[CS-453] Concurrent Algorithms

2021, autumn semester. Master course.
This course is independent from the course Distributed Algorithms.

Prerequisites ICC, Operating Systems
Recommendations Algorithms, concurrency

Presentation of the course: YouTube

Textbook: Algorithms for Concurrent Systems

General information:

  • Exercises are made available on the course webpage.
  • Exercises are not graded and do not count towards the final grade. However, solving the exercises will help you prepare for the final exam.
  • Solutions to the exercises will be available on the course webpage one week after the exercises were given.
  • The project consists in implementing a Software Transactional Memory (STM).
  • There is one single deadline at the very end of the course; but start as early as possible.
  • The final exam and the midterm will be written and without books or any other material. Only the final exam is graded, the midterm is for training purposes only.


  • Important: In September 2021, everything (lecture, exercise and project sessions) will be held only on Zoom !
  • Starting October 4th 2021, all sessions will start being held in person.

A course page is also available on Moodle. We encourage students to register on Moodle, in order to get all the course announcements by email. Students can use Moodle to ask questions about the exercise sessions and/or the project.

Dates and schedule

The link for Zoom is available on Moodle.

What When Where
Course lectures Monday 8:15-10:00 INM 202 and Zoom
Exercise sessions Tuesday 13:15-14:00 SG 0211 and Zoom
Project sessions Tuesday 14:15-16:00 SG 0211 and Zoom

What When Where
Midterm exam (not graded) 20/12/2021 TBA
Final exam 19/01/2022 16:15-19:15 INM 200, 202, 203
Project deadline 17/12/2021 (Friday) 23:59:59 N/A

Important: In September 2021, courses will be given only on Zoom ! 

Teaching team

Slides and exercises

Week(s) Lecture Slides Exercises Videos
1 No lecture X No exercises
2 Introduction PDF, video No exercises
3 Registers PDF, video1 Ex1, Sol1 i, ii, iii
4 Registers video2 Ex2, Sol2
5 Registers video3 Ex3, Sol3
6 The Power of Registers PDF, video Ex4, Sol4 i, ii
7 The Limitations of Registers PDF, video Ex5, Sol5 i, ii
8 Universal Constructions PDF, video Ex6, Sol6 i, ii
9 Implementing Consensus with Timing Assumptions PDF, video Ex7, Sol7 i, ii
10 Anonymous Processes PDF, paper, video Ex8, Sol8
11 Transactional Memory PDF, video Ex9, Sol9
12 Why lock-free synchronization? (Aleksandar Dragojevic) video Ex10, Sol10
13 Concurrent programming: From theory to practice PDF, video No exercices
14 Mock Midterm Midterm, Sol


Description: PDF

Repository: https://github.com/LPD-EPFL/CS453-2021-project

Important notes:

  • 30% of the final grade.
  • Prior knowledge of C and/or C++ is assumed. Only the memory model of C11/C++11 will be briefly presented.
  • Only Ubuntu and Debian distributions, with reasonably recent GCC/clang, are supported troubleshooting-wise. You can use any other OS or compiler for your local developments, but be aware the TAs may not be able to help you.
  • Automated submission system with unlimited submissions allowed until the deadline (only your best submission is considered for grading). The specs of the evaluation machine are available in the project description.

Auxiliary documents

Supplementary Material

  • Lecture Notes pdf
  • Registers, Ivan Kviatkevitch pdf
  • Writing while reading and Tromp's algorithm, Laurent Bindschaedler pdf
  • Consensus with timing assumptions, Utkarsh Upadhyay pdf
  • Computing with anonymous processes, Shabnam Ataee pdf
  • Object Implementation out of faulty base objects, Shabnam Ataee pdf
  • Set Agreement, Mihailo Velimirovic pdf
  • The Power and Limitations of Registers, Ruben Braojos pdf