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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Operating Systems
Module Code EE206
School School of Electronic Engineering
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Robert Sadleir
Semester 2: Robert Sadleir
Autumn: Robert Sadleir
Module TeachersRobert Sadleir
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Both the formal examination and coursework are available for resit.

The course will cover the UNIX/Linux environment and shell programming. It will also cover computer operating systems and examine the interaction of concurrent processes using C code developed on a Linux system. In particular, the course will focus on the interaction of concurrent processes: means of realising concurrency, and the use of modern interaction primitives, e.g. semaphores, message passing.

Learning Outcomes

1. Work in a UNIX environment and write shell scripts and C programs.
2. Develop code to implement key real-time optimisation techniques.
3. Apply the principles associated with process management and inter-process communications.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the hardware architecture of modern computer platforms.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Classroom lecture.
Tutorial12Tutorial exercises and assignment support
Assignment Completion24Programming assignments.
Independent Study65Independent learning.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introductory UNIX/Linux
Overview of the UNIX/Linux operating system. UNIX/Linux implementations. Basic operations and commands. File redirection. Command shells. Communicating with remote systems. Manipulating processes.

Embedded Operating Systems
eCos. TinyOS.

Batch. Interactive. Real Time.

Memory Management
Memory Abstraction. Swapping. Virtual Memory. Paging.

Concurrent Processes
Meaning of a process. Difference between a process and a thread. Analysis of real world applications in terms of interacting concurrent processes. Solutions based on parallel hardware architecture and/or pseudo-parallelism by time-slicing a single sequential processor. Process interaction.

Inter-Process Communication
Synchronisation and communication. Use of semaphore synchronisation and shared memory communication. Critical section implementation. Examples using C code fragments. Producer/consumer problem. Problems of unintended side-effects and deadlocks. Use of message passing for synchronisation and communication in distributed systems.

Formal analysis. Deadlock conditions. Resource allocation graph. Handling deadlock.

Input/Output Architecture
I/O device classification. I/O hardware architecture. Controller/CPU interface.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment25% Examination Weight75%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentThe purpose of this assignment is to make the students more familiar with the Linux operating system and environment by using its commands and by creating shell scripts.10%Week 4
AssignmentThe purpose of this assignment is to assess the students' ability to write C programs that utlilise shared memory and pipes for interprocess communication.15%Week 7
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Andrew S. Tanenbaum: 2009, Modern Operating Systems, 3, Pearson Education, 0138134596
  • William Stallings: 2011, Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles, 7, Pearson Education, 0273751506
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
ECEBEng Electronic & Computer Engineering
ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
HDEATH.Dip Engineering Analysis & Technology
Date of Last Revision21-MAY-12

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