Cloud Computing

Module Tutor: Dell Zhang
Time: Friday evenings 6pm - 9pm (Autumn Term)
Room: Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street (MAL) 532 [BBK-DCS Teaching Map]
Code: BUCI028H6 (for UG), BUCI029H7 (for PG)
Document: Module Spec (for UG), Module Spec (for PG)
Teaching Assistant: Cosmin Stamate

Facebook Group: Cloud Computing (Birkbeck)

Prerequisites: Good knowledge of object-oriented programming in Python would be necessary.
BSc students should have already taken the Software and Programming II (SP2) module.
MSc students who did not have much experience in software development before joining their respective postgraduate programmes should have already taken the Principles of Programming I (POP1) module.

UCL students: Please complete and submit the intercollegiate student application form to enrol on this module.
The module can accommodate at most 25 UCL students (first-come, first-served) from MSc WSBDA and MSc DS.


Jothy Rosenberg and Arthur Mateos,
The Cloud at Your Service,
Manning, 2010.
Companion Website
Dan Marinescu,
Cloud Computing: Theory and Practice,
Morgan Kaufmann, 2013.
Companion Website
eBook in the Birkbeck Library
Jimmy Lin and Chris Dyer,
Data-Intensive Text Processing with MapReduce,
Morgan and Claypool, 2010.
Free eBook
Companion Website
Code and Data
Anand Rajaraman and Jeff Ullman,
Mining of Massive Datasets,
Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Free eBook
Companion Website
Serge Abiteboul, Ioana Manolescu, Philippe Rigaux,
Marie-Christine Rousset, and Pierre Senellart,
Web Data Management ,
Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Free eBook
Companion Website
Chuck Lam,
Hadoop in Action,
Manning, 2010.
Companion Website
Code and Data
Tom White,
Hadoop: The Definitive Guide, 4th edition,
O'Reilly Media, 2015.
Companion Website
Code and Data

Resources and Tools

Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS Educate; Amazon EC2, and Amazon EMR, etc.
Apache: Hadoop and Spark, etc.


Week Date Lecture
1 06/10/2017

Introduction to Cloud Computing
  • What is cloud computing
  • The history of cloud computing[CAYS-1.0] [CAYS-1.3] [CAYS-9.1]
  • The principles of cloud computing [CAYS-1.1]
  • The benefits of cloud computing [CAYS-1.2]
  • The economics of cloud computing [CAYS-3.1]
  • Where does the cloud (not) make sense [CAYS-3.2,3.3]

Cloud Computing Technologies and Types
2 13/10/2017
Parallel Computing and Distributed Systems
  • Parallel Computing: speed-up, parallelism, locking [CCTP-2a]
  • Distributed Systems: CAP theorem, logical clocks, snapshot algorithms, consensus protocols, RESTful APIs [WDM-14a] [CCTP-2a] [CAYS-2.1.3]
3 20/10/2017
Big Data
4 27/10/2017
MapReduce and Hadoop
5 03/11/2017
MAL 457+458
Practical Lab Class
6 10/11/2017
UCL Reading Week: No Cloud Computing Lecture for BBK and UCL Students.
Please find below the materials to read.
Selected Case Studies
Getting Started with Google App Engine (GAE)
7 17/11/2017
Developing MapReduce Programs
  • MapReduce algorithm design [DITP-3] [HIA-4,5,6,7] [HTDG-6,7,8]
8 24/11/2017
Link Analysis in the Cloud
9 01/12/2017
Data Management in the Cloud
10 08/12/2017
Information Retrieval in the Cloud
11 15/12/2017
Beyond MapReduce
[slides] [slides]
Guest Lectures (2014-2015)
Guest Lectures (2013-2014)
Guest Lectures (2012-2013)
-- Friday
6pm - 9pm
MAL 532
Revision Lecture (for UG Students)
2012-13 UG Exam Paper
2013-14 UG Exam Paper
2014-15 UG Exam Paper
2015-16 UG Exam Paper
2016-17 UG Exam Paper
[extra] [extra]
-- Friday
6pm - 9pm
MAL 532
Revision Lecture (for PG Students)
2012-13 PG Exam Paper
2013-14 PG Exam Paper
2014-15 PG Exam Paper
2015-16 PG Exam Paper
2016-17 PG Exam Paper
[extra] [extra]
-- ------------ More on Data Management in the Cloud
(Optional self-study material, excluded from assessment.)
-- ------------ Machine Learning in the Cloud
(Optional self-study material, excluded from assessment.)
-- ------------ Security of Cloud Computing
(Optional self-study material, excluded from assessment.)


Coursework: 20%

Please submit your solutions in electronic form, through the Moodle system.
Penalty for late submission (i.e., after the normal deadline):
the coursework mark will be capped at the minimum pass mark (i.e., 40% for UG students and 50% for PG students).

Examination: 80%
Past exam papers can be found at Birkbeck eLibrary.

Python Programming

Python [A Short Course for BGRS and BPSN]


Research on MapReduce (Literature)