Assignments & Practice Problems

Spring 2016

Assignment 1: Performance Measurement of a Web Server



Simulation Project

Important Dates:

  • Proposal Submission: Saturday, March 5th 2016, 11:59pm.
  • Project Submission: Saturday, April 9th, 2016, 11:59pm

Project can be done in team of MAX two members. If you cannot find a partner, do the project alone by appropriately downsizing it.

Other Details

In this project, you will choose a computing or networking system to study for its performance. You will then analye the system using the methodology of Discrete Event Simulation. Specifically, you have to do the following:

  1. Search publications or other sources to pick sa ystem which you find interesting to study for its performance 

  2. Submit a 500-800 word proposal.

  3. Write a discrete event simulation program for this system.

  4. Run the program to answer the questions you are interested in. 

  5. Analyze the data using sound statistical techniques that we will learn in class.

IMPORTANT: You are NOT allowed to use an off-the-shelf simulation tool such as ns-2 for this project. You must write the simulation in a general purpose language (C++/Java/python...).


The proposal should include the following information (appropriately summarized so hat everything fits into the word limit):

  • System to be studied: describe the essential features and behaviour. Make sure you do not use words/abbreviations without defining, unless they are well known (e.g. "TCP" is ok, but if a paper uses "LCTXDY" scheme, then you must define it properly.)
  • Interesting questions about the system that you will answer with simulation (this is extremely important - do not say "we will simulate XYZ system". Say "we want do a simulation to answer these questions about this system.")
    • Try coming up with a "design question" rather than a simple analysis question. E.g. which algorithm is better? What should be the configuration of XYZ? What should be the value of a system parameter?
  • What specific metrics you need to study to answer the above questions
  • Parameters you will vary for studying the effect of, or different mechanisms you will compare, or a similar interesting analysis.
  • Reference material (e.g. paper on which your project is based)

Grading (5%) is done not merely on your "project idea", but on the quality of the written proposal. Plagiarism (i.e. "copy-pasting" sentences from your source paper into your proposal) will absolutely not be tolerated. You will be given negative marks (upto -10% into your overall weighted marks for CS 681) if I find copy-paste done in your proposal.

Sources for finding simulation projects ideas: Networking and Systems conferences/journals (Use, IEL Online, or ACM Digital Library. Avoid unpublished work.). Some sample conferences:

  • Networks: Infocomm, Mobicomm, Globecomm (networks)
  • Systems: Parallel and distributed systems (journal/conference), WWW conferences, SIGMETRICS, VEE, IEEE Cloud, IwQoS, ICAC (Autonomic Computing), ICDCS

Some previous years' project proposals and final project presentations.

Some other points:

  • You can look for a paper that itself does a simulation study, or an analytical model that is verified with a simulation study. You are of course expected to appropriately simplify the problem so that 2 people can do the project in about 4 weeks.
  • In or ieeexplore, a keyword search of "performance comparison" might yield something useful.
  • Typically, new network algorithms, or architectures will be shown to work well using simulations - you should aim to verify the paper results. You may even be able to discover something lacking in the paper you read.
  • Mtech 2nd year students are free to choose a project related to their MTP. However, all students working on their final year MTPs are required to get a small statement signed by their guide that you are not simply "reusing" MTP work towards your CS 681 simulation. The intent is to ADDITIONALLY benefit your MTP, not to reduce your total workload. So please do not abuse this freedom. (I will write the words of the required statement soon.)



Previous Years' Assignments/Problems section. Overall similar to this year, but order of syllabus has changed drastically.

Practice Problems