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Department of Informatics - Communication Systems Group

4243 - Computer Networks and Distributed Systems (CNDS)

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller
Assistants: Sina RafatiRafael Ribeiro, Jan von der Assen
Scope: Lecture with exercises, 4 SWS, BSc 

Thursdays, 8:15-9:45

First lecture: 23.09.2021 8:15-9:45

Exercise: Thursdays, 10:00-11:30
Room: BIN-1-B.01

Thursday, 13.01.2022 at 08:15 - 09:45 (room 0.K.02)

Please be on-site by 8.00am.


Students intending for "Wiederholungsprüfungen/Second Exam Tries" only for the Computer Networks (CN) or Distributed Systems (DS) parts shall enroll in the HS21 BINF4246 and BINF4247 modules respectively.



The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) age has arrived within our daily life, not only during work and business hours, but at many entertainment and social interactions, too. Thus, the society has to cope with such developments of digitization. Many of those human-centric statements only refer to or try to analyze the impact of these changes and the society. However, in very many cases the fundamentals to derive reliable, correct, and transparent conclusions require a detailed know-how of “Communication Networks and Distributed Systems (CNDS)”.
Therefore, once stand-alone systems are discussed, their interconnection across physical boundaries of an office or building site forms the major development of the ICT society. While fundamental communication architectures did introduce communications by technical means, achieved over the past 100 years, the development of telephone communications to today's Internet will be covered. Protocols, reliable, unreliable, and secure services, algorithms for finding the corresponding receiver, routing, and basic mechanisms for Internet operations will form this lecture's part one.
Furthermore, once stand-alone systems have been interconnected, they constitute Distributed Systems, which form a collection of independent computers that appear to their users as a single coherent system, embedding hardware, within which all machines are fully autonomous, and software, for which users think they deal with a single system. Thus,
basic theory and techniques of Distributed Systems are covered in this lecture’s part two.  Driven by an introduction, naming principles and distributed file systems are outlined. To ensure an application-driven interoperability, approaches for synchronization and coordination are discussed. Examples of Distributed Systems in use are overviewed and the role of security in Distributed Systems concludes this class.


Students will receive the required insights into basic foundations on Communication Networks and Distributed Systems. More specifically, the lecture will teach communication architectures, network building blocks, shared links, packet switching, end-to-end protocols, security mechanisms, selected Internet applications, naming principles, distributed file systems synchronization, coordination, and security elements. Overall, students will be able to understand which communication systems exist, how Internet-based systems operate world-wise, which communications can be reliable, which ones may be secured, and how the basic inter-operations of Distributed Systems work.


The lecture "Communication Networks and Distributed Systems CNDS" runs as a basic course on basically no specific technical requirements, however, basic mathematical and programming language skills help.

Course Material

Mandatory literature will be announced in the first lecture. Lecture slides and additional material can be found here, too. Details on the exercises can be found here as well.


The information contained on this page complements the official page at the Vorlesungsverzeichnis (VVZ). In case of doubt, the official information from the VVZ is always considered valid.



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