Prof. Dr. Tobias Friedrich

Distributed Algorithms

MSc Lecture - Summer 2023


Distributed Systems have become an intergral part of multiple computer systems worldwide. In simple terms, a distributed system consists of multiple processes that act independently in order to solve a common problem. This trend has given rise to the design and analysis of Distributed Algorithms. Apart from the running time, the designer of a distributed algorithm must consider new limitations imposed by the system, such as limited knowledge of the network, limited memory and communication, and synchronicuty problems.

The goal of this lecture is to teach students about the theory of Distributed Algorithms. In this course we will be examining how we can implement classic graph algorithms such as shortest paths, matching and scheduling problems. Additionally we will be examining prominent theoretical models from the literature such as the following (non exhaustive list):

  • Dynamic Graphs
  • Population Protocols
  • BlockChain
  • Programmable Matter
  • Overlay Networks
  • Parallel Computing

You can register at the course in the moodle page.


Please be aware that this course is taught in English. While there are no formal requirements to participate in this course, in this course we will assume that we are familiar with standard graph algorithms. Moreover, as this is a theory course, we expect familiarity with mathematical notation, graphs and the basic algorithmic toolbox.


There will be regular exercises given to the students, and admission to the examination depends on their successful completion. In order to be admitted to the exam, it is necessary to achieve 50% of the total number of points in the exercise series. At the end of the semester there will be an oral exam of about 30 minutes. The exams are held in English.


We meet two times per week,

  • Monday, at 11:00-12:30 in room K-1.03.
  • Tuesday, at 17:00-18:30 in room K-1.03

Lecture Team

The following persons are involved in this lecture:

Dr. George Skretas


Office: K-2.07
E-Mail: Georgios.Skretas(at)hpi.de