Distributed Computing
ETH Zurich

Seminar in Distributed Computing (FS 2018)


When & Where: Tuesdays 10:15 @ ETZ G 91
First seminar: 20.02.2018
Last seminar: 29.05.2018
Coordinators: Roger Wattenhofer & Pankaj Khanchandani

As a seminar participant, you are invited to attend all the talks and make a presentation. Your presentation should be in English. The presentation should last 45 minutes plus about 15 minutes of discussion.

Presentation & Discussion

The seminar will be exciting if the presentations are exciting. Here is a 2 page guideline how to do a great scientific presentation. Here are some additional guidelines: 1, 2 and 3.

We further expect the presentation to motivate a lively discussion. We encourage discussions during and after the presentations as a main objective of this seminar. It may help discussions if you also try to be critical about the presented work. These are all scientific papers, but if you have been in science long enough...


Your grade will mostly depend on your presentation. In addition, we also grade how actively you participate in the discussions throughout the whole semester.

How To Sign Up

There will be one presentation per week, so there is a limited number of slots (topics) that can be presented (this year: 13). Therefore, we encourage you to contact Pankaj Khanchandani and the mentor corresponding to your favorite topic as early as possible 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.

After You Signed Up

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
20.02.2018 Cédric Stoll FruitChains: A Fair Blockchain. [pdf]
27.02.2018 Laurent Chuat Consensus with Three Options. [pdf]
06.03.2018 Simon Bienz Be Selfish and Avoid Dilemmas: Fork After Withholding (FAW) Attacks on Bitcoin. [pdf]
13.03.2018 Jil Weber A Simple Deterministic Distributed MST Algorithm, with Near-Optimal Time and Message Complexities. [pdf]
20.03.2018 Jakub Golinowski How Effective Can Simple Ordinal Peer Grading Be? [pdf]
27.03.2018 Ethan Rambacher Edit Distance Cannot Be Computed in Strongly Subquadratic Time (unless SETH is false). [pdf]
03.04.2018 No Seminar
10.04.2018 Linard Arquint Acoustic Communication [pdf]
17.04.2018 Mickey Vänskä Recoverable FCFS Mutual Exclusion with Wait-Free Recovery. [pdf]
24.04.2018 No Seminar
01.05.2018 No Seminar
08.05.2018 Damien Aymon Election vs. Selection: How Much Advice is Needed to Find the Largest Node in a Graph? [pdf]
15.05.2018 Matthias Lei Computing Equilibrium in Matching Markets.
22.05.2018 Gian-Marco Hutter Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning.
29.05.2018 André Baptista Aguas Stable Matching with Evolving Preferences.


Title Presenter Mentor
Edit Distance Cannot Be Computed in Strongly Subquadratic Time (unless SETH is false).
A. Backurs & P. Indyk. STOC 2015.
Ethan Rambacher Pál András Papp
Election vs. Selection: How Much Advice is Needed to Find the Largest Node in a Graph?.
A. Miller and A. Pelc. SPAA 2016.
Damien Aymon Pál András Papp
How Effective Can Simple Ordinal Peer Grading Be?
Ioannis Caragiannis, George A. Krimpas, Alexandros A. Voudouris. EC 2016.
Jakub Golinowski Darya Melnyk
Efficient voting via the top-k elicitation scheme: a probabilistic approach.
Yuval Filmus, Joel Oren. EC 2014.
Darya Melnyk
Consensus with three options:
Stabilizing consensus with many opinions.
L. Becchetti, A. Clementi, E. Natale, F. Pasquale, L. Trevisan. SODA 2016.
Fast plurality consensus in regular expanders.
Colin Cooper, Tomasz Radzik, Nicolas Rivera, Takeharu Shiraga. DISC 2017.
Laurent Chuat Darya Melnyk
FruitChains: A Fair Blockchain.
Rafael Pass, Elain Shi. PODC 2017.
Cédric Stoll Georgia Avarikioti
Be Selfish and Avoid Dilemmas: Fork After Withholding (FAW) Attacks on Bitcoin.
Y. Kwon, D. Kim, Y. Son, E. Vasserman, Y. Kim. CCS 2017.
Simon Bienz Georgia Avarikioti
Multiplicative Weights Update with Constant Step-Size in Congestion Games: Convergence, Limit Cycles and Chaos.
Gerasimos Palaiopanos, Ioannis Panageas, Georgios Piliouras. NIPS 2017.
Julian Steger
Stable Matching with Evolving Preferences.
Varun Kanade, Nikos Leonardos, Frédéric Magniez. APPROX/RANDOM 2016.
André Baptista Aguas Julian Steger
A Simple Deterministic Distributed MST Algorithm, with Near-Optimal Time and Message Complexities.
Michael Elkin. PODC 2017.
Jil Weber Pankaj Khanchandani
Recoverable FCFS Mutual Exclusion with Wait-Free Recovery.
Prasad Jayanti and Anup Joshi. DISC 2017.
Mickey Vänskä Pankaj Khanchandani
Acoustic Communication:
BackDoor: Making Microphones Hear Inaudible Sounds.
N. Roy, H. Hassanieh, R. Choudhury. MobiSys 2017.
Messages Behind the Sound: Real-Time Hidden Acoustic Signal Capture with Smartphones.
Q. Wang, K. Ren, m.Zhou, T.Lei, D. Koutsonikolas, L. Su. MobiCom 2016.
Dhwani: secure peer-to-peer acoustic NFC.
R. Nandakumar, K. Chintalapudi, V. Padmanabhan, R. Venkatesan. SIGCOMM 2013.
Linard Arquint Simon Tanner
Wifi Sensing:
3D Through-Wall Imaging with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using WiFi.
C. Karanam, Y. Mostofi. IPSN 2017.
Position and Orientation Agnostic Gesture Recognition Using WiFi.
A. Virmani, M. Shahzad. MobiSys 2017.
Simon Tanner
Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning:
The Option-Critic Architecture.
P. Bacon, J. Harb, D. Precup. AAAI 2017.
Stochastic Neural Networks for Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning.
C. Florensa, Y. Duan, P. Abbeel. ICLR 2017.
Meta Learning Shared Hierarchies.
K. Frans, J. Ho, X. Chen, P. Abbeel, J. Schulman. ICLR 2018.
Gian-Marco Hutter Oliver Richter
Capsule Networks:
Transforming Auto-Encoders.
G. Hinton, A. Krizhevsky, S. Wang. ICANN 2011.
Dynamic Routings Between Capsules.
S. Sabour, N. Frosst, G. Hinton. NIPS 2017.
Matrix Capsules with EM Routing.
(under review). ICLR 2018.
Oliver Richter
Virtual Reality:
Position Tracking for Virtual Reality Using Commodity WiFi
M. Kotaru, S. Katti. CVPR 2017.
Real-time Full-Body Motion Capture from Video and IMUs
C. Malleson et al. 3DV 2017.
A Low Power, Fully Event-Based Gesture Recognition System
A. Amir et al. CVPR 2017.
Manuel Eichelberger
Mind Reading:
Composing only by thought: Novel application of the P300 brain-computer interface
A. Pinegger A, H. Hiebel, S.C. Wriessnegger, G.R. Müller-Putz. PLoS ONE 2017.
A cryptography-based approach for movement decoding
E.L. Dyer et al. Nature Biomedical Engineering 2017.
Manuel Eichelberger
Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) for Music Generation:
Unsupervised Representation Learning with Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks
Radford et al. ICLR 2016.
MidiNet: A convolutional generative adversarial network for symbolic-domain music generation.
Yang et al. ISMIR 2017.
MuseGAN: Multi-track Sequential Generative Adversarial Networks for Symbolic Music Generation and Accompaniment.
Dong et al. AAAI 2018.
Gino Brunner
Learning Disentangled Latent Features in Deep Generative Models:
InfoGAN: Interpretable Representation Learning by Information Maximizing Generative Adversarial Nets.
Chen et al. NIPS 2016.
beta-VAE: Learning Basic Visual Concepts with a Constrained Variational Framework.
Higgins et al. ICLR 2017.
Multi-Level Variational Autoencoder: Learning Disentangled Representations from Grouped Observations.
Bouchacourt et al. AAAI 2018.
Gino Brunner
Computing Equilibrium in Matching Markets.
S. alaei et al. EC 2017.
Matthias Lei Yuyi Wang
Dynamic Mechanisms with Martingale Utilities.
S. Balseiro. EC 2017.
Yuyi Wang
Online Learning Without Prior Information.
A. Cutkosky and K. Boahen. COLT 2017.
Yuyi Wang
Depth Separation for Neural Networks.
A. Daniely. COLT 2017.
Yuyi Wang
Online Auctions and Multi-scale Online Learning.
S. Bubeck et al. EC 2017.
Yuyi Wang
Matching while Learning.
R. Johari et al. EC 2017.
Yuyi Wang