• Class Number 2405
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Xiangyun Zhou
    • Dr Xiangyun Zhou
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course presents the principles and techniques fundamental to the analysis and design of digital communication systems. It focuses on the basic building blocks of a digital communication system (channel encoder/decoder, digital modulator/demodulator and channel characteristics). The emphasis is on mathematical underpinnings of communications theory along with practical applications. Specific topics include:

• Review of Probability and Random Processes and Modelling of Gaussian noise process.

• Digital Modulation Techniques: Signal space analysis, BPSK, QPSK, QAM.
• Digital Demodulation & Detection Techniques: Correlator-demodulator, Maximum likelihood detection (MLD) in additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN), bit error rate (BER) performance.

• Channel Encoder/Decoder: Linear block codes, Cyclic codes, Convolutional codes, Viterbi algorithm.

• Information Theory and Source Coding: Source Entropy, Huffman Coding, Channel Capacity.

Advanced topics in digital communications are briefly discussed if time allows. Matlab is used in the analysis and design.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Model digital communication signals and systems using appropriate mathematical techniques (e.g., probability, random process, signal-space analysis, constellation diagram, trellis diagram).
  2. Analyse the performance of digital modulation schemes over AWGN channels and choose appropriate modulation schemes according to design criteria.
  3. Characterise error-control codes and apply the encoding and decoding processes.
  4. Compute source entropy and channel capacity and apply the Huffman coding technique.
  5. Provide sound evaluation of practical digital communication systems in terms of their performance and complexity.
  6. Simulate digital communication systems in a proficient and confident manner.
  7. Apply engineering design practice in a laboratory setting, individually or in a small team, and communicate the results effectively.

Research-Led Teaching

  • Flipped teaching. One-on-one and group discussions with the lecturer and tutor during drop-in, tutorial and lab sessions to develop problem-solving skills.
  • Computer simulation as a systematic tool for the design and analysis in the communications engineering discipline.
  • Connection of theory to real-life communications technology.

Required Resources

There is no assessable textbook. Lecture notes and recordings together with tutorials, labs and assignments are the learning resources of this course.

J. G. Proakis & M. Salehi, Communications Systems Engineering, 2nd edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2002. http://library.anu.edu.au/record=b2298202

H. Nguyen and E. Shwedyk, A first course in digital communications, Cambridge University press, 2009. http://library.anu.edu.au/record=b2546970

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures (Recording) 1, 2
2 Lectures (Recording) 3, 4, Lecturer's Drop-in
3 Lectures (Recording) 5, 6, Lecturer's Drop-in, Tutorial 1
4 Lectures (Recording) 7, 8, Lecturer's Drop-in, CLab 1 CLab 1: main task done during the lab session and a written report due two days after the last session.
5 Lectures (Recording) 9, 10, Lecturer's Drop-in, Tutorial 2 Assignment 1 due on Friday
6 Lectures (Recording) 11, 12, Lecturer's Drop-in, Tutorial 3, CLab 2 CLab 2: main task done during the lab session and a written report due two days after the last session.
7 Lectures (Recording) 13, 14, Lecturer's Drop-in Mid-semester exam
8 Lectures (Recording) 15, 16, Lecturer's Drop-in Assignment 2 due on Friday
9 Lectures (Recording) 17, 18, Lecturer's Drop-in, Tutorial 4, CLab 3 CLab 3: main task done during the lab session and a written report due two days after the last session.
10 Lectures (Recording) 19, 20, Lecturer's Drop-in, Tutorial 5
11 Lectures (Recording) 21, 22, Lecturer's Drop-in, CLab 4 Assignment 3 due on Friday CLab 4: main task done during the lab session and a written report due two days after the last session.
12 Lecturer's Drop-in Assignment 4 due on Friday

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Labs 16 % 1,2,3,5,6,7
Assignments 18 % 1,2,3,4,5,6
Mid-Semester Exam 20 % 1,2,5
Final Exam 46 % 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 16 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,6,7


4 Clabs based on Matlab

The lab procedures (the main task) are performed within the scheduled lab session. Discussion among students and with tutor on lab procedures is encouraged, while individual written report is required and submission is due two days after the last session. The writing of the report should only take approx. one hour to complete.

The marked report will be returned to students in approx. 1 week.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 18 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6


4 assignments

Assignment are released two weeks before the submission deadline. Assignment questions include mathematical problem-solving (majority of the questions), matlab simulation and research-oriented questions. This is an individual assessment and written submission is required before the deadline.

The marked assignment will be returned to students in approx. 1 week.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

Mid-Semester Exam

Mid-term exam in week 7 and marked within 2 weeks. It will be an online exam in Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 46 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Exam

Final exam during exam period. It will be an online exam in Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to use the assignment and lab report Cover Sheet or electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.

Hardcopy Submission

All submissions are done electronically in Wattle, unless otherwise arranged for individual students.

Late Submission

Late submission is not permitted. A mark of 0 will be awarded for late submission.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Xiangyun Zhou

Research Interests

Dr Xiangyun Zhou

Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Dr Xiangyun Zhou

Research Interests

Dr Xiangyun Zhou

Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions