Networks and Distributed Systems
Course: Networks and Distributed Systems B (320522)
Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
Monday 11:15 - 12:30 West Hall 5
Thursday 08:15 - 09:30 West Hall 5
Start: February 4th, 2008

This graduate seminar course is project oriented. Students choose a topic for a project and work on that project throughout the semester. In addition, the state of the art in the choosen topics will be explored in a series of paper presentations. Each student will present one or several research or survey papers from the literature.

Course Materials:
  • See below...
Date Speaker Topic
2008-02-04 Introduction
2008-02-11 Assignment of Projects
2008-02-18 Vladislav Marinov IETF Standard SYSLOG Protocol
2008-02-25 Anuj Sehgal Ranging in IEEE 802.15.4a
Kaloyan Kanev Associative Search - Harnessing Latent Semantics
2008-03-03 Sara Hadji Moradlou Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval in Freenet
Milena Makaveeva Context Awareness and the CampusAware Project
2008-03-10 No Meeting (71st IETF Philadelphia)
2008-03-17 Spring Break
2008-03-24 Spring Break
Vladislav Marinov Routing in Delay Tolerant Networks
Vladislav Marinov Translation between SNMP and SYSLOG Notifications
2008-04-07 No Meeting (NOMS 2008 Salvador)
2008-04-14 Kaloyan Kanev Search and Replication in Unstructured Peer-to-Peer Networks
2008-04-16 Anuj Sehgal IEEE 802.15.4 Standard
Sara Hadji Moradlou Tor: The Second-Generation Onion Router
2008-04-21 Milena Makaveeva Bubblestorm: Resilient, Probabilistic, and Exhaustive Peer-to-Peer Search
All Status Reports
2008-04-28 All Status Reports
2008-05-05 Status Reports
2008-05-15 Project Presentations / Demo

While most of the time will be spend on project work, I expect that every student presents two papers during the seminar and I also expect active participation during the discussion of presentations. Presentations should be planned for 25 minutes plus discussion. In concrete terms, I plan the following grading scheme:

  • Paper presentations: 30% (2 papers, each 15%)
  • Project presentation: 10%
  • Project report: 40%
  • Project implementation: 20%

Quite some emphasis is on the project (60%). So choosing the right project is of course crucial. I will assign papers that are related to the projects students will be working on.

The project report should be structured like a normal research paper with an abstract, an introduction and motivation and problem statement, the description of the work carried out, a section on related work, and conclusions. The length should be about 10 pages in the IEEE two-column journal paper format. (Note that this format is pretty space efficient.)


Project topics (but other proposals are possible):

  1. Anonymity in P2P Systems
    Sara Hadji Moradlou

    The project is based on the scenario of a p2p-based CBR system, where peers look for fault data without showing identities for some reason (privacy?). The project aims to building an anonymous p2p client or a mechanism that can be used to anonymize peers. The tasks are to learn anonymity mechanisms/techniques (e.g., tor) and to implement them.


    • I. Clarke, O. Sandberg, B. Wiley, T. W. Hong: Freenet: A Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System. International Workshop on Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies: Design Issues in Anonymity and Unobservability, 2001.
    • R. Dingledine, N. Mathewson, P. Syverson. Tor: The Second-Generation Onion Router. Proc. 13th USENIX Security Symposium, August 2004.

    Freenet and onion routing are two popular protocols supporting anonymity (besides ants, crowds, mixes). The student will present these two protocols and choose any protocol that is easy to apply to the DCBR scenario application.

  2. Trust in P2P Systems
    Seyed Hamid Hamraz

    The project is based on the scenario of a p2p-based CBR system, where peers exchange critical fault data or return feedback about proposed solutions to other peers. Dishonest peers providing false data can break the system. The P2P protocol and database are ready for experiments. The project aims at proposing a suitable trust/reputation model and to implement it.


    • A. Abdul-Rahman, S. Hailes: Supporting Trust in Virtual Communities. Proc. of the 33rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences-Volume 6, 2000.
    • V. Shmatikov, C. Talcott: Reputation-based trust management. Journal of Computer Security 13(1), 2005.
    • J.A. Bergstra, M. Burgess: Local and Global Trust Based on the Concept of Promises. Technical Report PRG0606, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2006.

  3. P2P Search Engine
    Kaloyan Kanev

    The project aims at developing a search engine based on p2p concepts. The protocol and database have already been implemented and are ready for experiments. The concrete tasks are to integrate search query, query hit, and feedback. The work on indexing and retrieval is cooperated with other people in group. A task to integrate cache mechanism is an option.


    • E. Cohen, A. Fiat, H. Kaplan: Associative Search in Peer to Peer Networks: Harnessing Latent Semantics. Journal of Computer Networks, 51(8), 2007.
    • Q. Lv, P. Cao, E. Cohen, K. Li, S. Shenker: Search and Replication in Unstructured Peer-to-Peer Networks. Proc. 16th International Conference on Supercomputing, 2002.
    • C. Gkantsidis, M. Mihail, A. Saberi: Random Walks in Peer-to-Peer Networks. Twenty-third Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies (INFOCOM 2004).

    The first paper studies using full-text search in unstructured p2p systems (close to a p2p-based bug search system). The second and third paper discuss techniques to improve search (they can be used for the project work).

  4. Sensor Networks for Smart Buildings
    Milena Makaveeva

    There is a collaborative effort underway to install several sensors in Research I. This involves the CNDS group and the databases group from Jacobs. Milena will work on the collection of context information from desktop computers.


    • G.D. Abowd, A.K. Dey, P.J. Brown, N. Davies, M. Smith, P. Steggles: Towards a Better Understanding of Context and Context-Awareness. Springer LNCS 1707, 1999.
    • J. Burrell, G.K. Gay, K. Kubo, N. Farina: Context-Aware Computing: A Test Case. Springer LNCS 2498, 2002.
    • W.W. Terpstra and J. Kangasharju and C. Leng and A.P. Buchmann: BubbleStorm: Resilient, Probabilistic, and Exhaustive Peer-to-Peer Search, Proc. ACM SIGCOMM 2007, Kyoto, August 2007.

  5. Robot Localization using 802.15.4a
    Anuj Sehgal

    We plan collaborative work with the Robotics group in the context of robot localization using 802.15.4a technology. In particular, we are interested in integrating 802.15.4a NanoLoc transceivers into a hardware platform, ideally running some Linux or BSD-like Unix operating system.


    • L.D. Nardis, M.-G. Di Benedetto: Overview of the IEEE 802.15.4/4a standards for low data rate Wireless Personal Data Networks. Proc. of the 4th IEEE Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communication 2007 (WPNC'07), March 2007.
    • Z. Sahinoglu, S. Gezici: Ranging in the IEEE 802.15.4a Standard, Proc. IEEE Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON 2006), December 2006.
    • M. Kohvakka, M. Kuorilehto, M. Haennikaeinen, T.D. Haemaelaeinen: Performance Analysis of IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee for Large-Scale Wireless Sensor Network Applications, Proc. of the 3rd ACM International Workshop On Performance Evaluation of Wireless Ad-hoc, Sensor and Ubiquitous Networks (PE-WASUN '06), 2006.

  6. Translation between SNMP and SYSLOG Notifications
    Vladislav Marinov

    SNMP and SYSLOG are two widely used protocols to communicate event notifications. The latest version of SYSLOG supports a structured data element format and this allows to map between SNMP notifications and SYSLOG messages without loosing information. However, such a mapping has not been specified and there exists no known implementation of this idea. The goal of this project is to specify such a mapping in the form of an Internet-Draft and to prototype an implementation.


    • R. Gerhards: The SYSLOG Protocol, <draft-ietf-syslog-protocol-23.txt>, September 2007.
    • A. Okmianski: Transmission of syslog messages over UDP, <draft-ietf-syslog-transport-udp-12.txt> September 2007.
    • F. Miao, Y. Ma: TLS Transport Mapping for Syslog, <draft-ietf-syslog-transport-tls-11.txt>, November, 2007.
    • J. Kelsey, J. Callas, A. Clemm: Signed syslog Messages, <draft-ietf-syslog-sign-23.txt>, September 2007.
    • A. Balasubramanian, B.N. Levine, A. Venkataramani: DTN Routing as a Resource Allocation Problem, Proc. ACM SIGCOMM 2007, Kyoto, August 2007.
    • S. Jain, K. Fall, R. Patra: Routing in a Delay Tolerant Network, Proc. SIGCOMM 2004, Portland, August 2004.
    • K. Fall: A Delay-Tolerant Network Architecture for Challenged Internets, Proc. SIGCOMM 2003, Karlsruhe, August 2003.