Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • COMP2181 Theory of Computation


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To design structured networks to provide the communications fabric of distributed-memory multi-processors, networks-on-chips and data centre networks.
  • To introduce the theoretical and practical tools needed to analyse social and technological networks.


  • Core aspects of interconnection networks: topology; routing; switching; flow control; packets; technology.
  • Graph theory: degree; cuts; bisections; paths; diameter; embeddings; automorphisms; symmetry.
  • Topologies: hypercubes; tori; k-ary n-cubes; cube-connected cycles.
  • Performance: traffic patterns; throughput; latency; path diversity; packaging; routing algorithms.
  • Modelling networks to make comparisons and predictions: random graphs; Milgram's small world experiment; Watts-Strogatz model; Kleinberg model.
  • Centrality measures: finding influential nodes in networks; using centrality measures to understand the community structure of networks.
  • Epidemics: how contagions spread in networks; models of diffusion; SIR model; epidemic threshold; SIS model.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an in-depth knowledge of the state-of-the-art in interconnection networks and network science
  • an awareness of the main open problems of current interest
  • an understanding of research issues that relate to these problems, including recent developments and research trends and breaking technologies.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to conduct significant self-study and critically evaluate research issues in interconnection networks and networks science
  • an ability to reason with and and apply theoretical methods
  • an ability to propose adaptations to computing methodologies to problems of current interest.
Key Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to read and understand technical papers
  • an ability to propose original solutions to problems of current interest.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures enable the students to learn new material and engage in discussion.
  • Formative and summative assessments assess the application of methods and techniques.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
lectures 20 2 per week 1 hour 20
preparation and reading 80
total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Assignment 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Example formative exercises are given during the course.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University