SRL Publications Projects Courses







600.438: Advanced Topics in Operating Systems

Jonathan S. Shapiro


Content varies from year to year.


600.318/418: Operating Systems
or permission of the instructor.


Limited to approximately 15 students.


This course examines various advanced topics in operating systems, generally working from selected research papers in a given area. Students will be expected both to read these papers and to participate actively in discussion of them. A continuing theme of this course from year to year is how formal results relate to current practices.

Fall 2004:

Explores techniques for robust system construction in the face of complexity, drawing from work in microprocessor architecture, transaction processing, operating systems, formal specification and verification, and practical experience. We will look fairly carefully at various applications of dataflow driven computation and rollback strategies and how these ideas have been applied in the context of microkernel-based operating systems. We will examine the performance implications of these techniques, and their implications for security and predictable latency. Finally, we will examine the relevance of these techniques to formal verification of overall correctness invariants.

Fall 2000:

Explores various issues in operating system security, ranging from formal results and their significance to examining real high-security implementations. We will briefly examine covert timing and storage channels, with an eye toward understanding their implications for operating system architecture. Finally, we will look at current operating system research efforts here at Hopkins and how these issues are being addressed. Students will be expected to complete a significant project.