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Distributed computing is the huge field of applications that involve multiple computers connected over a network. This includes cloud computing, service-oriented architectures (SOAs, sensor networks, the internet of things, and the internet in general. It is thus an area of computer science which touches almost every aspect of our daily life, ranging from providing the news that we consume, the apps we use for ordering products, to the infrastructure that powers enterprise application environments and even the sensors, networks, and controllers. Distributed computing is thus also a key technology to enable a high degree of automation as required for realizing concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025 [中国制造2025], i.e., the next evolutionary step of our industry. This has been widely recognized and is targeted with frameworks such as Internet Plus [互联网+]. At first glance, it may seem as this has nothing to do with optimization. But only at first glance, because we do not just want to build such systems, we want to build them to be efficient, robust, and cheap both in construction and maintenance.

Thus, for every of the above-mentioned topics, various questions arise, such as: How can networks be designed to be as robust and fast but also as cheap as possible? Where should we put sensors for a reliable, complete surveillance at a low cost and how can they kept alive via efficient routing? How should we best assign resources in a cloud? How can we design robust and self-healing and automatically (optimally) configuring Service-Oriented Architectures?

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