FIT4010 - Advanced topics in algorithms and discrete structures

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate, Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Information Technology

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Algorithms are the most fundamental area for all aspects of computer science and software engineering. Discrete structures, such as those treated in graph theory, set theory, combinatorics and symbolic logic form the mathematical underpinning of the study of algorithms. As well-designed algorithms and data structures are essential for the good performance of an information system, an in-depth understanding of the theoretical properties of algorithms is essential for any computer scientist. As importantly, the theoretical investigation of algorithms leads to a deeper understanding of problem structures and classes of problems and the knowledge of a large variety of algorithm types enables the designer to approach a new problem from different angles. Topics for this unit may include: Computability and Complexity, Automata Theory, Advanced Analysis and Design of Algorithms, Parallel and Distributed Algorithms, Numerical Algorithms, Cryptographic Algorithms, Spatial/geometric Algorithms, Approximation Algorithms and Randomised Algorithms.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. critically analyse and assess algorithms for use in the chosen specialisation area;
  2. be able to formally analyse algorithms in this specialisation area;
  3. choose and apply algorithms and data structures in the specialisation area;
  4. design and implement modified algorithms in the chosen area to suit particular problem structures.


Assignment and Examination, relative weight depending on topic composition. When no exam is given students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge by solving practical problems and maybe required to give an oral report.

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • Two hours of lectures
    • One 2-hour laboratory or tutorial
  2. Additional requirements (all students):
    • A minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Completion of the Bachelor of Computer Science or equivalent to the entry requirements for the Honours program. Students must also have enrolment approval from the Honours Coordinator.

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