CS395T: Consistent 0-administration Personal Environment

Instructors: Lorenzo Alvisi, Michael Dahlin, Harrick M. Vin

| General Information | Instructors | Course Objectives | Topics | Course Structure | Project Guidelines | Requirements

General Information

This course is for students enrolled in one of the following courses.

Course name Instructor Unique number
CS395T: Topics in Distributed Systems L. Alvisi 49500
CS395T: Operating System Issues for WAN Systems M. Dahlin 49495
CS395T: Topics in Multimedia Networking H. Vin 49470


This course will be co-taught by Lorenzo Alvisi (lorenzo@cs, 471-9792), Mike Dahlin (dahlin@cs, 471-9549), and Harrick Vin (vin@cs, 471-9732). You can contact the instructors through e-mail.

Course Objectives

This is an advanced systems course with an emphasis on research, designed to conduct preliminary exploration of the problems and techniques involved in designing C0PE, a Consistent 0-administration Personal Environment.

In this course, we will explore the issues that arise when individual users own, interact with, and manage dozens of information access devices. Such an environment raises several difficult technical challenges, including (1) providing a consistent view of the underlying data from different access devices and (2) driving the incremental cost of adding and maintaining additional devices near zero.


We will cover topics that relate broadly to four research areas:

Each of these topics deserves a course on its own; in fact, a different subset of these would have been covered in the three CS395Ts mentioned above. The exploration of these topics in this course cannot possibly be exhaustive; rather it will be driven by the research goal to design and implement C0PE. As a result, students will be able to appreciate how techniques from different research areas have to brought together to design and implement a sophisticated distributed system.

Course Structure

The course will combine presentation of tutorials on key technologies, lectures from external speakers, weekly project reviews and presentations.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Week Monday Wednesday
1 - Course Introduction
2 Invited Talk Overview of Projects
3 Project Discussion Group Formation and Project Discussion
4 Finalize Project Groups Distributed State Maintenance
5 Project Review Distributed State Maintenance
6 Project Review Resource Discovery and Directory Services
7 Project Review Resource Discovery and Directory Services
8 Project Proposal Presentations Project Proposal Presentations
9 Project Proposal Presentations Project Proposal Presentations
10 Project Review Security
11 Project Review Security
12 Project Review Mobile Networking
13 Project Review Mobile Networking
14 Final Project Presentation Final Project Presentation
15 Final Project Presentation Final Project Presentation

Project Guidelines

To achieve these goals in a semester, we will all have to work hard and make significant progress every week. This document describes a set of milestones that each group will be expected to meet.

Bring your written project checkpoints to class on the day they are due. Your third of the class will work with you to inspect the checkpoint, offer feedback, and either sign off of the checkpoint or ask you to refine the checkpoint before they pass it. Keep all of you checkpoints on-line in a directory, and also keep the notes on written feedback from class in a binder. At the end of the semester when you turn in your final report, you will also turn in your checkpoints and binder.
Wednesday Feb 2 Project teams formed, initial topic preferences
Friday Feb 4 Project topic selected
Monday Feb 7 Initial Reading List and 2 Paper Critiques
Monday Feb 14 3 Paper Critiques, Project Pre-Proposal
Monday Feb 21 Written Proposal
Monday Feb 28 - Wed Mar 8 Proposal Presentation,Referee Reports
Monday Mar 13 Response to referee reports, deliverables timeline, Reading list
Monday Mar 20 Milestone based review, Paragraph-level outline of into + evaluation
Monday Mar 27 Milestone based review, Draft intro
Monday April 3 Milestone based review, Draft related work
Monday April 10 Milestone based review
Monday April 17 Milestone based  review
Monday April 24 - Wed May 3 Final Presentation
Wednesday May 10 Written Final Report and project binder


Students will be expected to read the assigned papers, meet weekly deadlines, lead tutorials, prepare a detailed project proposal, critique project proposals from other students, complete the project, and deliver a final project presentation.

The course will be intense; each student will be expected to provide a written progress report each week.

Lorenzo Alvisi, Michael Dahlin, Harrick Vin