Concepts of Concurrent Computation

Bertrand Meyer, Sebastian Nanz, Chris Poskitt, Spring 2014



04.03.2014 — The project assignment has been updated with some hints and known issues of EiffelStudio.

25.02.2014 — The project assignment has been posted.

21.02.2014 — The paper assignment has been completed. Please see the paper you have been assigned to in the seminar schedule.

18.02.2014 — The paper selection page is up. Please follow the instructions on the page to register your preferences by Friday, 21 February 2014, at 12:00.

02.12.2013 — The initial version of this page is up. Please note that the schedule and other details remain, for the moment, provisional and subject to change.

Course description

252-0268-00 Concepts of Concurrent Computation

Abstract: Concurrent programming is one of the major challenges in software development. The "Concepts of Concurrent Computation" course explores important models of concurrency, with a special emphasis on concurrent object-oriented programming and process calculi.

Objective: After completing this course, students will understand the principles and techniques of concurrent programming, supporting theories allowing formal reasoning about concurrent systems, and advances in concurrent object-oriented programming.


Grading: No Testat is delivered for the course. The assessment consists of a project (35%), a seminar talk (15%), and a written semester end exam (50%) for which no supporting material is allowed. The only way to get a grade is to take the written exam, deliver a seminar talk, and submit the project. This applies regardless of your department or status. The performance assessment is only offered at the end after the course unit. Repetition is only possible after re-enrolling.

Lecture layout: The course's lectures are of two different kinds: the Tuesday session is a traditional lecture; the Wednesday session is devoted to seminar talks by the student participants, based on research papers related to the topics of the course. The research papers to be presented will be assigned at the start of the course.

Helping and getting help

The course has a mailing list with all the registered students and assistants: If your e-mail address is missing, ask the assistants. In addition to the mailing list, we offer office hours on Friday from 14:00 to 16:00 in RZ J6. Please send a message at least 15 minutes in advance to either Mischael Schill or Georgiana Caltais.


For the development of SCOOP programs, we provide a virtual machine, the link is provided within the project description. For the development of Java programs, you can use a Java development environment of your choice. For example, you can use NetBeans or Eclipse.


Further reading

Lecture and Seminar


Day Time Location
Tuesday (Lecture) 10:15-12:00 RZ F 21
Wednesday (Seminar) 15:15-17:00 RZ F 21



Date Lecture Title (Lecturer) Slides Readings
Tuesday 18.2.2014  1 Welcome and introduction (BM) Final version pdf
Tuesday 25.2.2014  2 Challenges of concurrency (SN) Final version pdf Chapter 2
Tuesday 4.3.2014  3 Synchronization algorithms (SN) Final version pdf Chapter 3
Tuesday 11.3.2014  4 Semaphores (CP) Final version pdf Chapter 4
Tuesday 18.3.2014  5 Monitors (CP) Final version pdf Chapter 5
Tuesday 25.3.2014  6 SCOOP principles (BM) Final version pdf Chapter 9
Tuesday 1.4.2014  7 SCOOP type system (BM) Final version pdf Chapter 9
Tuesday 8.4.2014  8 Lock-free approaches (CP) Final version pdf Herlihy & Shavit, 2008 (especially Chapters 3 and 18)
Tuesday 15.4.2014  9 Languages for concurrency and parallelism (SN) Final version pdf
Tuesday 22.4.2014  no lecture Easter break
Tuesday 29.4.2014  10 CSP (BM) Final version pdf Chapter 6
Tuesday 6.5.2014  11 Petri nets (CP) Final version pdf Reisig, 2013 (Chapters 1-3)
Esparza & Heljanko, 2008 (Chapters 1-3)
Furia et al., 2012 (Chapter 8)
Tuesday 13.5.2014  12 CCS (SN) Final version pdf Chapter 7
Tuesday 20.5.2014  13 CCS advanced concepts (SN) Final version pdf Chapter 7
Tuesday 27.5.2014  Exam

Temporary version = Temporary version Final version = Final version


Date Presenter(s) Title
Wednesday 19.2.2014 Bertrand Meyer How to give a technical presentation [slides]
Friday 7.3.2014 (*) Concurrency Symposium
(international speakers)
Wednesday 12.3.2014 Erik Henriksson Paper 2 [Pradel and Gross, ICSE'13] [slides]
Claudio Corrodi Paper 4 [Liu et al., ESEC/FSE'13] [slides]
Wednesday 19.3.2014 Susanne Graf Verification of distributed systems and use of knowledge for implementing them [abstract]
Wednesday 26.3.2014 Jeremy Bradford Paper 34 [Kasikci et al., SOSP'13] [slides]
Jesse Badash Paper 8 [Clebsch and Drossopoulou, OOPSLA'13] [slides]
Wednesday 2.4.2014 Nadja Müller Paper 27 [Golan-Gueta et al., PLDI'13] [slides]
Patrick Lüthi Paper 30 [Lu et al., ESOP'13] [slides]
Wednesday 9.4.2014 Teruki Tauchi Paper 1 [Marino et al., ICSE'13] [slides]
Andreas Dillier Paper 36 [Zhang et al., ASPLOS'13] [slides]
Wednesday 16.4.2014 Jost Joller Paper 38 [Heumann et al., PPoPP'13] [slides]
Wednesday 30.4.2014 Jingjing Du Paper 40 [Marques et al., Euro-Par'13] [slides]
Wednesday 7.5.2014 Stefan Zurfluh Paper 12 [Herhut et al., OOPSLA'13] [slides]
Maciej Besta Besta & Hoefler: Fault Tolerance for Remote Memory Access Programming Models. In Proc. HPDC'14. ACM, 2014. [slides]

(*) The symposium on Friday 7.3.2014 will consist of several research talks from international experts on concurrency. While the symposium is not a mandatory part of the course, it will be very beneficial to attend, and we warmly invite you to do so.



Day Time Location
Wednesday (Exercise) 14:15-15:00 RZ F 21


Date Title Material
Wednesday 19.2.2014 (no exercise class) (use the time for paper selection)
Wednesday 26.2.2014 Introduction and challenges of concurrency assignment solution Haiku
Wednesday 5.3.2014 Synchronization algorithms assignment solution TBMU
Wednesday 12.3.2014 Semaphores assignment solution code sources
Wednesday 19.3.2014 Monitors assignment solution code sources
Wednesday 26.3.2014 SCOOP principles assignment solution
Wednesday 2.4.2014 SCOOP type system assignment solution
Wednesday 9.4.2014 Lock-free approaches assignment solution
Wednesday 16.4.2014 Languages for concurrency and parallelism assignment code sources
Wednesday 30.4.2014 CSP assignment solution
Wednesday 7.5.2014 Petri nets assignment solution
Wednesday 14.5.2014 CCS assignment solution
Wednesday 21.5.2014 CCS advanced concepts assignment solution



Please read the project assignment. Make sure that you are subscribed to the mailing list Send an message to the list if you want to be added.