DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Concurrent and Distributed Programming
Module Code CA4006
School School of Computing
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Graham Healy
Semester 2: Graham Healy
Autumn: Graham Healy
Module TeachersDenise Freir
Robert Brennan
Graham Healy
Jagadeeswaran Thangaraj
Takfarinas Saber
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Develop concurrent & distribute implementations to solve given problems.

This module aims to introduce the student to issues involved in concurrent and distributed computing, and particularly to the paradigms used in concurrent and distributed computing to address these issues. To facilitate learning on part of the student, algorithms are presented in the form of solutions to everyday problems (e.g. modelling a queue in a bakery shop).

Learning Outcomes

1. Distinguish between two forms of Parallel Computing: Concurrent & Distributed; The fundamental concepts underlying concurrent & distributed computing.
2. Explain the meaning of concurrent programming and where it fits in with single-threaded programming paradigms (Concurrency & Parallelism, Multithreading, Multicore…)
3. Describe common architectures for concurrent and distributed programs.
4. Understand when concurrent programming can be used to solve common problems in computer science (Dining Philosophers, Producers/Consumers etc)
5. Explain communication in Concurrent and Distributed Programs (Synchronous/Asynchronous…)
6. Evaluate the impact of various synchronization models for safe concurrent (semaphores/monitors) and distributed programs including issues related to replication & consistency.
7. Explain support for advanced concurrency in a modern general purpose programming language.
8. Write, analyse and debug multi-threaded and distributed programs involving multiple agents.
9. Explain the operation of communication libraries (such as OPENMP) for message passing.
10. Apply technologies supporting distributed applications such as distributed object-based and coordination-based technology (RMI/RPC and Web Services using SOAP/REST).

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture36Course content, including supplementary material on key topics and associated material will be made available online using the DCU Loop e-learning system and other appropriate electronic means.
Independent Study151.5This comprises time for reading, reviewing/exploring given and other exercises, group interaction on project, project time and write-up and revision.
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Architectural classification schemes in Concurrent & Distributed Systems
• Flynn’s Classification: SISD, SIMD, MIMD • Structural Classification: Tightly (UMA/NUMA) & Loosely Coupled • Grain-size Classification: Fine & Coarse Grain

Critical sections, fairness and mutual exclusion
• Dekker’s & Gustafson’s Algorithms, Semaphores & Monitors in Concurrent Systems • Time in Distributed Systems: Lamport /Vector Clocks, Centralized/ Decentralized Algorithms

Architectural Styles in Concurrent & Distributed Systems
• Layered & Object-based, Data-centred & Event-based architectures • Decentralized: Structured & Unstructured architectures

Speed-up on single & multicores
• Amdahl’s law

Threads, processes and virtualization.

Services in Distributed Computing
• Naming & Discovery

Communications Mechanisms in Concurrent & Distributed
• Types of message passing processes (Filters, Clients, Servers and Peers..) • Mechanisms RPC/RMI and Rendezvous • Message Oriented Middleware/Message Queuing (e.g. RabbitMQ) • Web Services: SOAP, REST

Safe Access to distributed shared resources
Time, Synchronization, Replication & Consistency in Distributed Systems

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentDevelop a concurrent/distributed implementation to solve a given problem as part of a 2 person team.30%Week 28
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Brian Goetz, with Tim Peierls... [et al.]: 2006, Java concurrency in practice, 1, Addison Wesley, 978-0321349606
  • Martin Kalin: 2013, Java Web Services: Up & Running, 2, O'Reilly, 978-1449365110
  • 0: Distributed Systems: Principles & Paradigms, 2, Pearson,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
CASEBSc in Computer Applications (Sft.Eng.)
ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement