spring 2013
INF-3203 Advanced Distributed Systems - 10 ECTS

Type of course

The course can be taken as a singular master's-level course.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements: Higher Education Entrance Requirement + Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or similar education. The Bachelor degree must contain a specialization in Computer Science worth the equivalent of not less than 80 ECTS credits.
Application code: 9371 - Singular courses at master's level

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

D-440S Seminar in distributed operating systems 10 stp
INF-8203 Advanced Distributed Systems 10 stp

Course content

This seminar covers fundamental structuring principles for modern distributed systems. Classic distributed system principles are covered, but focus is also on emerging distributed systems trends from the international research front.

Recommended prerequisites

INF-3200 Distributed Systems Fundamentals

Objectives of the course


  • Knowledge of the classic and contemporary state of the art literature on distributed systems.
  • Knowledge of design and implementation principles in modern distributed systems.
  • The best way to understand the systems described in the literature is by practice, and so an important part of the course is a substantial distributed system design and implementation project. 


  • Skills in participating in a technical discussion of advanced scientific papers
  • Skills in systems-level programming. How to build a working prototype of a non-trivial distributed system including its architecture, design, and implementation.
  • Skills in the languages, frameworks, and tools used to build a prototype distributed system
  • Designing and performing performance measurements on distributed code
  • Analyze the behavior of the developed prototype(s)
  • Skills in presenting a system, giving a demonstration of it, and identify lessons learned.
  • Identify research problems and challenges in distributed systems
  • List the state-of-art tools and techniques for addressing research problems and challenges in distributed systems

General competence:

  • Competence to read scientific literature, and carefully extract information from it and present it coherently in public.
  • Competence in selecting a suitable set of programming languages, frameworks, and tools for a given problem domain.
  • Competence in asking relevant questions about computer based systems
  • Conduct technical reviews, technical writing, and technical presentations

Language of instruction and examination

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 30 hours, Colloquium: 30 hours, Laboratory guidance: 30 hours. This course is given every spring semester.


Oral exam counting 100%. Approved assignments give access to the final oral exam.

Course requirements: The coursework includes up to 3 written programming assignments graded "Approved" / "Not approved". Oral presentation of the assignments and demonstration of a working system can be claimed. Participation in the seminars is mandatory. Students must expect to prepare for, and give oral presentations of chosen articles in the seminars.

Grading scale: Letter grades A-F.

Re-sit examination:
It will not be given a re-sit exam in the teaching free semester for this course, unless a postponed exam already is arranged (conditional re-sit exam). To get access to the exam in the teaching free semester the student must have passed the course requirements.

Postponed examination:
Given early in teaching free semester. It will be arranged an oral exam counting 100%. To get access to the exam in the teaching free semester the student must have passed the course requirements.

Ordinary examination in the teaching free semester (early exam):
It will not be given a new ordinary examination in the teaching free semester for this course.

For further details see:
- Utfyllende bestemmelser for eksamener ved Fakultet for naturvitenskap og teknologi (only in Norwegian)
- Regulations for examinations at the University of Tromsø

Recommended reading/syllabus

Syllabus and reading list are available in Fronter or by contacting the teacher or the student adviser.

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  • About the course
  • Campus: |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: INF-3203