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Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Concurrency, HPC and Distributed Computing

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Computer Science

DESCRIPTION This study-unit provides an introduction to concurrent, parallel and distributed computing. The lecture-based component outlines the essential concepts and subsequently covers a series of algorithms and programming techniques from the literature. Through the practical component, students will have the opportunity to program a parallel computer and then measure and analyse its performance.

Stud-unit Aims:

At a high level, the study-unit aims to:
● highlight the application of concurrency, parallelism and distribution in contemporary computing;
● present and critique an assortment of algorithms from the concurrent, parallel and distributed computing literature;
● expose students to the practice of programming parallel computers;
● familiarise students with the measurement, analysis and optimisation of parallel program performance.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study ¬unit the student should be able to:

● compare and contrast different approaches to expressing concurrency in computer software;
● recall and discuss manifestations of parallelism in modern computer systems;
● compare and contrast various concurrent, parallel and distributed algorithms and programming techniques;
● demonstrate an awareness of limiting factors in the performance of parallel systems at scale.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study ¬unit the student should be able to:

● design and implement application software for distributed memory parallel computer systems such as HPC clusters;
● design and implement application software for shared memory parallel computer systems as exemplified by multi-core processors;
● calculate and analyse performance metrics such as the speedup and efficiency of parallel programs.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students taking this study-unit are assumed to have knowledge of the material covered in the following study-units:
- CPS1000 or CPS1011;
- CPS1004 or CPS1012;
- CPS2003 or CPS2008.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 35%
Examination (1 Hour and 30 Minutes) Yes 65%

LECTURER/S Keith Bugeja
Kevin Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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