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Monash University

FIT5043 Distributed and big data processing - Semester 2, 2014

This unit focuses on designing, developing and deploying distributed data management systems. The unit introduces various contemporary issues in managing large data in distributed environment such as data model, fragmentation, replication and concurrency control. The issues will be discussed using several contemporary approaches of distributed data management.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Workload Requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Two hours of lectures
  • One 2-hour laboratory

(b.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours independent study per week for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

Unit Relationships




((FIT5131 or FIT9017) and (FIT5132 or FIT9003 or FIT9019)) or equivalent

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Pari Delir Haghighi

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. The University’s student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash’s educational strategy, see:

www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/ and on student evaluations, see: www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Previous feedback has been mainly encouraging and positive and to improve the unit further we will be introducing and discussing a few advanced topics. 

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit, students should be able to:
  • describe the principles of distributed data management such as partition, replication and concurrency;
  • identify the current research directions in the field;
  • describe and contrast the current available models, technologies for and approaches to building distributed data management systems;
  • develop a system that applies appropriate models and technologies to solve practical data management problems.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Students need to allocate themselves to tutorials and visit the unit website No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to distributed database systems and computing  
2 Distributed database design  
3 Distributed query processing and optimization  
4 Transaction Management in Distributed DB  
5 Distributed Concurrency Control  
6 Reliability and Replication  
7 Big Data Practical Assignment Due
8 Parallel databases  
9 GFS, Map Reduce and Hadoop  
10 Hadoop Ecosystem  
11 Big Data Technologies Big Data Assignment and Analysis Report Due
12 Review and Exam Questions  
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
The teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 50%, In-semester assessment: 50%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Practical Assignment 30% Week 7
Big Data Assignment and Analysis Report 20% Week 11
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Practical Assignment
    Students will design a client-server and distributed database application using Oracle and JDeveloper.
    Criteria for assessment:

    How well the database is designed and implemented.

    How well the PL/SQL and Java are written.

    How well the constraints, triggers, procedures and functions are designed and implemented.

    Due date:
    Week 7
  • Assessment task 2
    Big Data Assignment and Analysis Report
    This task requires students to conduct simple data processing and queries using Big Data technologies (Hadoop ecosystem in Hortonworks), compare them, and write a short report.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Group Assignment (groups of 2-4)

    Students will be assessed based on:

    • How well the data processing and query tasks are completed.
    • How well the technologies are understood, compared and analysed.

    The assignment has a group mark (50%), and an individual component (50%) which is determined based on the Task Allocation and peer review responses.

    Due date:
    Week 11


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Learning resources

Reading list

Oszu, T. and Valduriez, P. Principles of Distributed Database Systems (2nd Edition), Prentice-Hall, 1999

Coronel, Morris & Rob (2011) Database Systems Design, Implementation, and Management (9th Edition), Cengage Learning: Boston, MA

Monash Library Unit Reading List (if applicable to the unit)

Faculty of Information Technology Style Guide

Feedback to you

Examination/other end-of-semester assessment feedback may take the form of feedback classes, provision of sample answers or other group feedback after official results have been published. Please check with your lecturer on the feedback provided and take advantage of this prior to requesting individual consultations with staff. If your unit has an examination, you may request to view your examination script booklet, see http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/procedures/request-to-view-exam-scripts.html

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:

  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

APA style is recommended.

Refer to:


Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/student-academic-integrity-managing-plagiarism-collusion-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Limited copies of prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

Oracle 11g R2 and JDeveloper

Software will be available in computer labs and on Moodle. 

To use Oracle at home you need to install the Monash VPN from:

  •  https://secure.monash.edu/its/vpn/

Other Information


Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash’s Education Policies at: www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html

Key educational policies include:

Faculty resources and policies

Important student resources including Faculty policies are located at http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student Charter

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.

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