CS273: Foundations of Parallel and Distributed Systems

Satish Rao (satishr@cs.berkeley.edu)
Office hours (tentative): Mo: 1:30-2:30, Th: 9-10.
Fundamental theoretical issues in designing parallel algorithms and architectures and topics in distributed networks. Shared memory models of parallel computation. Parallel algorithms. Fundamentals of routing for general networks. Algorithms for object location in distributed networks. Partitioning methods. Game theoretic aspects of distributed agents. Foundations of Game Theory. On-line auctions.


Homeworks, perhaps a final will determine your grade. For guidance on the level of work required please see the 2006 site. The course is more front loaded than other courses, so be sure to get your work done as it is posted.

Homework Guidelines

The point of homeworks is to learn the material well. Please do all problems but turn in a full(ish) solution to only one problem. For the other problems sketch something illuminating; one sentence at most, or a stanza if you are inspired.

Homeworks/Lecture Notes.

  • Lecture 1. Introduction. Load Balancing. Begin Power of two choices. One question. In ps or pdf
  • Lecture 2. Continue power of two choices. A short intro to linearity of expectation. Two questions. In ps or pdf
  • Lecture 3. Three questions. Markov, Chebyshev, and Chernoff/Hoeffding. In ps or pdf
  • Lecture 4. The BSP computer and solving linear systems. Four questions. In ps or pdf Auxilary material on linear systems.
  • Lecture 5. Hypercube, Butterfly, Benes, Benes Routing, Randomized Routing. ps or pdf
  • Lecture 6. Valiant-Brebner again. ps or pdf
  • Lecture 7. Alelunias-Upfal again, Ranade's algorithms. ps or pdf
  • Lecture 8. Random delays and Packet Scheduling. ps or pdf
  • Lecture 9. Path Selection: Linear Program and Randomized Rounding ps or pdf
  • Lecture 10. Path Selection: Multiplicative weights. ps or pdf
    Survey (plus new stuff) by Arora, Hazan, Kale
  • Lecture 11. The PRAM and algorithms. ps or pdf
  • Lecture 12. More PRAM algorithms. ps or pdf
  • PRAM complexity. ps or pdf
  • Matching. ps or pdf
  • PRAM algorithms. ps or pdf
  • VLSI Model and Bisection Lower Bounds ps or pdf
  • VLSI for functions ps or pdf
  • Universal Networks ps or pdf
  • Sparse Cuts ps or pdf
  • Sparse Cuts with Spectral ps or pdf
  • Cheeger (sort of) ps or pdf
  • Distributed Computing ps or pdf
  • Byzantine Generals. ps or pdf
  • Some lecture references.

    Useful links.

  • The 2006 site.
  • The 2005 273 website.