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COMP25111 Operating Systems syllabus 2017-2018

COMP25111 materials

COMP25111 Operating Systems

Level 2
Credits: 10
Enrolled students: 236

Course leader: Jim Garside


Additional staff: view all staff

Requisites

  • Pre-Requisite (Compulsory): COMP16121
  • Pre-Requisite (Compulsory): COMP16212

Additional requirements

  • Students who are not from the School of Computer Science must have permission from both Computer Science and their home School to enrol.

Assessment methods

  • 90% Written exam
  • 10% Practical skills assessment
Timetable
SemesterEventLocationDayTimeGroup
Sem 1 Lab LF31 Fri 09:00 - 10:00 G
Sem 1 Lab LF31 Fri 10:00 - 11:00 I
Sem 1 Lab LF31 Wed 11:00 - 12:00 F
Sem 1 Lecture 1.1 Fri 14:00 - 15:00 -
Sem 1 Lab G23 Mon 14:00 - 15:00 H
Sem 1 Lecture 1.1 Tue 16:00 - 17:00 -
Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Computer Architecture

Overview

An operating system is typically the 'lowest' layer of software in a computer.  It provides an abstracted interface so that applications can run on diverse hardware without modification and it provides security which prevents misbehaving software from crashing the hardware or disturbing other tasks which may be running simultaneously.

This course unit provides an introduction to the major principles of implementation of an operating system and some experience in how these features may be exploited by the 'higher' software layers. Note that this module is currently undergoing major redevelopment and modernisation and, whilst the principles will not change, some of the details both in the syllabus and teaching methods may differ in the autumn.

Aims

This course unit assumes that students are familiar with the idea that their applications programs run on some sort of 'box'. The intention is to peel back another layer to see how the system software - and in a few cases the associated hardware - conspire to run that application safely and securely, despite the hardware itself - processors, memory, filestore etc. - differing from case to case.  It also seeks to illuminate the services a typical operating system provides, some of which will probably be unfamiliar, in a practical way.

To support this material there will also be some revision of (or an introduction to, for a few students) some architectural features and enough material on the C language to enable someone already familiar with (say!) Java to be able to poke around the machine.

Syllabus

Introduction

  • Overview; abstraction layers; purpose.

Memory

  • Basic C programming and pointers
  • Memory map and structure
  • Virtual memory, paging; caches et alia.
  • Processes & threads

Context

  • Protection, priority, real-time constraints
  • Scheduling, context switching

Device management

  • Ownership, protection
  • Polling, Interrupts, DMA

File systems

  • File organisation; types; security

Multiprocessors, hypervisors and future stuff

Teaching methods

Lectures

22 in total, 2 per week

Laboratories

11 hours in total, 1 hour weekly sessions

Assessment breakdown
Exam:  85%
Mid-term test:  5%
Coursework:  10%

Feedback methods

The intention is to automate as much feedback as possible by providing many small 'exercises' to illuminate the various concepts.  Some exercises may only take a few minutes - at least for those who grasp the concept immediately - others a bit longer but wherever feasible misconceptions will be highlighted immediately and more 'goes' provided.  There is a strong intent to keep the assessment elements as minimal as sensible during the duration of the course. 

Scheduled'laboratories' are intended to support the on-line systems which will be available at all times; they are not for generating marks.

Lectures and other material are intended to guide one sensible path through the various interdependent topics.

Inevitably, there will also be an examination at the end of the semester.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam (2 hours)
  • Lectures (24 hours)
  • Practical classes & workshops (11 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Other

Learning outcomes

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A2 A3Have knowledge and understanding of the overall structure and functionality of a modern operating system and of its interactions with the underlying computer hardware and overlying user-program.
  • Examination
A2 A3Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the operation of the following major component of an operating system: - the I/O device manager
  • Examination
A2 A3Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the operation of the following major component of an operating system: - the memory manager
  • Examination
A2 A3Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the operation of the following major component of an operating system: - the process manager
  • Examination
A2 A3Have detailed knowledge and understanding of the operation of the following major component of an operating system: - the file manager.
  • Examination
A2 A3 B1 B2 B3 C1 C5 D1 D4 D5Have the ability to design and implement (an emulation of) a prototypical process manager.
  • Lab assessment
A2 A3 B1 B2 B3 D1 D4 D5Be aware of how fundamental techniques in 1) and 2) are applied in practice in two distinct modern operating systems.

Reading list

TitleAuthorISBNPublisherYearCore
Modern operating systems (4th edition)Tanenbaum, Andrew S.9781292061429Pearson2014

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.