Distributed Systems (CS 403)

2021 Fall
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Computer Sci.& Eng.(CS)
6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Süha Orhun Mutluergil suha.mutluergil@sabanciuniv.edu,
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Formal lecture,Laboratory
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This course focuses on the design, implementation and management of distributed computing systems. Topics include: naming, security, reliability, resource sharing , and remote execution; network protocol issues above the transport level; electronic mail; network and distributed file systems, and databases; handling transactions and coordination of multiple machines.


The main objective of this course is to study the fundamentals of distributed systems. It focuses on the layer of software that needs to be built on top of computer networks to enable the development of distributed applications.


Explain what a distributed system is, why a computer system should be designed as a distributed system, and what the desired properties of such systems (transparency, scalability, openness) are.
List the principles underlying the functioning of distributed systems, identify the problems and challenges associated with these principles.
Explain properties of distributed algorithms.
Explain different software architectures used in distributed systems (e.g., client-server, multi-tier, peer-to-peer, structured, unstructured, object-based, data-centered).
Design and build distributed system software using both basic OS mechanisms (e.g., primitives for communication, multi-threading, concurrency etc.) and/or higher-level middleware services (e.g., RPC, RMI, message passing, queuing systems, etc.) .
Develop distributed programs that communicate via remote method invocation (RMI) or equivalent communication technologies.
Explain the importance of efficient naming schemes in distributed systems
Identify possible coordination problems in a distributed system and describe appropriate solutions to them
Describe how consistency and replication affect distributed system design, identify possible resulting problems and corresponding solutions
Explain what fault tolerance is, why it is needed in distributed systems
Identify the security problems in distributed systems, list a set of security primitives that can be utilized in addressing security issues distributed systems such as access control, delegation, authentication, authorization


  Percentage (%)
Final 30
Midterm 20
Assignment 30
Participation 20



Andrew S. Tanenbaum and Maarten van Steen. Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms, 3rd Edition, 2017, ISBN: 978-15-430573-8-6


- George Cloulouris, Jean Dollimore, and Tim Kindberg. Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design, 5th Edition, Pearson, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-13-214301-1.
- Sukumar Ghosh, Distributed Systems: An Algorithmic Approach, Second Edition, Chapman & Hall/CRC, Computer and Information Science Series, 2014, ISBN 978-1466552975.