CS 5214 (Fall 2016)

Modeling and Evaluation of Computer Systems

- Class Instructor
- Catalog Description
- Topics to be Covered
- Reference Textbook
- Grading Policies
- Class Schedule
- Important Dates
- Homeworks and Tests
- Lecture Slides
- Software

Class Instructor

Dr. Ing-Ray Chen , Professor of Computer Science Department

Catalog Description

5214: An overview of modeling, simulation and performance evaluation of computer systems, i.e., operating systems, database management systems, office automation systems, etc. Fundamentals of modeling, the life cycle of a simulation study, workload characterization, random number and variate generation, procurment, measurement principles, software and hardware monitors, capacity planning, system and program tuning, and analytic modeling.

Why do you need to take this course?

This course will cover two state-of-the-art performance and reliability modeling and analysis tools, namely, SHARPE (Symbolic Hierarchical Automated Reliability & Performance Evaluator) and SPNP (Stochastic Petri Nets Package), both developed by Duke University. SHARPE has its own language, while SPNP language is a subset of C. Users can use these tools to define a system and ask these tools to calculate system performance/reliability measures. This course will also cover discrete-event simulation. Students can use the tools and techniques learned in this course to evaluate computer system designs, e.g., control and scheduling algorithms, network communication protocols, distributed algorithms, location management algorithms in mobile wireless systems, admission and quality of service control algorithms in multimedia systems, fault-tolerant designs, replicated data control algorithms in databases, etc. This course is ideal for graduate students to equip themselves with mathematical modeling and analysis techniques for their research projects. Case studies will be drawn from distributed databases, mobile systems, and networked multimedia systems.

Topics to be Covered (Tentative)

Discrete event simulation (1 week)
Combinatorial reliability/availability modeling (1/2 week)
Fault trees, reliability graphs, network reliability models (1 week)
Reliability and availability modeling using SHARPE (1/2 week)
Markov models for performance/reliability/availability evaluation (2 weeks)
Single queueing systems (1 week)
Product-form queueing networks (1 week)
Stochastic Petri nets modeling using SPNP (1 week)
Hierarchical modeling (1/2 week)
Performability modeling (1/2 week)
Case studies and paper discussion (5 weeks)

Reference Textbook

R.A. Sahner, K.S. Trivedi and A. Puliafito, Performance and Reliability Analysis of Computer Systems: An Example-Based Approach Using the Sharpe Software Package, Springer, 1996, ISBN: 0-7923-9650-2, Price: $79.95.


  • 40% homework (3)
  • 25% exam 1
  • 25% exam 2
  • 10% participation and paper presentation

    Class Schedule

    Date HW/Test Source Subject
    9/1 hw1 S* Discrete event simulation
    9/8   2 Reliability and availability models using SHARPE
    9/15   9 Fault trees, reliability graphs, network reliability models using SHARPE
    9/22 hw1 due; hw2 S* Queueing theory: single queueing systems
    9/29   4,9,6,12 Markov reward models, performability
    10/6   S*,5,10,11 Case study 1, queueing network models
    10/13 hw2 due 5,10,11 Queueing network models, hierarchical modeling
    10/20 exam 1   4:00 - 6:45 p.m. in class
    10/27 hw3 7 Stochastic Petri net modeling using SPNP
    11/3   S* Case studies 2 & 3
    11/10   [P1] [P2] Paper presentation
    11/17 hw3 due [P3] [P4] Paper presentation
    11/24     Thanksgiving Break (no class)
    12/1   [P5] [P6] Paper presentation
    12/11 exam 2   4:00 - 6:45 p.m. in class

    S* - supplement materials (slides)
    SHARPE - Symbolic Hierarchical Automated Reliability & Performance Evaluator.
    SPNP - Stochastic Petri Net Package
    [Pn] - paper presentation material, to be determined in class.

    Presentation Schedule and List of Papers

  • [P1] (11/10 - Presented by Wei Wang and Lei Zhang) (presentation slides)
    N. Anderson, R. Mitchell, and I.R. Chen,
    "Parameterizing Moving Target Defenses,"
    8th IFIP/IEEE International Conference on New Technologies, Mobility and Security (NTMS 2016),
    Larnaca, Cyprus, Nov. 2016.

  • [P2] (11/10 - Presented by Taoran Ji) (presentation slides)
    I.R. Chen, F. Bao, M. Chang, and J.H. Cho,
    "Dynamic Trust Management for Delay Tolerant Networks and Its Application to Secure Routing,"
    IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems,
    vol. 25, no. 5, 2014, pp. 1200-1210.

  • [P3] (11/17 - Presented by Alex Campbell) (presentation slides)
    R. Mitchell, and I.R. Chen,
    "On Survivability of Mobile Cyber Physical Systems with Intrusion Detection,"
    Wireless Personal Communications,
    vol. 69, no. 1, 2013, pp. 449-469.

  • [P4] (11/17 - Presented by Nikhil Muralidhar) (presentation slides)
    R. Mitchell, and I.R. Chen,
    "Modeling and Analysis of Attacks and Counter Defense Mechanisms for Cyber Physical Systems,"
    IEEE Transactions on Reliability,
    vol. 65, no. 1, March 2016, pp. 350-358.

    Presentation Policy

  • Each presentation should last for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, including 15 minutes for questioning/answering.
  • Each group of presenters should prepare a powerpoint file for the paper to be presented and send it to the instructor for posting on the class web site one day prior to the presentation date. (Click to see example powerpoint slides.)
  • Every student is required to attend the presentation session. Class participation will be counted toward the presentation grade.
  • The presentation will be graded based on the following criteria: organization of presentation (20%), material understanding (30%), clearness of presentation (10%), and whether the presentation covers the main idea (40%).

    Important Dates

    HW #1 due 9/22
    HW #2 due 10/13
    HW #3 due 11/17
    Exam #1 10/20
    Exam #2 12/1

    Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • HW #1 (ascii format)
  • HW #2 (ascii format)
  • HW #3 (ascii format)