Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Presentation of fundamental concepts of distributed objects including local and distributed objects, remote object invocation, communication, parameter passing principles, garbage collection, performance issues and typical applications. We also cover advanced type systems including concepts such as immutability and its application to distributed programming and access control. We also discuss the design of language constructs for parallelism. Throughout we use the programming language Emerald as a base. We dig into the implementation of distributed objects including virtual machines, compilation techniques, run-time typing, dynamic program loading, and how to do distributed garbage collection. 

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you will:

  • be able to explain Emerald’s type system and its significance for distribution
  • know the concepts of distribution, immutability, contra-variance, replication, remote procedure calls, mobility, threads, threads synchronization, thread mobility and garbage collection
  • know the main principles of distributed garbage collection, remote calls, threads, object classes, object types, synchronization, reliability and high performance distributed applications
  • be able to program large distributed applications using Emerald with many threads and complex synchronization requirements, and with objects distributed across the entire world
  • know the speed of light and its impact on distributed systems
  • be able to use Planetlab to measure and evaluate the performance of distributed systems and application


Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

Overlapping courses


2 hours of lectures each week, with 6 hour lectures every 3 weeks. 2 hours of group exercises each week. The course is heavily Learning-by-Doing thru multiple larger programming assignments.

All mandatory assignments must be passed prior to the final exam.

Attending the first lecture is mandatory.


2 home exams account for 25% of the final grade each, while an oral exam (4 hours long written digital if more than 20 candidates) account for 50% of the final grade.

Examination support material

Oral/written exam: All written material allowed

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of your three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: INF5510 – Distributed objects (continued)IN9570 – Distributed Objects

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language