COMP SCI 7039 - Computer Networks & Applications

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Introduction to networks and digital communications with a focus on Internet protocols: Application layer architectures (client/server, peer-to-peer) and protocols (HTTP-web, SMTP-mail, etc), Transport layer operation: (reliable transport, congestion and flow control, UDP, TCP); Network layer operation - (routing, addressing, IPv4 and IPv6), Data Link layer operation (error detection/correction, access control, Ethernet, 802.11, PPP), Layer 2/3 protocols (ATM and MPLS); selected current topics such as: security, multimedia protocols, Quality of Service, mobility, wireless networking, emerging protocols, network management.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 7039
    Course Computer Networks & Applications
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2.5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge COMP SCI 7082 or COMP SCI 7201
    Course Description Introduction to networks and digital communications with a focus on Internet protocols: Application layer architectures (client/server, peer-to-peer) and protocols (HTTP-web, SMTP-mail, etc), Transport layer operation: (reliable transport, congestion and flow control, UDP, TCP); Network layer operation - (routing, addressing, IPv4 and IPv6), Data Link layer operation (error detection/correction, access control, Ethernet, 802.11, PPP), Layer 2/3 protocols (ATM and MPLS); selected current topics such as: security, multimedia protocols, Quality of Service, mobility, wireless networking, emerging protocols, network management.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Cheryl Pope

    The course coordinator for Computer Networks and Applications is:

    Dr. Cheryl Pope, 8313-5833, room 4.31 Innova21

    The other lecturer for this course is:
    Dr Damith Ranasinghe, 8313-0066, room 4.29 Innova 21
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The learning objectives for Computer Networks and Applications are:

    1. To understand the way protocols currently in use in the Internet work and the requirements for
    designing network protocols.
    2. To be able to capture and analyse network traffic.
    3. To have a grounding in the theory of basic network performance analysis
    4. To begin to develop the ability to identify soundness or potential flaws in proposed protocols
    5. To understand the current architecture of the Internet and know the entities involved
    with the day to day running of the Internet and the process involved with development of policy and new
    6. To understand and be able to explain security and ethical issues in computer networking.
    7. To be able to implement key networking algorithms in simulation
    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. 1,4,5,6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5,7
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4,6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5,7
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4,6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The prescribed textbook for the course is:

    Computer Networking: a Top-Down Approach, Sixth Edition (Fifth is acceptable), Kurose and Ross, 2012. ISBN-10: 0132856204 • ISBN-13: 9780132856201

    Available from Unibooks with limited copies also available from the library.
    Recommended Resources
    Students will be required to write reports of varying length, as well as computer programs. Students should have access to guides to writing essays, as well as books on Java programming such as Big Java, by Horstmann. A C reference manual may also be helpful.
    Online Learning
    The Computer Networks and Applications website is located on the School of Computer Science’s Moodle forum,

    The website includes links to all assessment items. Students are expected to check the forum on a regular basis for announcements relating to the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course aims to introduce students to fundamental concepts in Computer Networking and Applications, building to an understanding of the structure and function of the Internet, and the construction of networks in general.

    Lectures will focus on theory and problem solving. Tutorials will extend lectures and provide an opportunity for discussion and feedback. Practical and lab work will reinforce theoretical concepts through their application. All material covered in the lectures, labs, practical assignments, tutorials and assigned reading are assessable. Students are expected to be able to explain what they have learned and apply their knowledge.

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

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
    Computer Networks and Applications is a three-unit course. We expect that students will spend approximately 10-12 hours a week working on the course. This will consist of 2 hours of lectures a week, 1 tutorial in the odd weeks, approximately 1-2 hours of tutorial preparation, up to 1 hour of pre-lecture preparation a week viewing podcasts or reading, 1 hour a week spent completing networking labs, and up to 7 hours a week spent completing practical assignments.

    The work spent on practical assignments is likely to be closely associated with an assignment deadline, rather than spread out evenly across the semester. You should allow yourself enough time to understand, start and complete the assignments to a high level.
    Learning Activities Summary



    Introduction to Networking

    An overview of networking, history and the multi-layer model.

    Application Layer

    A discussion of Client/Server and Peer-to-Peer models, examples of existing application layer technologies and Socket programming

    Transport Layer

    Discusses the issues in multiplexing reliable and unreliable connections across potentially unreliable fabric, including discussions of UDP and TCP.

    Network Layer

    Discusses network routing, compares and contrasts link-state and distance vector routing, introduction to IP and IPv6

    Data Link Layer

    Covers error detection and correction, sharing a medium, local area networks, commonly used protocols, and Layer 2.5 protocols


    Discusses principles of cryptography, the use of digital signatures and a number of secure applications. Also discusses the use of security at the Transport and Network layer, as well as ethical issues potentially arising in security environments.

  • 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 assessment for this subject consists of three components with the following weightings:
    Exam – 70%
    Practical Assignments – 20%
    2 practical programming assignments - 5% for first, 8% for second
    hands on network config practical - 7%
    Networking Labs – 10%
    wireshark labs (8 labs)

    Students enrolled in COMP SCI 7039 and DEFSCI 7042 will be required to submit additional work related to some assignments that reflects the expectation of deeper analysis by postgraduate students. The exact requirements will be advised in the assignments.
    Assessment Detail
    Final Exam - There will be a 2 hour examination at the end of the course, consisting of questions that will assess your knowledge of networking protocols, principles and practices. Materials permitted in the examination are limited to basic calculators without alpha-numeric memory and paper translation dictionaries.

    Practical Work - Each student will be expected to successfully complete practical assignments, addressing programming of protocols and network configuration applying Computer Networking theory. Work must be the student’s own and students will be required to submit their work for plagiarism detection, where indicated. Students in COMP SCI 7039 and DEFSCI 7042 will submit additional work, in the form of reports or literature reviews.

    Lab work – Lab work is comprised of wireshark network packet capture labs. Wireshark labs have online associated quizzes that must be completed for credit. Hands on configuration labs will be marked off by the lab supervisor.

    CBOK Mapping*
    Assessment Type Weighting Learning Objective Abstraction Design Hardware & Software Data & Information Networking Programming Service Management Security Managemnt Security Policy
    Practical 1 F 5% 1,4,5,6 3 3 3 3 3
    Practical 2 F 8% 3,4,7 3 3 3 4 3
    Practical 3 F 7% 1,5 3 3 4
    Labs F 10% 1,2,3,4,5,6 3 3 3 3
    Exam S 70% 1,3,4,5,6 3 3 3 3 2 4 2

    Due Dates: The assignment due dates will be made available on the course website.
    Type of Assessment is Formative (F) or Summative (S)
    *CBOK categories are explained in section 4 of the ICT core body of knowlege. Numbers assigned correspond to the Bloom taxonomy (see page 26 of the same document).
    All work will be submitted through the School of Computer Science’s electronic submission forums, including the Course Forum on Moodle and the School’s web submission gateway. All programs are to be submitted in the programming language specified, and any text reports are to be submitted as PDF files.

    While students are required to use the School’s SVN repository, we will not mark any work unless it is handed in through the correct method, as designated in the assignment handout.

    Extensions to due dates will only be considered under exceptional medical or personal conditions and will not be granted on the last day due, or retrospectively. Applications for extensions must be made to the course coordinator by e-mail or hard copy and must include supporting documentation – medical certificate or letter from the student counselling service.

    Late hand-ins will have their mark capped, based on how late they are.

    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.

    At least one item of work will be returned, with grading and feedback, prior to week 7.

    The final examination will be scheduled by the examinations office. You will be able to access your exam schedule through Access Adelaide. You are expected to be available during the supplementary examination period (check University dates). If you are offered a supplementary and are unable to attend for any reason, you will not be able to arrange an alternative supplementary and there is no further opportunity for supplementary work.
    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.

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