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COMP9121: Design of Networks & Distributed Systems (2017 - Semester 2)

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Unit: COMP9121: Design of Networks & Distributed Systems (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Information Technologies
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Bao, Wei
Dr Holz, Ralph
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: COMP5116.
Brief Handbook Description: The unit covers general foundations of communication systems and a detailed walk through of the implementation of the TCP/IP protocol stack, which forms the basis of the Internet. The unit also covers the basic knowledge of how to analyse, design and implement simple communication protocols.

On completion of this unit students will have developed an understanding of the principles and practice of the layered model of communications architecture, the TCP/IP protocol stack and its component protocols, and various common techniques and tools for protocol analysis and design.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Bao, Wei
Dr Holz, Ralph
Timetable: COMP9121 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 1.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 9.00 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: Tutorial

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
Tutorials/labs and assignments include problem solving exercises that require understanding of various protocols and some basic approaches to protocol analysis. Design (Level 3)
Students will learn the principals and practice of modern computer-communication networks and the fundamentals of the TCP/IP protocol stack in particular. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
Communication networks, and in particular the Internet, are increasingly essential for work in Science and Engineering. Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
Some awareness of socio/political and ethical issues regarding the Internet. Professional Conduct (Level 3)

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. Understand and be able to use common techniques and tools for protocol analysis
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
2. Understand the fundamentals of the TCP/IP protocol stack (the Internet protocol stack) and its component protocols.
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
3. Understand the principles and practice of the layered model of communications architecture
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment No 10.00 Week 7 1, 2,
2 Assignment No 15.00 Week 12 1, 2,
3 Mid-Sem Exam No 25.00 Week 7 2, 3,
4 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 2, 3,
Assessment Description: Assignment: Assignment 1

Assignment: Assignment 2

Mid-Sem Exam: Mid-term Exam

Final Exam: Final exam
Grading:
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 http://sydney.edu.au/policies . 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.
Minimum Pass Requirement It is a policy of the School of Information Technologies that in order to pass this unit, a student must achieve at least 40% in the written examination. For subjects without a final exam, the 40% minimum requirement applies to the corresponding major assessment component specified by the lecturer. A student must also achieve an overall final mark of 50 or more. Any student not meeting these requirements may be given a maximum final mark of no more than 45 regardless of their average.
Policies & Procedures: IMPORTANT: School policy relating to Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.

In assessing a piece of submitted work, the School of IT may reproduce it entirely, may provide a copy to another member of faculty, and/or to an external plagiarism checking service or in-house computer program and may also maintain a copy of the assignment for future checking purposes and/or allow an external service to do so.

Other policies

See the policies page of the faculty website at http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/student-policies/ 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.
  • Computer Networks, Fifth Edition
Note on Resources: References to further reading materials are available on the course website and on the lectures slides.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar https://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au/calendar.jsp

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction - Course inventory

Overview of networking and TCP/IP
Week 2 Data Link Layer, Ethernet
Week 3 Network Layer, Internet Protocol IP
Week 4 IP Addressing, ICMP and Applications
Week 5 Routing Protocols and Concepts, Part 1
Week 6 Routing Protocols and Concepts, Part 2
Week 7 Mid-term Exam
Assessment Due: Assignment
Assessment Due: Mid-Sem Exam
Week 8 Transport Layer: TCP and UDP Part 1
Week 9 Transport Layer: TCP and UDP Part 2
Week 10 NAT, IP Multicast, Mobility
Week 11 DNS, Application Layer Part 1
Week 12 Application Layer Part 2
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 13 Network Security and Review
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
Graduate Certificate in Information Technology 2016, 2017
Graduate Certificate in Information Technology Management 2016, 2017
Graduate Diploma in Computing 2016, 2017
Graduate Diploma in Health Technology Innovation 2016, 2017
Graduate Diploma in Information Technology 2016, 2017
Graduate Diploma in Information Technology Management 2016, 2017
Master of Health Technology Innovation 2016, 2017
Master of Information Technology 2016, 2017
Master of Information Technology Management 2016, 2017
Master of IT/Master of IT Management 2016, 2017

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 3) Yes 12.5%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 50%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 37.5%
Professional Conduct (Level 3) Yes 0%

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.