Distributed Computing
ETH Zurich

Seminar in Distributed Computing (FS 2015)

The Seminar is now over. We thank everybody for participating. Students wishing to discuss their presentation can contact their mentors.




When & Where: Wednesdays 15:15 @ ETZ G 91

First seminar:25.02.2014

Last seminar:27.05.2014



As a seminar participant, you are invited to


In order to obtain credit points for the seminar, you have to make a presentation. Since only one presentation per week of the semester can take place, there is a limited number of slots (topics) that can be presented (this year: 12). Therefore, we encourage you to contact Klaus-Tycho Förster and the mentor corresponding to your favorite topic as early as possible (by email) to claim your presentation slot.



Below we will have a series of suggested papers (or groups of papers) which will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis. You will be advised by the corresponding mentor (see list).

All presentations should cover the motivation for the problem as well as some technical parts of the paper(s) in detail. Assume that the other participants know nothing about the subject. You are not supposed to present the whole paper(s), but just the aspects that were most intriguing to you. We encourage you to deviate from the logical structure of the paper(s) and strive for the most lucid presentation of the topic. It can also be helpful to go beyond the list of your papers and look at related work. Furthermore you may want to have a look at how to design slides, e.g. this article (or these ones).

We further expect the presentation to motivate a lively discussion. Your presentation should not be a mere transfer of knowledge, but inspire an animated debate among the seminar participants.

Your slides and talk should be in English. The presentation should last 45 minutes plus about 15 minutes of discussion.



We encourage discussion during and after a presentation as a main objective of this seminar. The extent to which your own presentation instigates discussion as well as your own participation in the other presentations will influence your grade in this course.



Following the technical part of the presentation and discussion, we will briefly evaluate the quality of the presentation as a group. Below are the criteria according to which we judge a good presentation. They were inspired by the common questionnaire handed out to ETHZ students where they are asked to evaluate their professors.


For signed-up students


We established the following rules to ensure a high quality of the talks and hope that these will result in a good grade for you:



  date   presenter   title   slides
  18.02.2015   No Seminar

  No Seminar    
  25.02.2015   Barbara Keller

  Homophily and the Glass Ceiling Effect in Social Networks    [pdf]
  04.03.2015   Denny Lin

  SPDY    [pdf]
  11.03.2015   Dominik Kovacs

  Sleep Sensing    [pdf]
  18.03.2015   Yassin Hassan

  Fastpass    [pdf]
  25.03.2015   João Pedro Monteiro Freire Ribeiro

  Bitcoin Privacy    [pdf]
  01.04.2015   Matteo Pozzetti

  Fingerprinting    [pdf]
  08.04.2015   No Seminar

  No Seminar    
  15.04.2015   Benjamin Mularczyk

  Gaming    [pdf]
  22.04.2015   Pietra Priska

  10 years after "I, Robot"    [pdf]
  29.04.2015   Francesco Locatello

  Anonymity bundle    [pdf]
  06.05.2015   Ranveer Joyseeree

  Mining bundle    [pdf]
  13.05.2015   Andrei-Bogdan Pârvu

  Self-Adjusting Binary Search Trees    [pdf]
  20.05.2015   Nina Zinsli

  Sweet Little Lies    [pdf]
  27.05.2015   Martin Ivanov

  Super Mario    [pdf]
  27.05.2015   Stefan Kaestle

  What kind of distributed system is a multicore machine    [pdf]


  title   presenter   mentor
  Bundle (2 papers)(Fingerprinting):
An Industrial-Strength Audio Search Algorithm
Avery Li-Chun Wang. ISMIR 2003.
A Robust and Fast Copy Protection System Using Content-Based Fingerprinting
Mani Malek Esmaeili, Mehrdad Fatourechi, Rabab Kreidieh Ward. In IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security 2011
  Matteo Pozzetti   Laura Peer
  Bundle (2 papers)(Bitcoin Privacy):
Zerocoin: Anonymous distributed e-cash from bitcoin
Ian Miers, Christian Garman, Matthew Green, Aviel D. Rubin. IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2013.
Hiding transaction amounts and balances in bitcoin
Elli Androulaki, Ghassan O. Karame. Trust and Trustworthy Computing 2014
  João Pedro Monteiro Freire Ribeiro   Christian Decker
  Bundle (2 papers)(Sleep sensing):
Intelligent Sleep Stage Mining Service with Smartphones
Weixi Gu, Zheng Yang, Longfei Shangguan, Wei Sun, Kun Jin and Yunhao Liu. Ubicomp 2014.
Validation of an automated wireless system to monitor sleep in healthy adults
ohn R. Shambroom, Stephan E. Fábregas and Jack Johnstone. Journal of Sleep Research 2012
  Dominic Kovacs   Jara Uitto
  Self-Adjusting Binary Search Trees
Daniel Dominic Sleator and Robert Endre Tarjan. J. ACM 1985.
  Andrei-Bogdan Pârvu   Sebastian Brandt
  Bundle (2 papers)(Super Mario):
Classic Nintendo Games are (Computationally) Hard for Cloud Gaming
Demaine et al. FUN 2014.
The First Level of Super Mario Bros. is Easy with Lexicographic Orderings and Time Travel
Bharambe et al. SIGBOVIK 2013 .
  Martin Ivanov   Jochen Seidel
  Bundle (2 papers)(Gaming):
Outatime: Using Speculation to Enable Low-Latency Continuous Interaction for Cloud Gaming
Lee et al. Microsoft Research 2014.
Donnybrook: Enabling Large-Scale, High-Speed, Peer-to-Peer Games
Bharambe et al. SIGCOMM 2008.
  Benjamin Mularczyk   Pascal Bissig
  Bundle (2 papers)(Anonymity):
Anonymity on QuickSand: Using BGP to Compromise Tor
Vanbever et al. Hotnets 2014.
Seeking Anonymity in an Internet Panopticon
Feigenbaum and Ford.
  Francesco Locatello   Michael König
  Bundle (2 papers)(10 years after "I, Robot": What have the robots become, and what have we become?):
Detecting Automation of Twitter Accounts: Are You a Human, Bot, or Cyborg?
Chu et al. Dependable and Secure Computing 2012.
Is that a bot running the social media feed? Testing the differences in perceptions of communication quality for a human agent and a bot agent on Twitter
Edwards et al. Computers in Human Behavior 2012.
  Pietra Priska   David Stolz
  Bundle (3 papers)(SPDY):
SPDY: An experimental protocol for a faster web
Whitepaper, 2009.
Can SPDY really make the web faster?
Elkhatib et al. IFIP 2014.
How Speedy is SPDY?
Wang et al. NSDI 2014.
  Denny Lin   David Stolz
  Sweet Little Lies: Fake Topologies for Flexible Routing
S. Vissicchio, Laurent Vanbever, and Jennifer Rexford. In Hotnets 2014.
  Nina Zinsli   Klaus-Tycho Förster
  Fastpass: A Centralized "Zero-Queue" Datacenter Network
Perry et al. In SIGCOMM 2014.
  Yassin Hassan   Klaus-Tycho Förster
  What kind of distributed system is a multicore machine

  Stefan Kaestle   Klaus-Tycho Förster
  Bundle (3 papers)(Mining):
Understanding and Prediction of Mobile Application Usage for Smart Phones
Choonsung Shin, Jin-Hyuk Hong, Anind K. Dey. Ubicomp 2012.
Practical Prediction and Prefetch for Faster Access to Applications on Mobile phones
bhinav Parate, Matthias Böhmer, David Chu, Deepak Ganesan, and Benjamin Marlin. Ubicomp 2013.
MobileMiner: Mining your Frequent Patterns on Your Phone
Vijay Srinivasan, Saeed Moghaddam ,Abhishek Mukherji, Kiran K. Rachuri, Chenren Xu, Emmanuel Munguia Tapia. Ubicomp 2014
  Ranveer Joyseeree   Philipp Brandes
  Homophily and the Emergence of a Glass Ceiling Effect in Social Networks.
Chen Avin, Barbara Keller, Zvi Lotker, Claire Mathieu, Yvonne-Anne Pignolet and David Peleg. In ITCS 2015.
  Barbara Keller   Barbara Keller