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Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will:

  • be able to evaluate enabling technologies such as high-speed links and storage area networks for building computer grids;
  • be able to utilise grid computing and clustering middleware, such as Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM), Message Passing Interface (MPI), HPC Portals, and Peer-to-Peer networks for implementing virtual super computing resources;
  • be able to design a grid computing application in one of the key application areas e.g. Computer Animation, E-Research;
  • be able to install a grid computing environment;
  • develop communications skills and accept the code of professional conduct and practice through short presentations and group work.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 15% Week 7, Friday, 9 September 2011, 12PM
Assignment 2 25% Week 12, Friday 21 October 2011
Tutorial Work 10% Weekly
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
The lecture stream will present the implementation details and design principles of the computational grid as well as relevant middleware, networking protocols, and technologies. It will also show students how to implement the grid.

The tutorial sessions will reinforce the concepts learned during the lectures through the hands-on work and completion of the exercises relating to the theory covered in the lectures.

The lectures and Tutorial/laboratory material will be made available to the students through the course web site week-by-week basis.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Interviews

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 SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. 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, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

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

Required Resources

Required software and/or hardware:- Grid support Virual Machines. This is available on unit website.

VMWare workstation (VMWare Fusion for Mac users) is available on-campus in computer labs for student use.

Information about computer-use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Students should register for the tutorials and check for any clashes in their schedule No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to Grids Tutorial Work
2 Grid Middleware Tutorial Work
3 Custom Grids and Applications Tutorial Work
4 Grid Security Tutorial Work
5 Advanced Grid Networking Technologies Tutorial Work
6 Clusters and Grid Programming Environments Tutorial Work
7 Grid Processing Framework Tutorial Work; Assignment 1 due on Friday 09/Sep, 12PM
8 Grid to Instruments and Sensors Integration Tutorial Work
9 Case studies of Grid Security and Engineering Design Support Tutorial Work
10 Building Home Grids with Peer-to-Peer Networking Tutorial Work
11 Project Work Tutorial Work
12 Commodity Grid for Large-Scale Pattern Recognition Tutorial Work; Assignment No. 2 due on Friday 21/Oct 12PMay
  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 MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1
    An essay style assignment on a topic or topics relating to grid computing.
    Criteria for assessment:
    1. Correctness and understanding - there may be more than one "right" answer in many cases. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying principles and theories.
    2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
    3. Use of evidence and argument - you are able to explain your position by using logical argument drawing on the theory presented in the unit.
    Due date:
    Week 7, Friday, 9 September 2011, 12PM
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2
    This assignment is completed in groups of up to five students. The students are provided with a real life like grid design case. They demonstrate the specified aspects of this project in the lab and later submit a written report detailing the overall design of the project.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Lab Demo:

    1. All programs must compile and run correctly. Evidence of testing is required.
    2. Programs must meet the problem specification.

    Written submission:

    1. Correctness and understanding - there may be more than one "right" answer in many cases. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying principles and theories.
    2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
    3. Use of evidence and argument - you are able to explain your position by using logical argument drawing on the theory presented in the unit.

    A marking guide will be provided on the unit website detailing the over all marks distribution and for allocating marks in a way that recognizes different contributions of group members for the lab demo and the written submission.

    Due date:
    Week 12, Friday 21 October 2011
  • Assessment task 3
    Tutorial Work
    The theoretical aspects covered in the lectures are practically undertaken in the tutorial sessions in this assessment within groups of upto five student. Each group is expected to,
    • Email the completed theoretical questions at the end of the tutorial.
    • Demonstrate the practical part during the tutorial. 
    Criteria for assessment:

    Marks will be allocated to each group member on the basis of,

    1. The number of completed tutorial exerices by the group.
    2. The student's contribution in completing these exericises during the tutorial (assessed by the tutor).
    Due date:


  • Examination 1
    2 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    The Exam comprises:
    • Multiple Choice Questions based on the Tutorial Exercises
    • Short answer questions
    • Theoretical question

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-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).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Resubmission of assignments

Re-submission of the assignment is not allowed.

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. 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

Please visit the following URL: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/units/appendix.html for further
information about:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Unit evaluations
  • Communication, participation and feedback
  • Library access
  • Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)
  • Plagiarism, cheating and collusion
  • Register of counselling about plagiarism
  • Non-discriminatory language
  • Students with disability
  • End of semester special consideration / deferred exams

Material available to the students include weekly Lecture slides, tutorials, Hand's-on exercises, Virtual machines with Grid support operating systems and Tutorial/Lab instructions available week-by-week basis. Specifications to Assignments, marking guidlines and sample exam papers will be made available.

  • Weekly detailed lecture notes outlining the learning objectives, discussion of the content, and required readings;
  • Weekly tutorial or laboratory tasks and exercises with solutions provided one to two weeks later;
  • Assignment specifications;
  • A sample examination and suggested solution;
  • This Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit;
  • The unit web site on MUSO, where resources outlined above will be made available.

The students can supplement their knowledge of the unit areas through the following


Grid Computing: A Practical Guide to Technology and Applications (Programming Series) by Ahmar Abbas (Charles River Media Networking/Security), 2003.

The Grid 2 Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure edited by Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman (The Elsevier Series in Grid Computing), 2004

Grid Computing for Developers (Programming) by Vladimir Silva(Charles River Media Programming Series), 2006

Grid Computing The Savvy Manager's Guide by Pawel Plaszczak and Richard Wellner Jr, Morgan Kaufmann, 2005

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