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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Information Technology
OfferedNot offered in 2010


This unit will introduce communication protocol engineering and the software implementation of communication protocols using finite state machines as a communications protocol specification and their software implementation. Students will also learn software implementation of protocol data unit encoders and decoders using the Unix/C programming environment to manage buffer space, handle real-time communications protocol constraints and manage interrupts and polling of communications hardware.


At the completion of this unit students will have
A knowledge and understanding of:

  • design, role of software and implementation of communication protocols;
  • description and implementation of finite state machines.
Developed the ability to:
  • implement protocol data unit encoders, decoders and circular buffers in software;
  • handle polling and interrupt dispatch mechanisms and real time constraints on communications software performance;
  • structure multithreaded and multiprocess communications software;
  • analyse real-time and resource demands of communications protocols to determine appropriate implementation structures;
  • evaluate communications software to determine that it meets the protocol and specifications;
  • use the UNIX/C operating system environment for programming simple communication protocols using a finite state machine implementation;
  • use operating system kernel facilities in their programs to ensure real-time protocol constraints are met by their communications software;
  • test and verify that their software implementation meets the protocol specifications.


Examination (2 hours): 30%; In-semester assessment: 70%

Contact hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorials/wk


Recommended knowledge: basic knowledge of networks, data communications and programming.


CSE4883, FIT4014

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: