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ELEC5740: Foundations of Data Comm & the Internet (2014 - Semester 2)

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Unit: ELEC5740: Foundations of Data Comm & the Internet (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Electrical & Information Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Lin, Zihuai
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Students undertaking this unit should be familiar with fundamental digital technologies and representations such as bit complement and internal word representation. Students should also have a basic understanding of the physical properties of communication channels, techniques and limitations. Furthermore, students should be able to apply fundamental mathematical skills.

The unit will cover the following specific material: Communication reference models (TCP/IP, ATM and OSI). Circuit switched and packet switched communication. Network node functions and building blocks. LAN, MAN and WAN technologies. ATM systems. Protocols fundamental mechanisms. The TCP/IP core protocols (IP, ICMP, DHCP, ARP, TCP, UDP etc.). Applications and protocols (FTP, Telnet, SMTP, HTTP etc.).
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Friedman, Arik
Tutor/s: All Tutorials: Mr. Robert Webster ([email protected])

Room 530, Level 5, Bldg J03

School of Electrical and Information Engineering

All Labs: Mr. Harrison Xia Xiao ([email protected])

Room 530, Level 5, Bldg J03

School of Electrical and Information Engineering
Timetable: ELEC5740 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Laboratory 2.00 1 6
3 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
4 Independent Study 5.00 13
T&L Activities: Laboratory: The labs are designed to greatly deepen students` understanding of network protocols by seeing them in action. The labs cover various layers of internet protocols and give students the opportunity to observe the sequence of messages exchanged between two protocol entities and even to try different parameters in some protocols and watch the effects.

Tutorial: Tutorials are designed to help student understand the materials from the lectures as well as the textbook.

Independent Study: The introductory nature of this UoS means that students will encounter various pieces of knowledge in networking areas. Therefore, independent study is essential for a success completion.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
The tutorials and laboratories are prepared to encourage ability of problem formulation and solving. The examinations are also taking design and problem solving as one of the major assessment elements. Design (Level 3)
Specialised skills in data communications will be developed during the T&L process. Key concepts in data communications and networking will be introduced and the state-of-art techniques studied. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
Intermediate level of mathematics are involved in the T&L process of this UoS in order to understand different network protocols and algorithms. Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
Different network analytical tools will be used in the laboratories and students need to conduct tests and experiments and perform analysis to the observations based on the theory learned from the text. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Laboratory reports are assessed with clarity, conciseness, accuracy and persuasiveness as the main assessment elements. The open questions in the examinations also assess the ability of effective communications. Communication (Level 3)
Team work in pairs in the laboratories. Project and Team Skills (Level 1)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 3)
1. Ability to solve ill-defined network problems by employing techniques and principles of protocol design, implementation and analysis.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
2. Capacity to demonstrate an understanding of concepts in data communications and networking and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative protocols, algorithms and designs.
3. Proficiency in assessing and troubleshooting different networks using specific network tools such as packet sniffer to the extent presented in the course.
4. Ability to apply principles and concepts of communication and networking protocols, algorithms and designs to specific engineering problems and situations to the extent of the material presented.
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
5. Ability to demonstrate an understanding of network protocols and algorithms using fundamental mathematical derivations.
Communication (Level 3)
6. Ability to write reports to communicate complex and technical material clearly and concisely, addressing a specific target audience.
Project and Team Skills (Level 1)
7. Ability to work in a team by drawing on the abilities and knowledge of others, emphasizing and fulfilling clear responsibilities and leading in the development of a consensus to the specific engineering problem at hand.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Lab Reports No 16.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7,
2 Tutorial attendance No 7.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6,
3 Quizzes (Weeks 5 and 10) No 12.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5,
4 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 4, 5,
5 Group Research Project Yes 15.00 Week 13 1, 2, 4, 5, 6,
Assessment Description: Individual Lab Reports – 16 % (4 labs * 4 marks each = 16 Marks)

Tutorial Attendance – 7 % (attending 7 tutorials (out of 8) * 1 mark each = 7 Marks)

Quiz – 12 % (2 quizzes * 6 marks each = 12 Marks)

Group Research Project – 15%

Final Exam - 50%
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Online Course Content:

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Background and preview: an introduction to the Internet
Week 2 Physical layer
Week 3 Data link layer
Week 4 MAC Protocols and Wired LAN standards
Week 5 Network Layer - part 1
Quiz 1
Week 6 Network Layer - part 2
Week 7 Transport Layer
Week 8 Application Layer
Week 9 WAN technologies
Group Research Project - start
Week 10 Quality of Service in IP Networks
Quiz 2
Week 11 Wireless Networks
Week 12 Mobile IP
Week 13 Network Security
Assessment Due: Group Research Project
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Telecommunications) 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Electrical) 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 3) Yes 23.1%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 46.2%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 19.9%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 0%
Communication (Level 3) Yes 7.6%
Professional Conduct (Level 1) No 0%
Project and Team Skills (Level 1) Yes 3.2%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.