Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

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
  • be able to discuss Emerald’s type system in relation to other type systems and to, in detail, explain the difference in design
  • be able to explain and discuss the theory behind the concepts of object constructors vs classes, immutability, contra-variance, replication, mobility, threads, threads synchronization, thread mobility and distributed garbage collection
  • know the main principles of and be able to implement distributed garbage collection, remote calls, threads, object classes, object types, synchronization, reliability and high performance distributed applications

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


One or more off:

UNIK4290, IN5020, INF5072, IN9020, IN9070, INF9072 (taking a course in the same semester as IN9570 is OK)

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.

Additional demands in regards to the home exam for the PhD-variant:

  • theoretical sections
  • comparisons with alternative solutions
  • extended performance measurements


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.

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: IN5570 - Distributed ObjectsINF5510 - Distributed objects (continued)

Examination support material

Oral/written exam: All written material allowed

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. If the course is taught in English, the examination text will only be given in English. You may answer in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

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.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Oct. 27, 2020 5:14:45 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language