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Mobile Computing Systems Programming (COMP90018)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCOMP90018
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


Mobile devices are ubiquitous nowadays. Mobile computing encompasses technologies, devices and software that enable (wireless) access to services anyplace, anytime, and anywhere. This subject will cover fundamental mobile computing techniques and technologies, and explain challenges that are unique to mobile computing. In particular, the development of software for mobile devices requires hands-on experience that cannot be captured using simulation environments or emulators. Mobile device have limited computing power and restrictions on the communication bandwidth, latency and network availability. Equally important, mobile device are also confined by their input mechanisms and their output capabilities such as screen size and resolution. This subject will enable students to develop mobile phone applications and provide them with hands-on experience.


  • A survey of mobile operating systems and development environments; including a discussion of Android and iOS
  • Development of interfaces for mobile devices and dealing with different input modalities
  • Wireless messaging fundamentals such as push and pull, as well as messaging services such as SMS and MMS and their implementation
  • Wireless personal area network standards such as Bluetooth, UWB (ultra-wide band) and ZigBee
  • Fundamentals of wireless wide area networks (WWAN) and 4G standards such as LTE and WiMAX enabling wireless broadband access, and the underlying code-, frequency- and time-based multiplexing techniques
  • Architectures for thin clients
  • Routing in mobile ad-hoc networks and vehicular ad-hoc networks
  • RFID (radio frequency identification), in particular how to interrogate RFID tags and anti-collision, and how to maintain security and privacy
  • In- and outdoor positioning techniques (GPS) for mobile devices, as location-based services are seen to be one of the key emerging application areas in mobile computing
  • Location privacy in mobile computing applications
  • Mobile agents, i.e., software programs that can migrate between different hosts.

Intended learning outcomes


Having completed this unit the student is expected to:

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of mobile systems, their challenges, and their programming
  2. Get hands-on experience on programming applications for mobile devices that includes the integration of sensed information
  3. Learn to work in small effective teams
  4. Discuss and present new mobile research topics and technologies in oral and written form

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should have the following skills:

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship.

Last updated: 7 May 2019