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Seminar: Content Distribution

Teacher: Jussi Kangasharju and Laila Daniel

Time and location: Periods III-IV, Thu 14-16, C220

Seminar Working Area

The seminar working area is available only to the participants of the seminar. It will be opened when the seminar starts.


Understanding networks better often requires understanding what kind of traffic flows in the networks. Internet, being a global network, poses particular challenges to being measured. Nevertheless, several aspects of the Internet, across all layers of the protocol stack, have already been measured and used in development of new network protocols and architectures. In this seminar, we will take a look at measurement technologies and results as they relate to Internet and networking in general.

Structure of the Seminar

The language of the seminar is English.

To pass the seminar, you need to do the following four tasks:

1. Write a paper about a topic agreed during the first meetings,
2. Review two papers written by other students,
3. Prepare a presentation and discuss it with the other students, and
4. Participate in the seminar by asking questions, raising discussions on the topic, and reviewing other students' work.

During Period III all students write their papers in English. The length of the paper is 7-10 pages formatted according to the IEEE Transactions guidelines. The oral presentations during Period IV last about 30 minutes to leave time for questions and discussion.

IEEE guidelines for the paper (Latex and Word) can be found from the IEEE Transaction author guide:

A good book to writing understandable English is The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. It is a classic book. Although it was originally published in 1918, most, if not all, of its content is still valid.


Possible topics include the following:

  • Web caching
  • Cache replacement algorithms
  • Collaborative caching
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
  • Peer-to-peer content distribution
  • Publish/subscribe
  • Information-centric networks
  • Mobile content distribution and sharing
  • Naming of content
  • Content popularity (a.k.a. why caching works)
  • Streaming content delivery

You can find guidelines for writing from the Tieteellinen Kirjoittaminen/ Scientific Writing course page.

Further help is also available from the Writing Center of UW Madison. It contains useful information about how to quote and cite work of others. The center's main web page contains general information about different kinds of citation styles. We are using the IEEE Transactions style which has its own citation style defined in the templates.


The seminar is divided into two phases. During the first phase (Period III), students write their papers, with guidance from Jussi and Laila if needed. The presentations take place during the second phase (Period IV), we will have two presentations from the students each week.

The topics will be assigned during the first meeting.

The preliminary schedule is as follows: (dates and assignments subject to change before the start of the seminar)

First phase:

Writing the paper


Introduction and selection of topics Slides


First selection of material and references
Introduction on how to do seminar work and presentation Slides


Selection of material complete, table of contents


Structure outline with all sections and sketch of contents


First draft


Second draft
Introduction to doing reviews Slides

Paper done:


Reviews done:


Second phase:



Peer-to-peer content distribution


Mobile content distribution


No meeting (conference trip)


No meeting (Easter)


Content popularity
Cache replacement algorithms


Web caching




Everybody has to review two papers written by other students. Each review has a public ja private part. There will be one seminar session about how to do reviews, as mentioned in the schedule. Review Guidelines page gives more information about what to write in your review.

The deadline for the review is 14.3. If you have not yet received the paper, the deadline will be assigned when you receive the paper. A nice paper explaining the review process of a journal. You can use it as a hint when doing your own review.


Students will be graded based on i) their written paper (40%), ii) their oral presentation (40%), and iii) their activity in commenting other students' work and participating in the discussion (20%). To pass the course, the student must write the paper on the agreed subject and present his work. In addition, each student is required to attend at least 80% of the seminar presentations.


All participants must have a bachelor's degree or have passed the Scientific Writing course. Background in basic networking is required.

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