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Computer Engineering MA, Distributed Systems, 9 credits

General data

Code: DT050A
Subject/Main field: Datateknik
Cycle: Second cycle
Credits: 9
Progressive specialization: A1N - Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Answerable department: Information Systems and Technology
Answerable faculty: Faculty of Science, Technology and Media
Established: 2/14/2018
Date of change: 3/13/2018
Version valid from: 7/1/2018


This course aims to give both basic and enhanced knowledge regarding the architectures of distributed systems, as well as the methods for constructing these types of systems. In particular, the course deals with distributed system design, the problems they solve, and their implementations. Approached from an analytical and algorithmic point of view as well as a research and development perspective. Including models for distributed systems and common algorithms, techniques for interprocess communication, replication, synchronization, consistency, fault tolerance and security.

Course objectives

The student should after completed course be able to:
- Describe distributed systems and their potential advantages
- Explain and describe the properties of a well-structured dynamic distributed system
- Contrast distributed systems against other systems, including how they affect each other
- Describe existing distributed applications and design new ones
- Develop and implementing a secure, reliable, and efficient distributed system
- Evaluate existing systems with consideration of communication and security


- Overview of distributed systems and existing applications
- Communication, co-ordination, and synchronization within distributed systems
- Distributed clock, logic time, and global states
- Naming in distributed systems
- Consistency and replication
- Distributed transaction and interprocess communication
- Reliable group communication and fault tolerance

Entry requirements

90 credits finished courses, with at least 60 credits in Computer Engineering BA (ABC), including 15 credits programming and 6 credits computer networks.

Selection rules and procedures

The selectionprocess is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

The course consists of a series of lectures, laboratory exercises, study assignments and student seminars. The lectures present the necessary background theory and knowledge. In the laboratory exercises, the students’ knowledge and skills are put to the test by a series of implementation challenges. In the study assignments, the students will create a deeper understanding of the theory and existing literature. Finally, in the seminars the students will do discussions and case studies of either existing distributed systems or existing research on distributed systems, as well as presenting it to their peers. Only a small part of the work time required for completing the study assignments, laboratory exercises, and seminars will be scheduled. Depending on the programming skill level of the student, the work effort is estimated to 240 hours of work.

Examination form

3.0 credits, L101: Laboratory, written and oral presentation
Grades: Pass or Fail

3.0 credits, S101: Seminars, written and oral presentation
Grades: Pass or Fail

3.0 hp, I101: Written assignment
Grades: Pass or Fail

The final grade is based on all parts of the course.

Grading criteria for the subject can be found at

The examiner has the right to offer alternative examination arrangements to students who have been granted the right to special support by Mid Sweden University’s disabilities adviser.

Grading system

The grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F are given on the course. On this scale the grades A through E represent pass levels, whereas Fx and F represent fail levels.

Course reading

Reference literature

Author: Brendan Burns
Title: Designing Distributed Systems
Comment: ISBN 9781491983645

Author: George F. Coulouris, Jean Dollimore
Title: Distributed Systems. Concepts and Design
Comment: ISBN 9780273760597

Author: Maarten Van Steen, Andrew S. Tanenbaum
Title: Distributed Systems, principles and paradigms
Comment: ISBN 9781543057386