Spring 2022 - CMPT 431 E100

Distributed Systems (3)

Class Number: 5577

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby

    Fr 4:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    CMPT 300, 371, both with a minimum grade of C-.



An introduction to distributed systems: systems consisting of multiple physical components connected over a network. Architectures of such systems, ranging from client-server to peer-to-peer. Distributed systems are analyzed via case studies of real network file systems, replicated systems, sensor networks and peer-to-peer systems. Hands-on experience designing and implementing a complex distributed system. Students with credit for CMPT 401 before September 2008 may not take this course for further credit.


The course aims to provide an understanding of principles involved in designing modern parallel and distributed software systems. It focuses on the fundamentals of parallel algorithm design and parallel programming techniques by covering key concepts like concurrency, synchronization, consistency models and fault tolerance.


  • Principles of Parallel Algorithm Design
  • Shared Memory Programming
  • Distributed Memory Model & Programming
  • Consistency Models
  • Fault Tolerance
  • Scalable Analytics


  • Quizzes 35%
  • Assignments 65%



Reference Books:
The Art of Multiprocessor Programming, Maurice Herlihy and Nir Shavit, Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, 2012, 9780123977953

Distributed Computing: Principles, Algorithms, and Systems, Ajay D. Kshemkalyani and Mukesh Singhal, Cambridge University Press, 2008, 9780511805318

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.