Distributed Systems Code:  22.624    :  6
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This is the course plan for the second semester of the academic year 2023/2024. To check whether the course is being run this semester, go to the Virtual Campus section More UOC / The University / Programmes of study section on Campus. Once teaching starts, you'll be able to find it in the classroom. The course plan may be subject to change.
This subject focuses on knowing the main concepts related to distributed systems and applications at Internet scale. Distributed applications are systems formed by some, several or many computers interconnected thorough a network and with processes that interact with each other in a complex way, sharing resources and services.


Networks and Internet Applications , Operating systems and object-oriented programming (practical assignments are done in Java)


The main objective is to know the organization of distributed systems, their issues and the main algorithms and mechanisms that are used to address them, as well as examples of popular distributed applications.

The general objectives are summarized in:
  • To  know the models of organization of blocks of a distributed system or application and the relationship between them.
  • To understand the difficulties and advantages that can be obtained from exploiting the "apparent" weaknesses of the distribution
  • To know the fundamental aspects and algorithms on aspects such as time, coordination, consensus and replication in distributed systems
  • To know the main aspects of some popular distributed applications


Module 1. Introduction and general concepts
1.1. Characterization of distributed systems
1.2. System models.

Module 2. Fundamentals of distributed systems
2.1. Global time and state
2.2. Coordination and consensus
2.3. Transactions and concurrence control
2.4. Transactions Distributed
2.5. Replication
2.6. Safety

Module 3. Middleware and use cases
3.1. Indirect communication
3.2. Peer systems
3.3. Distributed systems design: Google's case study


The assessment process is based on students' own work and the assumption that this work is original and has been carried out by them.

In assessment activities, the following irregular behaviours, among others, may have serious academic and disciplinary consequences: someone else being involved in carrying out the student's assessment test or activity, or the work being not entirely original; copying another's work or committing plagiarism; attempting to cheat to obtain better academic results; collaborating in, covering up or encouraging copying; or using unauthorized material, software or devices during assessment.

If students are caught engaging in any of these irregular behaviours, they may receive a fail mark (D/0) for the assessable activities set out in the course plan (including the final tests) or in the final mark for the course. This could be because they have used unauthorized materials, software or devices (e.g. social networking sites or internet search engines) during the tests, because they have copied text fragments from an external source (internet, notes, books, articles, other student's projects or activities, etc.) without correctly citing the source, or because they have engaged in any other irregular conduct.

In accordance with the UOC's academic regulations , irregular conduct during assessment, besides leading to a failing mark for the course, may be grounds for disciplinary proceedings and, where appropriate, the corresponding punishment, as established in the UOC's coexistence regulations.

In its assessment process, the UOC reserves the right to:

  • Ask the student to provide proof of their identity, as established in the university's academic regulations.
  • Request that students provide evidence of the authorship of their work, throughout the assessment process, both in continuous and final assessment, by means of an oral test or by whatever other synchronous or asynchronous means the UOC specifies. These means will check students' knowledge and competencies to verify authorship of their work, and under no circumstances will they constitute a second assessment. If it is not possible to guarantee the student's authorship, they will receive a D grade in the case of continuous assessment or a Fail in the case of final assessment.

    For this purpose, the UOC may require that students use a microphone, webcam or other devices during the assessment process, in which case it will be the student's responsibility to check that such devices are working correctly.


You can only pass the course if you participate in and pass the continuous assessment. Your final mark for the course will be the mark you received in the continuous assessment.