COMP SCI 3004 - Operating Systems

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

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 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

    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 OS as a resource manager that supports multiprogramming
    3 The low level implementation of CPU dispatch.
    4 The low level implementation of memory management.
    5 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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • 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, 2008.

    Online Learning
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    In this course, you will be exposed to the features provided by common operating systems, and the principles on which those features are based. These include processes, CPU scheduling, filesystems, memory management, and synchronisation problems in multithreaded programming.

    The course includes two practical assignments.  These assignments will give you a solid understanding of how key parts of an OS work.

    During lectures, we will hold several quiz sessions in which you will answer multiple choice questions, both individually, and as a group. These quizzes will test your knowledge of the material covered so far, and contribute towards your marks for the course.

    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:

    2 lectures on history and concepts
    7 lectures on process management (processes, CPU scheduling, process synchronization)
    2 lectures on deadlock management
    5 lectures on memory management (main memory and virtual memory)
    4 lectures on file systems and I/O system
    2 lectures on protection and security
    2 lectures of brief description on Linux and Windows XP; review and exam preparation

    The tutorial topics will broadly follow this schedule
  • 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: 

       • Exam 70% (CBOK areas* history& status of discipline, abstraction, design, hardware and software and service management)
       • Two Assignments (30%) (CBOK areas* design, hardware and software and programming)

    *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 semester. 

    Two programming assignments will be given by week 3 and week 7 respectively. Each assignment worths 15%. Students will be allowed to work in teams of up to two people. 

    Assignment submissions will be marked within two weeks of the submission deadline. Brief written feedback will be provided along with marks.
    All practical assignments must be submitted using the School of Computer Science Web Submission System. Details are included in each assignment description on the course website.

    Penalty for Late Submission of Assessment Tasks
    If you hand in your work late, your mark will be capped, based on how many days late it is.

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

    Granting of Extensions:
    Extensions will only be given in exceptional circumstances and with evidence provided, ie 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

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