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Distributed Real-Time Systems, 7.5 credits

Administrative information
Syllabus (pdf)external link, opens in new window  
Study period:  
Course code: DB8001
Programme: The course is included as an elective course in the Master Programme in Embedded and Intelligent Systems 120 credits, Master Programme in Information Technology 120 credits, and Masters Programme in Computer Systems Engineering 60 credits.
Course responsible: Tony Larsson
Other members of faculty:  
Examiner: Tony Larsson


"Distributed Real-Time Systems" is an electable course in the Master’s Programme for Computer Systems Engineering or Electrical Engineering.


In the real world many things surrounding and influencing us in our daily life, occur concurrently and repeatedly. Some things must be done in time, some are done periodically at regular intervals, and other things more aperiodic or sporadic. New applications and systems are made possible by taking advantage of the opportunities created by embedding computers in many of the things (devices and systems) that surround us.

To provide interesting functions and characteristics the systems often are designed as distributed systems where their computer nodes cooperate via wired and/or wireless networks, interoperating and integrated via: operating systems, schedulers, protocols, middleware, data structures and algorithms. To enable interaction with the surrounding system and its environment the computer nodes in such embedded and distributed real-time systems typically contain a combination of sensor, actuator, processing, memory and communication devices.


The goal of this course is to help the students to get an understanding of distributed real-time systems and their use; embedded in other real-world (non-computer) systems such as cars, airplanes, medical equipment, intelligent houses etc. with high requirements on real-time operation. The course should increase the students understanding of concepts such as task scheduling, prioritization and distribution; scheduling principles; clock synchronization; interrupt service routines; access to and coordination of tasks operating on shared resources; relation between task scheduling and communication delays; analogies between processing and communication resources.

Course Organization

The course is divided in the following parts:
  • lectures - overview of the area and introduction of concepts.
  • seminars - topics related to results in scientific papers are discussed among and presented by students.
  • labs - basic training in simulation of real-time and distributed systems.

There will be 7 lectures, 7 seminars and 3 (half size group) simulation-labs.

The course will start with an introductory lecture and a preparation for the following seminars during the first week followed by lecture and discussion seminars the following weeks. Some spare time at the end of the discussion seminars will be assigned to selection and discussion of project work topics.

The character of the seminars are planned to take the form of a dialogue between students guided and perhaps triggered by the teacher. To simplify this all students are supposed to have prepared each seminar by reading the papers, intended to be discussed, and each student shall also to write down 3-5 interesting questions related to the papers, to be handed in to the teacher via e-mail before the seminar. These and other more spontaneous questions shall be discussed and if possible answered by the students at the seminars. At the end of each seminar the students are supposed to answer a short quiz that will be part of the examination.

The project and paper work will have some time scheduled for advice and half way presentations.

Text Book

Real-Time Systems - Design Principles for Distributed Embedded Applications, written by Hermann Kopetz, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, Massachusetts, 1997, is used as text book in this course and is available as e-book via our library. The book contains 14 chapters, this means that you should try to read 2 chapters per week.


The examination of the course is based on:
  • active participation and presentation in seminars (obligatory > 80% participation).
  • simulation lab (obligatory).
  • written examination on lectures and seminar content.


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