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Distributed Systems

Almost every computing system nowadays is distributed, ranging from multi-core laptops to Internet-scale services; understanding the principles of distributed computing is hence important for the design and engineering of modern computing systems.  Fundamental issues that arise in reliable and efficient distributed systems include developing adequate methods for modeling failures and synchrony assumptions, determining precise performance bounds on implementations of concurrent data structures, capturing the trade-off between consistency and efficiency, and demarcating the frontier of feasibility in distributed computing.

For example, popular Internet services and applications such as CNN.com, YouTube, Facebook, Skype, BitTorrent attract millions of users every day, and only by the effective load-balancing and collaboration of many thousand machines, an acceptable Quality-of-Service/Quality-of-Experience can be guaranteed. While distributed systems promise a good scalability as well as a high robustness, they pose challenging research problems, such as: How to design robust and scalable distributed architectures and services? How to coordinate access to a shared resource, e.g., by electing a leader? Or how to provide incentives for cooperation in an open, collaborative distributed system?

Selected Publications

A Self-Repairing Peer-to-Peer System Resilient to Dynamic Adversarial Churn
Citation key KSW-SRPPSRDAC-05
Author Kuhn, Fabian and Schmid, Stefan and Wattenhofer, Roger
Title of Book 4th International Workshop on Peer-To-Peer Systems (IPTPS)
Pages 13–23
Year 2005
ISBN 978-3-540-29068-1
ISSN 0302-9743
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/11558989_2
Location Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
Address Berlin / Heidelberg, Germany
Volume 3640
Month February
Publisher Springer
Series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Abstract We present a dynamic distributed hash table where peers may join and leave at any time. Our system tolerates a powerful adversary which has complete visibility of the entire state of the system and can continuously add and remove peers. Our system provides worst-case fault-tolerance, maintaining desirable properties such as a low peer degree and a low network diameter.
Link to publication Download Bibtex entry

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