GCO5805 Multimedia computing and communication - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Guojun Lu


Gippsland : Guojun Lu


This unit covers requirements, research issues and current technology multimedia computing and communications. Contents include: characteristics and requirements of different media types, quality of service issues, MM compression techniques and standards, MM operating system and end system architecture, MM networking and transport protocols, MM information indexing and retrieval, and example MM systems and applications in business


On completion of this unit students will be able to

  • describe differences of characteristics and requirements between alphanumeric data and multimedia data;
  • item describe research issues in multimedia computing and communication;
  • explain why the notion of quality of service is important;
  • explain common multimedia compression techniques and standards;
  • describe multimedia networking requirements and techniques;
  • describe multimedia information indexing and retrieval techniques; and
  • understand operation principles of common multimedia systems and applications.

Students will

  • appreciate the needs and applications of multimedia computing and communications;
  • be able to assess the new development in the area;


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed GCO9802 or equivalent.  You should meet the entry requirements of relevant Master courses.

Unit relationships

GCO5805 is an elective unit in Master of Business Systems, Master of Applied Information Technology and Master of Information Technology.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

There is no textbook requirement. All required readings are provided in a printed Reader and online reading list.

Textbook availability

Not applicable.

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.

Recommended reading

  • Fluckiger F, (1995). Understanding Networked Multimedia: Applications and Technology, Prentice-Hall
  • Lu, G, Multimedia Database Management Systems, Artech House (Boston, USA), (ISBN: 0-89006-342-7), 373 pages, 1999.
  • Lu G, (1996). Computing and Communications for Distributed Multimedia Systems, Artech House
  • Raghavan and Tripathi, (1998), Networked Multimedia Systems ? Concepts, Architecture and Design, Prentice Hall.
  • Stallings, W (2000). Data and Computer Communications, 6th edition, Prentice Hall, pp.582-605. (one of the readings in the old Reader)

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 GCO5805 are:

1. A printed Reader.

2. MUSO site with detailed study guides and discussion groups.

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 Overview of multimedia systems 26/02/07
2 Text, graphics, images and sound 5/03/07
3 Audio compression 12/03/07
4 Image and video compression 19/03/07
5 Image and video compression 26/03/07
6 Support for MM computing and communication 2/04/07
Non teaching week
7 Network support 16/04/07
8 Communication protocols 23/04/07
9 MM information indexing and retrieval 30/04/07
10 MM information indexing and retrieval 7/05/07
11 Example MM systems and applications 14/05/07
12 New development 21/05/07
13 Summary and review 28/05/07


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 40% and an examination with a weighting of 60%.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

obtain a minimum of 40% in each of the assignment and exam components.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Final grade = min (A + 10, E + 10, E * R + A * (1 - R))

Where A = overall assignment percentage

E = examination percentage

R = exam weighting

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment 1 9/04/07 20%
Assignment 2 25/05/07 20 %
Examination Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available at the unit MUSO site..

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted electronically by the MUSO assignment submission system.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 5% a day.

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 sending an 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.

Unit improvements

A session on latest development is added.

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

Students will communicate with the unit adviser and with each other using the MUSO discussion group.


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

Consultation Times

Tuesday 2:00 to 3:00 pm

Wednesday 10:30 to 11:30 am

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:

Professor Guojun Lu
Phone +61 3 990 26857

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: Feb 26, 2007