distributed Scheduling 5.1, and 5.2 Scheduling
2/25 Dynamic Load Balancing 5.3  
3/2 Implementing Distributed Processes 5.4 and 5.5 Distributed Process, Real-time
3/4 Slack    
3/9 Review    
3/11 Midterm Exam    
3/16 Spring Break (no class)    
3/18 Spring Break (no class)    
3/23 Distributed File Systems 6.1 and 6.2 Distributed File Systems
3/25 Transactions and Replication 6.3 and 6.4  
3/30 NUMA and Consistency Models 7.1 and 7.2  
4/1 Caching and DSM 7.3 and 7.4  
4/6 Implementing DSM 7.5  
4/8 Discretionary Access Control 8.1 and 8.2  
4/13 Mandatory Control and Cryptography 8.3 and 8.4  
4/15 Authentication and Key Distribution 8.5 and 8.6  
4/20 Causality 9.1 and 9.2  
4/22 Synchronization and Election 10.1 and 10.2  
4/27 Distributed Agreement 11.1 and 11.2  
4/29 Replicated Data Management 12.1 and 12.2  
5/4 Slack    
5/6 Review    
5/13 Final Exam (5:30-7:30 pm)    


PercentDue date
Homework 15% various
Glossary 10% 4/27/98
Term Paper 20% 5/4/98
Midterm Exam 20% 3/11/98
Final Exam 35% 5/13/98


There will be two exams during the semester. Both exams will have an in-class part and either may have a take-home portion. The midterm exam will be given on Wednesday, March 11 (the class meeting just prior to Spring Break). The final exam will be given in the regularly scheduled exam period on Wednesday, May 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 in the evening. The midterm exam will count 20% of your grade while the final exam will count 35% of your grade.



Homework assignments will be made throughout the semester. These will count 15% toward your grade.

Homework assignments are to be completed on an individual basis. You are welcome to discuss the material with other people; however, the homework solutions must be your own.

All homework assignments must be turned in using email.


Each student is required to a glossary that provides definitions for 30-35 terms related to distributed operating systems. These should be terms that were unfamiliar to you before the start of this class. Your definitions should be short (a couple of sentences) and should reference related terms.

The glossaries are due before the start of class on Monday, April 27 and will count for 10% of your grade. Like the homework assignments, glossaries must be completed on an individual basis and must be turned in using email.

Term Paper

Each student is required to write a 10-15 (typeset, single spaced, with standard margins) page paper that surveys one aspect of current research in operating systems. The paper should present your interpretation of the approaches taken by at least two related research activities (i.e., approaches taken by two different research groups.). If there are more than two groups working on the problem, you should briefly mention the approaches taken by all groups, but do not need to give in-depth coverage to more than two groups.

Each term paper is to be written by an individual student. I am primarily interested in your interpretation of the research. All quoted material (whether taken from a Web site or paper) must be appropriately attributed. Moreover, quoted material should be used appropriately. That is, quoted material should not constitute a significant portion of your paper.

You are required to turn in a one page summary of your term paper by March 30, 1998. This summary should include a brief description of the research activity that you plan to survey along with citations for six reference materials (a mix of published papers and Web sites).

Using email

You are to use email to turn in any take-home portions of exams, homework assignments, your glossary, and your term paper. If you need (or want) to use anything other than plain text, you must use Postscript which can be viewed using ghostview.


Every student is required to turn in a term paper. In addition, all students must attend the final exam (or have an appropriately signed medical excuse). Failure to meet these requirements will result in a failing grade for the class.

If a student misses the in-class portion of the midterm exam, the student's grade on the in-class portion of the final exam will be in place of the grade for the in-class portion of the midterm exam.

Missing homework or glossary will result in lost points.

Late homework assignments or glossaries will not be accepted.

Any changes to these policies will be announced in class and posted to the Web page.