COMP SCI 3004 - Operating Systems

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

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. Protection mechanisms: protection domains, access lists, capability systems, principle of minimum privilege.

  • 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 1007, COMP SCI 1009, COMP SCI 1103, COMP SCI 1203, COMP SCI 2103 or COMP SCI 2202
    Assumed Knowledge COMP SCI 2000
    Assessment written exam, assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Adjunct Professor Hong Shen

    Lecturer: external
    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. Particularly, they will understand

    1.     The role of the operating system as a high level interface to the hardware.  

    2.     The low level implementation of CPU dispatch.

    3.     The low level implementation of memory management.

    4.     The performance trade-offs inherent in OS implementation
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2,3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2,3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,3,4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1,2,3,4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The textbook for this course is:

    Operating Systems Concepts (8th edition) by A. Silberschatz, P. B. Galvin
    and G. Gagne,, John Wiley& Sons, 2009
    Recommended Resources
    Reference book:

    A.S. Tanenbaum, Modern Operating Systems, Prentice-Hall International, 1995.

    Online Learning
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures and Tutorials. Solutions to most tutorial questions will be given at the tutorial sessions.

    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 readings.
    The practical assignments for this course are challenging, and the amount of
    time students need to spend on them will depend a lot on the level of programming skill.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The outline of the lecture component of the course is as follows:
    • 3 lectures on history and concepts
    • 6 lectures on process management (processes, CPU scheduling, process synchronization, deadlocks)
    • 6 lectures on memory management (main memory and virtual memory)
    • 2 lectures on protection and security
    • 3 lectures on file systems and I/O system
    • 2 lectures of brief description on Linux and Windows XP; review and exam preparation
    The tutorial topics will broadly follow this schedule .
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific requirements for this course beyond prerequisite knowledge, attendence to the lectures and tutorials, and the ability to work on the group programming assignments.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small group discovery experience is acquired through intensive collaboration in 2 programming assignments in groups of size 2-3.
  • 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 two components: 
    • A written exam worth 70% of the marks for the course 
    • Submissions of 2 group programming assignments (source code) worth 30% of the marks for the course.

    For P/G students, at least one programming assignment will contain an additional component requiring deeper understanding to the learnt concenpts than U/G students.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    A minimum score of 40% is required in each component of the course. Failure to achieve this score will result your course mark being capped at 44F with opportunity for additional assessment being awarded at the discretion of the school. 

    Assessment Detail
    The written exam will be centrally administered by examinations and held at the end of semester. 

    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.

    Two prgramming assignments will be given by week 3 and 6 respectively.  Students will be allowed to work on the assignments in teams of up to two people. 

    Assignment submissions will be marked within one and a half weeks of the submission deadline. Brief written feedback will be provided along with marks.
    Details of the submission of programming assignment will be written on each assignment handout. Students will be given a minimum of 3 weeks to work on each assignment.
    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.