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Computers & the cloud


  • 4 –
  1. a) In 2021, the world’s fastest 5G speed was recorded on a
    commercial network in Finland, delivering 8 Gbps for the first time
    serving two 5G mmWave devices connected simultaneously.
    Nokia, Elisa and Qualcomm Technologies Inc all collaborated on
    the record. Assume that this network link has a latency of 500 ms.
    According to Molyneux, a 4K movie is around 100 gigabytes in
    size. How long does it take to transfer such a movie? [4 marks]
    b) A distributed system is one in which components located at
    networked computers communicate and coordinate their actions
    only by passing messages. This definition leads to the following
    especially significant characteristics of distributed systems:
    • Concurrency of components,
    • Lack of a global clock
    • Independent failures of components.
    Use Steve Furber’s SpiNNaker (Spiking Neural Network
    Architecture) as an example to explain the above three
    characteristics respectively. [6 marks]
    c) Consider a virtual memory split into pages. If each byte in the
    virtual memory has a virtual address, and the last 8 bits of each
    virtual address give the offset within a page. How big is each
    page? [2 marks]
    d) In contrast to Moore’s Law, processors’ clock speeds are no faster
    today than in the early 2000s. What does Moore’s Law mean to us
    in this instance? What prevented companies like Intel from
    continuing to increase clock speeds? How did they continue to
    deliver more powerful computers? [8 marks]
  • 5 –
  1. a) Design a MapReduce algorithm that computes the sum of a
    multiset. The input is represented by pairs (x,m) where x is an
    element of the multiset and m is its multiplicity, i.e., the number of
    times it is included in the set.
    For example, the multiset [3, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1, 3] is represented by
    the pairs [(1,2),(2,3),(3,4)], and the desired output is 20.
    What is the map function? What is the reduce function? Describe
    any considerations you would take into account. [10 marks]
    b) On modern computers, we need to use parallel execution to be
    able to use their processors effectively. However, parallel
    execution is not trivial.
    For the following programs, identify whether they are parallelizable.
    Simply answer with yes or no. [3 marks]
    (i) Scenario 1
    Program 1 Program 2
    counter = counter + 1; counter = counter + 2
    (ii) Scenario 2
    Program 1 Program 2
    fruitBasket.countApples(); fruitBasket.countPears();
    (iii) Scenario 3
    Program 1 Program 2
    fruitBasket.countApples(); pie.takePieces(2);
    c) Briefly explain your answer to the previous question for each
    scenario. Explicitly mention the elements of the programs that
    were relevant for your decision. [7 marks]
    (i) Scenario 1
    (ii) Scenario 2
    (iii) Scenario 3

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