CSE5501 Mobile and distributed computing systems - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Dr Arkady Zaslavsky


Caulfield : Dr Arkady Zaslavsky


The subject will provide students with fundamentals and theoretical foundations of mobile computing systems, wireless networks, advanced mobile applications. Specific topics will include: architectures of mobile distributed computing systems; resource management and support in mobile distributed computing systems; wireless network classification and management; mobile distributed file systems; failure recovery, fault tolerance and reliability of mobile computing systems; replication in mobile distributed systems; protection and security of mobile computing systems; case studies for distributed mobile database systems; mobile information systems; advanced mobile computing applications and the Internet; research trends in mobile and distributed computing; synchronisation and global time concepts; transaction management mechanisms for mobile computing.


This course will develop student knowledge of the approaches and methods for building distributed and mobile computing systems. On completing the course students will:

  • be familiar with the currently available models and approaches to building mobile and distributed computing systems;
  • have developed practical skills in the use of these models and approaches, so that they will be able to select and apply the appropriate tools for a particular case;
  • also be aware of the current research directions in the field and their possible outcomes.


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships

While this subject requires no prerequisites, some basic background in networking, data communications, databases and programming for distributed systems would be useful.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

As the subject content evolves relatively fast, there is no required text.

Textbook availability

Textbooks should be available at Monash bookshops or through online bookstores.

Software requirements

There is no software requirement

Hardware requirements

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations 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 n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Deitel, H, Deitel, P., Nieto, T., Steinbuhler, K. "Wireless Internet & Mobile business", Prentice Hall, 2001, ISBN 0-13-062226-5
Stallings, William "Wireless communications and networks", Second edition, Pearson Education, 2005, ISBN 0-13-196790-8
Colouris, G., Dollimore, J., Kindberg, T. "Distributed Systems. Concepts and design" 4th ed, Addison Wesley, 2005
Imielinski, T. and Korth, H. (Eds), Mobile Computing, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Hardbound, ISBN 0-7923-9697-9, 1996
Mullender S Distributed Systems, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 1994
Muller, N. Wireless Data Networking, Artech House, 1995.
Muller, N. Mobile Telecommunications Factbook, McGraw-Hill, 1998. ISBN 0-07-044461-7
Jim Geier, "Wireless LANs", 2nd Ed, SAMS, ISBN 0-672-32058-4
Tannenbaum, A., Van Steen, M. "Distributed Systems. Principles and paradigms", Pearson Education Intrnl, 2007
Articles from journals, WWW, conference proceedings and technical documentation

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 CSE5501 are:

Articles from journals, WWW, conference proceedings and technical documentation.

Check the subject web site for more information

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics
1 Introduction to distributed and mobile computing. Architectural models for mobile & distributed computing systems.
2 Wireless networks and enabling technologies.
3 Wireless networks and enabling technologies.
4 Wireless networks and enabling technologies.
5 OS support for mobile computing. Resource management and support in mobile distributed computing systems.
6 Mobile & distributed file systems. Concepts and implementations
Non teaching week
7 Mobile agent technologies.
8 Transaction management mechanisms for mobile & distributed computing.
9 Protection & security in MDCS
10 Research trends in mobile and distributed computing. Context awareness. Pervasive computing.
11 Reliability & Fault Tolerance in Distributed & Mobile Computing Systems
12 Distributed & mobile multimedia systems. Adaptability in mobile computing.
13 Distributed & mobile multimedia systems. Adaptability in mobile computing.


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


Assessment weighting

Regular tutorial work (35%)Throughout the semester

WLAN and Bluetooth research (10%) Weeks 4 & 6

Paper on a research issue(45%)
Assignment handouts Week 6 Beginning 2 April, 2007 - in lecture

Presentation of the paper (10%)Weeks 10 - 13 (in tutes)

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Accumulate 50 marks and above.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Assignment1 + Assignment2 + presentation + tutorial work

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Regular tutorial work Throughout the semester 35%
WLAN and Bluetooth research Week 4 and 6 10 %
Paper on a research issue Week 8 45 %
Presentation Week 12-13 10 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the CSE5501 web-site.

Assignment Submission

All practical work must be submitted to your tutor in the tute conducted in the week that the work is required.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

If no special circumstances are cited, the following penalties will be applied:
1. Assignment 1: 1 mark for each day of delay
2. Assignment 2: .5 mark for each day of delay
3. Tutorial work: 5% of tutorial marks per day for that excercise

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. 

Extensions will be given under extreme circumstances and must be applied for in writing using forms available from the Faculty administrative office.

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

Preferred methods of communication:
1. Students post their questions on the discussion forum - see subject web-site
2. Students discuss their questions/problems with tutor
3. Students email their questions/problems and discuss those with lecturer via email  -see subject web-site.


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

Consultation Times

The lecturer in the subject is available for student consultations twice a week during the teaching weeks of the 1st Semester: Tuesdays (2pm - 4pm) and Wednesdays (12pm-2pm).

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:

Associate Professor Arkady Zaslavsky
Associate Professor
Phone +61 3 990 32479
Fax +613 9903 1077

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: Mar 7, 2007