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CSC2035 : Operating Systems and Networks (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Cook
  • Lecturer: Dr John Colquhoun, Dr Rouaa Yassin Kassab
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0


To provide an introduction to operating systems and networked systems: concepts, structure and mechanisms.
The module provides an overview of the evolution and development of operating systems and key operating systems concepts with a focus on: processes, scheduling, memory management and the need for, and mechanisms to achieve, interprocess communication and concurrency control.
The module extends this to networks of systems and covers the fundamental principles underpinning the operation of the Internet. There will be a particular focus on achieving reliable communication over an unreliable network of networks. Wireless sensor networks are used for comparison of requirements and mechanism with more conventional data networks.

Outline Of Syllabus

Overview of operating systems and networks
•       Role and purpose of the operating system
•       Operating system structure: monolythic versus microkernel
•       Multiprocessing and the need for concurrency control
•       Networking and the Internet
•       Bit manipulation
•       Introduction to the system (POSIX) interface
The process model and its implementation
•       The process model, process lifecycle and process states
•       Process representation and the process table
•       Processes and threads
Process scheduling
•       Nonpreemptive and preemptive scheduling
•       Scheduling algorithms
•       Scheduling implementation
Memory management
•       Review of the memory abstraction
•       Memory management and swapping
•       Virtual memory, paging and page replacement
Interprocess communication and concurrency mechanisms
•       Introduction to concurrent execution and liveness
•       Critical regions and conditions for correct and efficient data sharing
•       Mutual exclusion without systems support and priority inversion
•       Mutual exclusion with systems support
o       Classic problems, e.g. producer-consumer, dining philosophers, readers-writers
o       Mechanisms, e.g. semaphores, mutexes, monitors, condition variables
•       Immutability
•       Message passing
Networked systems
•       Topologies
•       Protocols
•       Mobile and wireless computing
•       Sensor networks and Internet of Things
Network communication and management
•       Network standards
•       The ISO 7-layer reference model and its instantiation in TCP/IP
•       Overview of physical and data Link layer concepts (e.g. framing, error control, flow control)
•       Data link layer access control
•       Internetworking, routing and congestion control
•       Transport layer services (connection management, flow and error control, performance)
•       Naming and name services

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00Traditional lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion450:3022:30Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical302:0060:00Computer classroom
Guided Independent StudyProject work151:0015:00Coursework 3
Guided Independent StudyProject work151:0015:00Coursework 2
Guided Independent StudyProject work151:0015:00Coursework 1
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1111:00111:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Techniques and theory are presented in lectures and cover core concepts. Additional reading material on an operating system implementation is provided as part of coursework that involves the practice of systems programming and operating system development.Practical workshops and tutorials in computer classrooms provide sudents with application experience of the techniques and theories taught, assessed through writtena dn implementation coursework.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A40N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M20Written report (1000 words)
Practical/lab report2M20Software implementation (equiv 1000 words)
Practical/lab report2M20Software implementation (equiv 1000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination will test the students' depth of knowledge of the structure of common operating systems. The coursework will assess their systems programming ability, and their understanding of and ability to modify an operating system implementation.
Study abroad students considering this module should contact the School to discuss its availability and assessment.
N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists