CPE4001 Distributed programming in Java - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Jan Newmarch


Caulfield : Jan Newmarch


This subject focuses on the development of distributed and concurrent software applications, with Java as the teaching language.

Concurrent programming primitives and concepts: threads, monitors, safety and liveness, control policies, resource sharing. Application of concurrent techniques in distributed application designs: communications, coordination, reuse and fault tolerance. Design and implementation issues and techniques of distributed applications: synchronous and asynchronous communications, message passing, naming and trading of components, atomic and composite objects, object migration and replications. Enabling techniques: platform and language heterogeneity, infrastructure models for interoperability (such as Java/RMI), object interface definition, remote operation invocation. Distributed patterns. Service discovery and lookup, leases and transactions of resources. Distributed events. Case studies of distributed programming paradigms and their applications (e.g. JINI, JavaSpaces).


At the completion of this subject, students will be able to:
  • write distributed and concurrent software in Java;
  • understand the concepts and characteristics of distributed and concurrent software;
  • design distributed software applications using typical distributed software architectures;
  • identify and evaluate common distributed and concurrent software designs.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed An undergraduate qualification in computing or closely related discipline is required. Previous knowledge of Java programming is desired. Students without appropriate programming skills are expected to engage in extra private studies., or equivalent. You should have knowledge of Java programming. Use of O/O models such as UML diagrams. Knowledge of core Java packages. Some exposure to multithreading. Knowledge of all Java language constructs such as loops, conditionals, methods, classes, inheritance.

Unit relationships

CPE4001 is an elective unit in the Masters coursework degrees

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Java Network Programming : A Complete Guide to Networking, Streams, and Distributed Computing by Merlin Hughes, Michael Shoffner, Derek Hamner

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

Java 1.4 or later

Software may be:

  • downloaded from java.sun.com

Hardware requirements

Students may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 8 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

  • A Programmers Guide to Jini by Jan Newmarch
  • Java Programming with CORBA by Andeas Vogel and Keith Duddy
  • Java.rmi : The Remote Method Invocation Guide by Esmond Pitt, Kathleen McNiff
  • Core Java 2, Volume 2: Advanced Features by Cay S. Horstmann, Gary Cornell

Further References:

  • Arnold, K et al. The Jini (TM) Specification. Addison-Wesley, 1999
  • Farley J and Farley J Java Distributed Computing, O'Reilly and Associates, 1998
  • Freeman E et al. JavaSpaces(TM) Principles, Patterns and Practice. Addison-Wesley, 1999
  • Lea, D Concurrent Programming in Java. Addison-Wesley, 1997
  • Lewis G et al Programming with Java IDL, John Wiley, 1997 O
  • rfali et al The Essential Distributed Objects Survival Guide, John Wiley, 1996
  • Orfali R and Harkey D Client/Server Programming with Java and CORBA, 2nd edition, John Wiley, 1998

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for CPE4001 are:

All resources are on the unit web site

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics
1 IntroductionThreads
2 ArchitectureTCP/IP SocketsIPv6
3 Protocol design
4 State transitionsHalf Object Plus ProtocolStructured data
5 General SecurityJava Security
6 HTTPHTTP and Java
7 Remote Procedure CallWeb Services
9 RMIJeri
10 Multiple middleware on common problemJini
Non teaching week
12 Mobile agentsGrid computing
13 Summary


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of 2 assignments with a weighting of 50% and an examination with a weighting of 50%..

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Get at least 50% in the assignments

Get at least 50% in the final exam

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

(assignments + exam)/2

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment one end week 6 25%
Assignment two end week 12 25 %
The exam is 3 hours long and is open book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 25 %

Assignment specifications will be made available On the unit web site.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by paper submission to Caulfield office. On-campus Students Submit the assignment with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

discussion group from unit web site


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices page in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices page is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

No specific times

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Dr Jan Newmarch
Visiting Academic, and Associate Professor
Phone +61 3 990 32722 +61 3 990 44249
Fax +61 3 990 55157

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Jul 18, 2006