Problems in Distributed Computing (182.703)



Advanced knowledge in the area of fault-tolerant distributed algorithms; improved skills for developing mathematical correctness proofs and performance analyses; practice in reading scientific papers in the area of distributed algorithms.

ECTS breakdown (4.5 ECTS = 112.5 hours):

15h           Introductory lectures
20h           Solution of homework assignments
10h           Student sessions
67.5h        Paper reading



System and failure models, advanced concepts in distributed algorithms (ranodmization, self-stabilization, epistemics, etc.), advanced proof techniques.


Ulrich Schmid




This course is devoted to selected advanced topics in distributed algorithms, and builds on prerequisite knowledge and skills established in 182.073 Verteilte Algorithmen (or similar).

Enrolling takes place in the first lecture (see the schedule below).

The course gives an overview on advanced topics in distributed computing, with a more detailed treatment of some selected topics detailed below. In addition to a number of overview lectures, which are complemented by some homework assignments, these topics are primarily dealt with in plenary discussion sessions led by the students. Every plenary discussion will be devoted to (part of) a seminal scientific paper, which must be read by all participants in advance. The leading student has to give a presentation of the most important parts of the paper (using slides or blackboard), to stimulate and lead discussions, and to answer questions by the other participants and the instructor.

Please note that attendance is mandatory; please let one of the instructors know about unusual circumstances prohibiting attendance in advance, and clear all excused (= to be certified) absences with him as well.


Grading is primarily based on the assessment of:

  • The quality of your homework solutions (35%): Please turn in solutions to at least three problem sets ("food for thoughts") during the semester (just email them to the instructor); turning in more may improve your grade.
  • The quality of your presentation and discussion leadership (55%)
  • Your participation in the discussion sessions and in the lectures (10%).


Papers can be chosen from several topics:

  1. Fault-tolerant distributed algorithms
  2. Knowledge in distributed computing
  3. Dynamic networks

You will find suggestions for particular papers here.

Homework will be assigned in the lectures ("Food for Thoughts").

SCHEDULE (permanently under construction ...)

All lectures take place in the library of the Embedded Computing Systems Group E182/2 (room DE0258, Treitlstraße 3, 2nd floor); the lectures will be offered in a hybrid format (Zoom). The lectures will normally be every Tuesday from 14:15-15:45, but see the schedule below for occasional exceptions.








Slides ZOOM
Tue   5.10.2021 14:15   Course Introduction Schmid Slides Zoom
Tue   12.10.2021 14:15   Lecture: Short Introduction to Distributed Algorithms Schmid  
Tue   19.10.2021 14:15   Lecture: Advanced Topics in Distributed Algorithms (Randomization) Schmid  Slides
Tue 9.11.2021 14:15 Lecture: Advanced Topics in Distributed Algorithms (Self-Stabilization)
Tue   16.11.2021 14:15   Lecture: Synchrony and Time in FT Distributed Algorithms - part 1 Schmid  Slides
Tue   23.11.2021 14:15   Lecture: Synchrony and Time in FT Distributed Algorithms - part 2    
Tue 30.11.2021 14:15 Lecture: Distributed Algorithms in VLSI Schmid  Slides
Tue   7.12.2021 14:15   Introduction, assignment and scheduling of students presentations Schmid  
Tue   14.12.2021 14:15   Lecture: Epistemic Logic and Algebraic Topology Schmid  Slides
Wed   11.1.2022 14:15  

Students session

Wed   18.1.2022 14:15  

Students session

Wed   25.1.2022 14:15  

Students session





Some useful links for finding scientific papers: