COMP SCI 3004 - Operating Systems

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

OS purposes: resource management and the extended virtual computer; historical development. Processes: critical sections and mutual exclusion, semaphores, monitors, classical problems, deadlock; process scheduling. Input and Output: hardware and software control. Memory management: multi-programming; swapping; virtual memory, paging and symbolic segmentation; File System: operations, implementation, performance. Operating System Security and Protection mechanisms: protection domains, access lists, capability systems, principle of minimum privilege, security threats and attacks, encryption, and authentication

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 3004
    Course Operating Systems
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2.5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites One of COMP SCI 2103, COMP SCI 2202, COMP SCI 2009 or COMP SCI 2202B
    Assumed Knowledge COMP SCI 2000
    Assessment Written exam and/or assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Francis Vaughan

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Through the study of this course, students will gain a comprehensive understanding on the concepts
    and functions of a modern operating system. Students will be able to;
    1 Explain the role of the operating system as a high level interface to the hardware.
    2 Use OS as a resource manager that supports multiprogramming
    3 Explain the low level implementation of CPU dispatch.
    4 Explain the low level implementation of memory management.
    5 Explain the performance trade-offs inherent in OS implementation

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   3.1   3.2   3.3   3.4   3.5   3.6   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The textbook for this course is 
    R. H. Arpaci-Dusseau and A. Arpaci-Dusseau, Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces, online edition

    Recommended Resources
    Alternative textbooks:
    • Operating Systems Concepts (10th edition) by A. Silberschatz, P. B. Galvin
      and G. Gagne,, John Wiley& Sons, 2018
    • A.S. Tanenbaum, Modern Operating Systems (4th Edition), Prentice-Hall International, 2021
    Online Learning
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course includes lectures, tutorials, and multiple types of assessment, including quizzes and programing tasks in C/C++.
    Different learning and assessment modes are intended to support both solid theoretical understanding and practical (programming) skills in relation to key OS concepts.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    On average, students are expect to spend around 12 hours a week on this course, including lectures, tutorials, and doing the required tasks. The assignments for this course are challenging, and the amount of time students need to spend on these will depend on the level of understanding of subject content, and partially on programming skills.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures will introduce each topic with examples and use active learning activities to explore trade-offs and implementation choices. 

    Tutorials will provide an environment for working on theory and applied questions in small groups.

    Practicals will further develop knowledge of Operating System design by implementing, integrating and/or testing small components. Most coding tasks will be in C/C++.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The course assessment consists of four components:

    Written Exam (50%) (CBOK areas* history& status of discipline, abstraction, design, hardware and software and service management)
    Three Practical Assignments (38%) (CBOK areas* design, hardware and software and programming)
    11 Quizzes (6%) and Tutorials (6%) (CBOK areas* design, hardware and software, abstraction and service management)

    *For the CBOK refer to ACS accreditation page

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Hurdle Requirement: If your overall mark for the course is greater than 44 F but, your mark for the final written exam is less than 40%, your overall mark for the course will be reduced to 44 F.
    Assessment Detail
    The written exam will be centrally administered by examinations and held at the end of the semester.

    There will be 11 online quizzes.

    As per the course schedule, there will be five tutorials. Each tutorial will be based on materials presented at that stage of the course or on readings drawn from reference materials. Tutorial questions will be made available on the course webpage a week in advance, and students are expected to submit their solutions before their tutorial session. 

    There will be three practical assignments:
    •  a practical covering processes due in week 4.
    •  a practical related memory security due in week 8 (C recommended). 
    •  a practical related concurrency programming due end of week 12 (C/C++ mandatory).            

    Submission instructions will be provided with each assignment. Typically, this would involve answering questions or submitting files in MyUni.

    If you hand in your work late, your mark will be capped as follows:

    Up to 1 day late – mark capped at 75%
    Up to 2 days late – mark capped at 50%
    Up to 3 days late – mark capped at 25%
    more than 3 days late – no marks available.

    Extensions will only be given in exceptional circumstances and with evidence provided, e.g., a medical certificate. You should apply by e-mail to the course coordinator before the due date. Commitments with work or other subjects will not be considered valid grounds for extension – you are expected to manage your time effectively based on the workload you have chosen to take on.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.