417 Announcements

Breaking news about the course

Dec 20, 2016
For those of you who took the final exam, your grades are available. Grades ranged from 32 through 86. Course grades for everyone are also posted.
December 19, 2016
Reminder: If you plan to take the 417 final exam, it takes place today at 8:00pm in our regular classroom (TIL-246). Please arrive on time and bring your ID. Latecomers will not be permitted to take the exam. 
December 17, 2016

To aid you with last-minute studying, here are some topics that will not be on Monday’s exam, so you can focus your preparation:

  • Nothing in introductory material.
  • Almost nothing about networking but understand the OSI protocol stack and the core features of TCP & UDP.
  • Nothing about:
    • precedence vectors for causal ordering
    • IP multicasting.
    • WSDL
    • Microsoft COM+, ORPC, or .Net remoting (but understand lease-based vs. reference-based garbage collection)
    • naming & binding
    • the steps in the Paxos algorithm
    • Raft
    • hierarchical leases
    • optimistic concurrency control
    • Schedules in transactions (concurrency control)
    • Spark
    • Spanner’s commit wait
    • Back propagation in DHTs
    • Diffie-Hellman
    • Triple modular redundancy (TMR)
    • Storage Area or System Area Networks (SANs)
    • Crypto: S/Key, SecurID
    • VPNs: AH and ESP in IPsec; just understand tunneling

The exam will be exclusively multiple choice, so focus on understanding concepts and being able to recognize whether something is correct rather than being able to explain a concept.

December 15, 2016
I added review slides of all three exams to the old exams page.
December 14, 2016
When looking at your grades on sakai, ignore the percentage value that is presented for the course grade. This is automatically generated by sakai and is not your grade. Your grade at this time is the pre-final grade.
December 14, 2016

Pre-final grades are posted on sakai. This is the grade that you will receive if you do not take the final. Grades are on a standard 4-point scale: 4.0=A, 3.5=B+, 3.0=B, 2.5=C+, 2.0=C, 1.0=D, 0=F.

Final exam information is posted on the exam page.

You have the option of taking the final exam. The Bump Grade that is posted on sakai is the grade that you need to get on the final to raise your course grade to the next half grade level (e.g., B to B+). A bump grade of 0 means that there is no grade on the final that will increase your final course grade and you should not take the final. In computing grades, I drop the lowest exam grade. Right now, you have a grade of zero for the final exam and that grade is dropped. A better performance on the final exam may result in another exam being dropped instead of the final. If all your grades were generally consistent, it is unlikely that good performance on the final will have much fo an effect on your grade (and you may see a high value or 0 for a bump grade). I will not reward you just for taking the final.

If you decide that you definitely plan to take the exam, please let me know. If your bump grade is not zero and you decide that you definitely plan not to take the exam, please let me know as well, so I will not print extra copies.

November 30, 2016
The third exam will take place on Monday. As before, to help you prepare, please check:

All lecture slides should have "Fall 2016" on their cover page. If you don't see that, try refreshing to ensure you don't have a cached copy. The study guide is currently dated November 26 (but I may make updates if I find errors or areas I can clarify). We did not have a formal lecture on fault tolerance but I posted notes on the topic, which covers a variety of mechanisms we discussed in other lectures.

I did not post last year's 2015 exam yet but will do so later. I posted the recitation notes that review questions from that exam.

November 9, 2016
Tonight's recitation is canceled.
November 5, 2016
I inadvertently left Amazon Dynamo in the outline (but not the study guide). We did not get around to that during the last lecture and it will not be on the exam. I updated the outline to reflect this.
November 3, 2016
The second exam will take place on Monday. As before, to help you prepare, please check:
October 26

Assignment 5 is posted and due prior to the first recitation next week. This is a written assignment that covers two self-study topics (i.e., we did not cover them in class): the Raft consensus protocol and Dropbox architecture. Late submissions will not be accepted.

October 13
I posted some additional information for assignment 2, clarifying the writeup, group submission, platform, etc.
October 12

Tonight's recitation is canceled.

Assignment 4 is posted and due prior to the first recitation next week. This is a written assignment that covers virtual synchrony and paxos. Late submissions will not be accepted.

October 3, 2016
The first exam will take place on Monday. To help you prepare, please check:
  • Exam info
  • Past exams
  • Study guide
  • Lecture & recitation notes
  • October 3, 2016
    I have meetings in Tokyo and Nagoya this week so Neelmay will cover distributed mutual exclusion and election algorithms during Monday's lecture and Fangda will cover a review of assignment 3 (due prior to the first recitation section)  and past exam during Wednesday's recitation. I strongly urge you to attend both of these.
    October 1
    Assignment 3 is posted and due prior to the first recitation next week. This is a written assignment that covers clock synchronization.
    September 23, 2016
    Two assignments are posted. The first is a written assignment that is due wednesday. The second is a programming assignment that is due on October 16.
    September 7, 2016
    There will be no recitation tonight. The first lecture will take place on Monday, September 12 in TIL-246.
    October 1, 2016
    Assignment 3 is posted and due prior to the first recitation next week. This is a written assignment that covers clock synchronization.