Problems in Distributed Computing (182.703)

Unfortunately, the Corona regulations for WS 2020 at TU Wien are such that even Master-level courses cannot be taught regularly, unless exceptional circumstances can be claimed. My negative experiences with some other courses, which had to be converted into online classes on the fly in SS 2020, proved that advanced Master-level courses like mine just cannot be taught remotely. Consequently, I need to apologize for not being able to teach PRDC in WS 2020, unless there is pressing demand. Please let me know by email if this is the case.


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 personally 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 the available topics:

  1. Fault-tolerant distributed algorithms
  2. Knowledge in distributed computing
  3. Dynamic networks
  4. Distributed algorithms for integrated circuits

You will find a complete list here.

Homework will be assigned in the lectures ("Food for Thoughts" in the slides provided in the schedule below).

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 normally be every Wednesday from 12:15-13:45, but see the schedule below for occasional exceptions.








Tue   8.10.2019 14:15   Introduction Lecture: Short Introduction to Distributed Algorithms Schmid Slides
Thu   17.10.2019 16:15   Lecture: Short Introduction to Distributed Algorithms Schmid  
Wed   23.10.2019 12:15   Lecture: Digital Modeling of Asynchronous Integrated Circuits - part 1 Schmid  Slides
Wed 30.10.2019 13:15 Lecture: Digital Modeling of Asynchronous Integrated Circuits - part 2
Wed   6.11.2019 12:15   Lecture: Advanced Topics in Distributed Algorithms (Randomization) Schmid  Slides
Wed 13.11.2019 12:15 Lecture: Advanced Topics in Distributed Algorithms (Self-Stabilization)
Wed   20.11.2019 12:15   Lecture: Synchrony and Time in FT Distributed Algorithms - part 1 Schmid  Slides
Wed   27.11.2019 12:15   Lecture: Synchrony and Time in FT Distributed Algorithms - part 2    
Wed   04.12.2019 12:15   Introduction, assignment and scheduling of students presentations Schmid  
Wed   11.12.2019 12:15   Lecture: Epistemic Logic and Algebraic Topology Schmid Slides
Wed   18.12.2019 12:15   Students session [MHD86] Nielsen
Wed   8.1.2020 12:15  

Students session [WSS19]


Students session [SWS16]

Wed   15.1.2020 12:15  

Students session [BM14]

Wed   22.1.2020 12:15  

Students session [HMSZ09]

Wed 29.1.2020 12:15

Students session [DFLPS16]





Some useful links for finding scientific papers: