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Course Title: 
Net-Centric Computing
Educational Level: 
Associated Programme: 
B.Sc. CS; B.Sc. IT
Core Course: 
Course Aims: 

The underlying principle of Net-Centric Computing is a distributed environment where applications and data are downloaded from servers and exchanged with peers across a network on as as-needed basis. This is in stark contrast to the use of powerful personal computers that rely primarily on local resources. The course will provide students with an understanding of the various technologies involved in developing systems and providing services in such distributed environments. It examines the protocols that underpin the interaction among the heterogeneous platforms, the services that are provided by combining various elements of these platforms and ways in which these end systems are presented. End users impose many requirements upon the systems and services they interact with and these requirements play an important role during development. Security is foremost among these requirements and as such, the course also exposes students to important aspects of secure systems development including cryptography, intrusion detection and malware detection. The course will also provide students with the opportunity to experiment with the knowledge they gain. They will be required to engage in weekly laboratory exercises using various tools and/or development environments, and demonstrate an understanding of the concepts by completing graded projects. Bi-weekly lectures and weekly tutorials provide the main avenue for the introduction and discussion of the material.

  • Background and history of networking and the Internet
  • Network architectures
    • Client/server and Peer to Peer paradigms
  • The OSI 7-layer reference model in general
    • Network protocols
    • Physical and Data Link layer concepts (framing, error control, flow control, protocols)
    • Internetworking and routing (routing algorithms, internetworking, congestion control)
    • Transport layer services (connection establishment, performance issues, flow and error control)
  • Overview of Distributed Computing
  • Overview of Mobile and wireless computing
  • Fundamentals of cryptography
  • Authentication protocols
  • Public-key algorithms
  • Types of attack, e.g., denial of service, flooding, sniffing and traffic redirection.
  • Basic network defense tools and strategies
    • Intrusion Detection
    • Firewalls
    • Detection of malware
    • Kerberos
    • IPSec
    • Virtual Private Networks
    • Network Address Translation
  • Web technologies
    • Basic server-side programs (php, MySQL)
    • Basic client-side scripts (XHTML, XML, JavaScript,CSS)
  • Nature of the client-server relationship
  • Web protocols with particular emphasis on HTTP
  • Support tools for web site creation and web management
Course Assessment: 
  • Final Written Examination (2 hours) 50%
  • Coursework: 50%
    • 7 Quizzes    5%
    • In-course Examination (1 hour) 10%
    • 2 Assignments  10%
    • 2 Projects   25%

Students will be required to pass both the coursework and the final examination to pass the course.

Course Prerequisites: 

COMP1126 - Introduction to Computing I, COMP1127 - Introduction to Computing I, COMP1161 - Object-Oriented Programming AND COMP1210 - Mathematics for Computing or MATH1152 - Introduction to Formal Mathematics). May not be credited with COMP3150 - Computing Networking and Communications. 

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