To students enrolled for DIS course for 2008-09 winter semester- the course website is maintained in Moodle- the exact link


LSIR course, winter semester 2007/2008 (last year's web page)

Distributed Information Systems


This course introduces in detail several key technologies underlying today's distributed information systems. After introducing nonstandard data models nowadays in use on the Web for information representation, we learn about various aspects of processing this information at increasing levels of abstraction, starting from the physical aspects of managing distributed data up to the extraction of new information from existing data by means of data mining. The specific focus will be on managing Web and mobile data.


We assume students to be familiar with the course relational databases.


This year, we will have weekly exercises where we will provide questions and datasets (input/output) for selected algorithmic problems. Participation is facultative and the exercises will not be corrected nor graded. We will provide and explain the solutions at the subsequent week. We will also provide exercises and exam questions from previous years.

Bonus Intermediate Exams

We will have two written intermediate bonus exams, which each count 25%. An intermediate exam counts only if the grade is better than the grade in the final exam.

Support: Lecture slides, exercises, handwritten notes.

Final Exam

There will be a final written exam. It will consist of conceptual questions similar to those posed throughout the lecture and of examples similar to those from the exercises. Support: Lecture slides, exercises, handwritten notes, basic calculator.

Time and Place

Lecture: Tuesday 8h00am-10h00am, room INM 200
Exercise: Tuesday 10h00am -11h00am, room INM 200

News and announcements

  • There will be a Q&A session before the final exam, from 16h00 to 18h00, Jan 17th, 2008 in BC03.
  • Solution of the 2nd immediate exam are available here. To see your grades, go to Wojciech's office (BC 143) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon, from 14h00-15h00 (till December 21st). Otherwise, send an email to for an appointment.
  • A blog has been created at to facilitate the discussion among students and assistants on course-related questions.
  • Slides of Week 11 updated
  • More detailed explanations for the exercises  on P2P networks are updated.


Lecturer   Office Office hours

Prof. Karl Aberer

karl.aberer at

BC 180


Dr. Yongluan Zhou yongluan.zhou at BC 146




Adriana Budura BC 130 Wed. 14-15h

Ali Salehi

BC 143 Fri. 14-15h
Le-Hung Vu BC 142 Thu. 14-15h
Wojciech Galuba BC 143 Fri. 14-15h

Lecture Schedule

    Lectures Programming exercises and exams Assistant


Week 1 2007.Sep.18  

Semi-structured Data Management

Week 2


Week 3


Week 4 2007.Oct.09 Adriana
Week 5



Distributed Data Management

Week 6


Week 7


Week 8


Week 9 2007.Nov.13 Hung

Information Retrieval and Data Mining

Week 10


Week 11


Week 12


Week 13


Wojciech - Hung
Week 14 2007.Dec.18 Wojciech - Hung
Week 15 2008.Jan.17
  • Q & A session (BC03)
        Adriana -  Ali - Wojciech - Hung
Week 16


  • Final exam (covers the entire lecture)


Note: The contents of the lectures might be (slightly) updated before the class. 



  • M. Tamer Özsu, Patrick Valduriez: Principles of Distributed Database Systems, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-659707-6, 1999.
  • S. Abiteboul, P. Bunemann, D. Suciu: Data on the Web: >From Relations to Semistructured Data and XML, Morgan Kaufman, 2000.
  • Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Berthier Ribeiro-Neto, Modern Information Retrieval (Acm Press Series), Addison Wesley, 1999.
  • Jiawei Han, Data Mining: concepts and techniques, Morgan Kaufman, 2000, ISBN 1-55860-489-8
  • P. Baldi, P. Frasconi, P. Smyth: Modeling the Internet and the Web, Wiley 2003