Advanced Systems Lab - Fall 2012


  • Exam
    Takes place on Saturday, February 2, 09.00 - 11.00, HIL F61

  • December 17
    Solutions to Queueing Exercises online.

  • November 28
    Recommended list of exercises from the book online.

  • November 27
    Queueing exercises online.

Course Description

The goal of this course is to teach students how to evaluate the performance of complex computer and software systems. Accordingly, the methodology to carry out experiments and measurements is studied.  Furthermore, the modeling of systems with the help of queueing network systems is explained.

The course will have lectures and project work. The first lecture will be on September 18.


  • The following document explains in detail the course and the project organization. It also contains general remarks and advice on how to perform best during the course. 
    Course and project description 

  • The assignments of people to groups and groups to TAs and rooms can be found in the
    Group Assignments document.

  • SVN-Repository:

  • Cluster: dryad01, dryad02, ..., dryad16
    - acess the cluster from within ETH or use VPN
    - use your group username (e.g. user07)
    - the schedule can be found here. It can also be downloaded as a file.

  • E-mail address available for questions, requests, and feedback regarding the course: sg-asl [at] lists [dot] inf [dot] ethz [dot] ch.

Teaching material (Slides, Exercises, Project...)


The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis, Raj Jain, Wiley Professional Computing, 1991.

Of this textbook, the exam will be based on the following chapters:

Chapters 1, 2, 3 = general introduction, common terminology
Chapters 4, 5, 6 = workloads
Chapter 10 = data presentation
Chapters 12, 13, 14 = probability and statistics
Chapters 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22 = experiment design
Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 36 = queueing theory

Exam: Saturday, February 2, 09.00 - 11.00, HIL F61

Useful exercises to prepare for the exam
The following exercises are taken from the textbook and are indicative of some of the questions you can expect to get in the exam. This list is intended only as an example and to help you prepare for the exam by pointing to important topics that you need to know well. Note that this list does not exclude the possibility of having questions about topics that are not mentioned in this list. The format and style of the question might also deviate from the exercises in this list.

2.2 (use the system you build in milestone 1 as example)
12.1, 12.7
13.2, 14.2
30.3, 30.4
31.1, 31.2, 31.3, 31.4 31.7, 31.8
33.1, 33.2, 33.3, 33.5, 33.6, 33.7

Course Hours

Lecture: Tue 17-19h, CAB G 61
Exercise: Thu 17-19h, CAB G 52
Thu 17-19h, CAB G 56
Thu 17-19h, CHN D 42
Thu 17-19h, CHN D 46
Thu 17-19h, CHN D 48


Gustavo Alonso, Donald Kossmann