Part 1: Concepts
Please answer the following questions in complete sentences. Your answer
for each question should be about 100 words.
1. Why is it important to distinguish between mechanisms of protection and
policies of protection?
2. What is an access matrix, and how can it be implemented?
3. How does a virus differ from a worm?
4. What is the difference between symmetric encryption and asymmetric
5. What are the two main varieties of authentication algorithms?
Part 2: Research Project
In Part 2, you will investigate technical problems of operating systems, and
provide a written report. Your research should focus on an in-depth topic
about theories, algorithms, approaches, mechanisms, or implementation of
one of the following fields of operating systems:
o process and thread
o CPU scheduling
o deadlock handling
o main memory
o virtual memory
o file systems
o mass-storage and I/O
protection and security
distributed, real-time, and multimedia systems
Your topic could come from a sub-problem of cutting-edge research
problems discussed in the literature (i.e., investigating a technical
In your paper (expectations outlined below), make sure you highlight your
work and outcomes in your own words. You must also properly cite any
viewpoints, methods, algorithms, data, results, figures, tables, etc. that you
borrow from other papers or contributors that you discuss or include in
your paper/report. All references cited should be published, or at least be
publicly available, stable, and accessible online (referenced in APA or IEEE
Style). Using the work of others without proper credit in your paper/report
may lead to a form of plagiarism.
Your investigation will be based on recent publications (i.e., published in
the past five years) such as journal/conference papers and technical
documents, and the applicable software packages (open source preferred).
You are encouraged to read some papers about new techniques in
operating systems. You can access the following resources via the ACM
Digital Library and IEEE/IEE Electronic Library databases in
the Athabasca University Library.
SOSP: ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (ACM) ACM
SIGOPS Operating Systems Review (ACM) ACM Transactions on
Computer Systems (ACM) IEEE Transactions on Computers (IEEE) ACM
Computing Surveys (ACM) Communications of the ACM (ACM) IEEE
Computer. . . (IEEE) Linux Journal (ACM)
Once you have chosen your topic, you need to identify meaningful, feasible
outcomes for your research on the topic. Overall, the outcomes should
interest and benefit the professional community of operating system
research and development. Some possible outcomes:
Analysis, findings, and discovery of problems.
Results of your tests, surveys, and comparative analysis.
Proposals for new or improved methods, algorithms, etc.
Meaningful implementation plans.
Insight on future directions.
Present the outcomes of your research in a 10-page paper written in a
journal or conference paper format. References should be cited using APA
or IEEE Style. Your paper should include the following sections:
Abstract: no more than 300 words.
Introduction/background: motivation for research and introduction to the
outcomes, including a literature review and reference citations.
Methods: describe the problem and the methods you used to explore or
address the problem.
Results and findings: research results or exploration findings, including
theoretical analysis and any experimental and implementation results you
accomplished based on your methods.
Related work: summarize related work by others; compare your methods and
results with others’ work. Cite your references.
Conclusion and future work: conclude your exploration and research, and
suggest possible future work on the topic.
References: include all references cited in your paper, using APA or IEEE
Appendix: Includes a list of your data, design/implementation, and source
codes (as applicable), and software necessary for running your programs (if
applicable). The Appendix isn’t part of the page count for your paper.