Clock Synchronization and Adversarial Fault Tolerance Danny Dolev and Christoph Lenzen

News

06.02.2023

Schedule for Q&A session and exam

Dear Students,

as discussed in the last lecture today, we will have a Q&A session on Monday, 20.02.2023, 10 a.m. Also, as agreed upon earlier, the one-week take-home exam will cover chapter 5,6 & 7. It will be handed out on Friday, 24.02.2023; the... Read more

Dear Students,

as discussed in the last lecture today, we will have a Q&A session on Monday, 20.02.2023, 10 a.m. Also, as agreed upon earlier, the one-week take-home exam will cover chapter 5,6 & 7. It will be handed out on Friday, 24.02.2023; the respective submission is due by Friday, 03.03.2023. Further details will be clarified in and after the Q&A.

Best,

Sophie

01.02.2023

Reminder: Exam Registration

Dear Students,

please remember to register yourself in the LSF/HISPOS by Wednesday, 08.02.2023, 23:59 if you would like to take the exam.

Best,

Sophie

25.01.2023

Ninth Assignment

Dear Students,

the last book chapter covered this semester is online now. Please submit your summary by Wednesday, 01.02.2023, 10:00 a.m.

Best,

Sophie

18.01.2023

Eight Assignment

Dear Students,

the book chapter on Synchronous Counting is online now. Please submit your summary by next Wednesday, 25.01.2023, 10:00 a.m.

Best,

Sophie

07.01.2023

No lecture on Monday

Dear Students,

Unfortunately we have to cancel this Monday's (09.01) lecture.

Best,

Sophie

04.01.2023

Seventh Chapter

Dear Students,

the book chapter on Self-Stabilising Pulse Synchronisation is online now. The corresponding summary is due on Wednesday, 11.01.2023 10:00 a.m.

Best,

Sophie

22.12.2022

Sixth Assignment

Dear students,

the seventh chapter is online now. The corresponding summary is due by Monday, 02.01.2023 10:00 a.m.

 

Merry Christmas & a happy New Year!

 

Best,

Sophie

07.12.2022

Fifth Assignment

Dear Students,

the rather short sixth chapter on a self-stabilising version of the Lynch-Welch algorithm is online now. The corresponding summary is due on Wednesday, 14.12.2022, 10:00 a.m.

Best,

Sophie

29.11.2022

Fourth Assignment

Dear students,

the fifth book chapter is available in the materials section. Please submit your summary by Monday, 05.12, 10:00 a.m.

Best,

Sophie

16.11.2022

Third Assignment

Dear Students,

the chapter on low-degree clock distribution networks is now available in the materials section. Please submit your summary by Wednesday, 23.11, 10:00 a.m.

Best,

Sophie

14.11.2022

Sample Summary

Dear Students,

I uploaded a sample summary of chapter 9, written by a student, which meets what we expect of an excellent submission.

Best,

Sophie

08.11.2022

Second Assignment

Dear Students,

the third book chapter "Synchronising by Approximate Agreement" is available in the materials section. Please submit your summary on your personal CMS status page by Wednesday, 16.11, 10:00 a.m.

Best,

Sophie

30.10.2022

Clarifications

Dear Students,

the definitions missing in Chapter 9 are now available in a separate document in the materials section. Many thanks to the person who pointed out this incompleteness!

Apologies and best regards,

Sophie

26.10.2022

Model Chapter

Dear Students,

please take note that I accidentally published the wrong chapter 1 (Models) so please make sure to read the correct updated one!

Best,

Sophie

26.10.2022

Reading Material & First Summary

Dear Students,

the introductory chapter on models is now available in the materials section. You don't need to write a summary of this specific chapter but please read it before the lecture Monday morning.

 

The first mandatory assignment consists in... Read more

Dear Students,

the introductory chapter on models is now available in the materials section. You don't need to write a summary of this specific chapter but please read it before the lecture Monday morning.

 

The first mandatory assignment consists in writing a summary of Chapter 2 - Limits of Fault Tolerance. As mentioned earlier, I uploaded a guide on how to write a good summary in the materials section. It is due by Wednesday 02.11, 10:00 a.m.

 

Feel free to ask questions (by mail!) if there is something unclear!

 

Best,

Sophie

25.10.2022

First lecture

Dear Students,

the Zoom link is available in the materials section.

See you tomorrow!

Sophie

Show all
 

Clock Synchronization and Adversarial Fault Tolerance

 

People

Lecturers:

  • Christoph Lenzen
  • Danny Dolev

Teaching Assistant:

  • Sophie Wenning

 

Lecture slots

Weekly lecture slots:

  • Monday, 10-12
  • Wednesday, 10-12

First lecture:

  • Wednesday, 26.10

There are no tutorials. The lectures are online. The participation link will be sent out to registered students before the first lecture (later registrations are possible; please contact Christoph Lenzen (mail) or Sophie Wenning (mail) for receiving the link in this case).

 

Content overview

This course takes a close look at how clock synchronization can be achieved in spite of transient and permanent faults, i.e., what happens when one or more clock domains behave in unexpected or even malicious ways. It explores fault-tolerant clock distribution protocols, self-stabilising synchronisation algorithms as well as some fundamental limitations resulting from faults. All topics will be first studied through the lense of mathematical proofs. However, as the presented algorithms are simple and practical enough to be implemented on physical chips, we also will investigate real-world constraints arising from hardware and the unforgiving need for efficiency. Based on these observations, we will build bridges back to the theoretical level and try to adapt and improve our models.

 

Classroom model

This lecture follows the inverted classroom model. This implies that the course is structured as follows:

  • We will provide you with some reading material one week before each new lecture block and you will prepare a summary of the topic which we will grade. You are also encouraged to ask questions about aspects that you feel you have not yet properly understood. This step is intended to prepare you for the actual lecture.

  • The lecture itself aims to be interactive. The lecturers will present the topic in more detail. In a subsequent discussion we will answer your questions before moving on to jointly solved exercises designed to further deepen your understanding of the topic.

 

Prerequisites

No prerequisites beyond basic familiarity with mathematical reasoning are required. It can be helpful to have knowledge about (electric) circuitry and Boolean logic, but this is not mandatory. Note in particular that last semester's course "How to clock your computer" is NOT a prerequisite.

 

Evaluation

The grades for this course will be computed from:

  • Homework assignments (25%): you have to write a short summary for each of the above chapters. These fortnightly assignments will be graded.
  • Participation in class (25%): we appreciate your participation in the discussions that will form an important part of each lecture. As your contribution will be graded, attendance at the lectures is strongly recommended.
  • Final written submission (50%): a final homework assignment at the end of the semester completes the assessment.

 



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