CSE 60641 - Operating Systems - Fall 2006
11-12:25 Tue-Thu in DeBartolo 246
Prof. Douglas Thain
Email: dthain at cse dot nd dot edu
Office: 382 Fitzpatrick
Office Hours: 1PM Mon and 10AM Wed or by appointment.
Course Web Page:: http://www.cse.nd.edu/~dthain/courses/cse60641/fall2006
This is an advanced course in the theory and practice of operating system
design and implementation.
Students will study specific examples of operating systems components in detail,
focusing on critical evaluation of structures, algorithms, and analysis techniques.
Topics may include file systems, synchronization, memory management,
kernel architectures, virtualization, and security. The course will explore
a broad range of operating system designs and philosophies, both current
and historical; it is not focused on currently popular operating systems.
The medium of the course will be the short academic paper.
The short paper is the primary method of communicating new results
in science and engineering, so students will gain experience in
skimming and absorbing this sometimes difficult literary form.
The course readings will be taken from a selection of
both "classic" and recent technical papers. Students will be expected
to engage in discussion of assigned readings in every class period.
In parallel with the readings, students will undertake a course project.
Projects will be designed by the students with the advice of the instructor.
Each project must be highly literate undertaking.
A significant amount of time will be spent on developing and revising the
ideas to be explored. The final paper will be a highly polished result
within "striking distance" of submission to an academic conference.
To encourage a process of continuous refinement, the course will include a series of
milestones: an annotated bibliography, a formal proposal, an office conference,
a progress report, a draft paper, peer reviews, a half-hour talk,
and a final paper
- Graduate standing or consent of the instructor.
- An undergraduate class in operating systems such as CSE 341.
- Proficiency in a systems programming language such as C, C++, or Java.
Students successfully completing this course will be able to:
Describe and evaluate advanced concepts in operating system design and implementation.
Presented in course readings, evaluated in midterm and final.
Compare and contrast competing architectures and implementations of operating system components.
Presented in class discussions, evaluated in midterm and final.
Describe important historical developments in operating systems in terms of architectural philosophies, influential personalities, and well-known systems.
Presented in readings and discussions, evaluated in midterm, final, annotated bibliography, draft paper, and final paper.
Design and perform perform a small piece of operating systems research with some guidance.
Presented, practiced, and evaluated in each of the project milestones.
Effectively communicate research results orally and in writing.
Presented in readings and class discussions, practiced and evaluated in progress report, final talk, draft paper, and final paper.
The primary material for this course will be a selection of research papers.
Some will be "classic" papers that are widely known in the research community,
and others will be more recent results in the literature.
Each class period will involve lecture and discussion on the papers assigned for that day.
Every student must be prepared to discuss the papers assigned each class period.
Although most papers are short -- usually 8-12 pages -- many are quite dense and will require
several readings to absorb completely. To get the most of each paper, students will form
small reading groups and meet outside of class to discuss the papers.
Sign-ups will be provided in class in order to facilitate this.
Here is a good way to work on the papers:
Be prepared to answer the following questions about each paper:
- Alone, skim the paper quickly to pick up the general ideas.
- Alone, read the paper again carefully, taking notes on the main ideas and difficult sections.
- In group, review the main ideas and help each other to understand difficult sections.
- Alone, skim the paper again to see what you missed the first time.
- What is the primary argument made by the paper?
- What are the major components of the system described and how do they interact? (Sketch an example!)
- How does this system differ from systems that you already know about?
- If the paper is experimental, then what precisely does each of the experiments demonstrate?
- How exactly to the experiments, proofs, or examples presented serve to support the primary argument of the paper?
- What lessons can you apply to your own paper writing?
Each student will undertake a semester project resulting in a paper of
form and style similar to those discussed in class.
The instructor will suggest several project ideas early in the semester.
Students may propose their own project ideas, but should consult with
the instructor very early in the semester to ensure that the project
has appropriate size and scope. Projects may be done singly or in pairs.
The course project must be highly literate. A significant amount of time
will be spent on developing and revising the ideas to be explored.
The final paper will be a highly polished result within "striking distance"
of submission to a conference. To encourage a process of continuous
refinement, the course will include a series of milestones:
an annotated bibliography, a project proposal, a progress report, a
draft paper, peer reviews, a final talk, and the final paper.
Details of each milestone will be forthcoming.
The class will conclude with a workshop in which each
student presents their results.
Caution: The most important results of the project will
be the ideas and results presented in the final paper.
Students will not receive credit simply for creating a
software or hardware artifact, no matter how sophisticated.
Any artifacts created must serve to flesh out the ideas
in the final paper. The project milestones will help to maintain
focus on the writing process.
The following facilities are available for carrying out your project.
- College of Engineering Cluster. The regular Engineering student machines may be used for this course. You may harness several machines at once remotely using ssh, but beware of two restrictions: 1) The machines will only allow communication within the cluster on ports 30000-31000; 2) Remote users may be automatically logged off in favor of a user sitting at the console.
- Cooperative Computing Lab (CCL). The instructor directs the CCL, a distributed computing facility composed of machines owned by different researchers as well as the CSE department. The CCL is especially useful for constructing and evaluating distributed storage systems. You may read the CCL web page or contact the instructor for further information.
- Virtual Machines. Projects that involve developing or modifying kernel code
may be conducted on the Engineering cluster workstations by employing virtual machine software.
The department can supply a limited number of software licenses for this purpose.
Contact the instructor if such resources will be needed.
Projects may be done singly or in pairs.
Pairs will be expected to accomplish more than singletons.
Both members of a pair will receive the same grade on work done jointly.
Both members of a pair are expected to contribute to the project.
If any serious difficulty should arise between you and your project
partner, consult the instructor sooner rather than later.
All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date due.
Late assignments will receive no credit.
This includes assignments submitted after class has begun.
Exceptions will be made only for grave emergencies.
For each assignment, a numeric grade will be assigned.
Throughout the semester, students will be advised of their numeric grades and the class average.
At the end of the semester, number grades will be converted to letter grades.
The relative weight of each assignment is as follows:
| Annotated Bibliography || 5
| Project Proposal || 5
| Midterm Exam || 20
| Progress Report || 5
| Draft Paper || 10
| Final Paper || 20
| Final Talk || 5
| Final Exam || 30
To understand the class readings, you may consult with anyone at all.
You are strongly encouraged to form a reading group within the class.
To undertake the course project, you may work singly or in pairs.
To refine your project ideas, you may consult with anyone at all.
You may employ software written by others and hardware provided by
others, provided that you obtain the necessary permissions and give
credit within your work. However, all software development,
experimental work, and paper writing must be done solely by you
and your partner.
The midterm and final exam are to be taken alone.
Read and understand the Academic Code of Honor.