Computer Science (COMP) 435

Multimedia Technologies (Revision 1)

COMP 435

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: COMP 308 or equivalent (or professor approval).

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

COMP 435 is not available for challenge.

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**Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering


Multimedia Technologies is an indispensable part of modern computing environments. This course will explain the technologies underlying digital images, videos and audio contents, including various compression techniques and standards, and the issues to deliver multimedia content over the Internet.

The course is designed for:

  1. Program students who want to broadening their knowledge by including multimedia studies.
  2. Visiting program students looking for a foundation from which to pursue advanced topics in multimedia studies.
  3. Professional developers who want a technical foundation for developing applications with distributed multimedia components.
  4. Networks professionals who needs to manage multimedia delivery service.


COMP 435 consists of the following nine units:

  • Unit 1: Software Installation and Preparation
  • Unit 2: Introduction to Multimedia Studies
  • Unit 3: Data Representation
  • Unit 4: Basic Compression Techniques
  • Unit 5: Video and Audio Data Compression Techniques
  • Unit 6: Multimedia Networks and QoS Support
  • Unit 7: Multimedia Wireless Networks, Heterogeneous Networks, and advanced QoS Support
  • Unit 8: Multimedia Applications
  • Unit 9: Topics in Multimedia Technologies

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to

  • identify the essential features of graphics/image data types, file formats, and colour models in images and video.
  • explain the technical details of multimedia data representations.
  • perform a comparative analysis of the major methods and algorithms for multimedia data compression.
  • explain the technical details of popular multimedia compression standards.
  • write code and develop a multimedia application using JAI and JMF.
  • explain the principles and technical details of several wired and wireless networking protocols.
  • configure and manage multimedia content delivery platforms.
  • identify the essential issues of quality of service in multimedia networking.
  • explain technical aspects of popular multimedia web applications, including VoD and VoIP.


To receive credit for COMP 435, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent), including an average grade of at least 50 percent on the assignments, and a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 15%
Assignment 4 15%
Assignment 5 10%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Ze-Nian Li & Mark S. Drew. (2004). Fundamentals of Multimedia.. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

The rest of the learning materials for Computer Science 435 are:

Distributed in Electronic Format

  • Computer Science 435 Study Guide

Available from the Course Website

  • A collection of journal articles and conference papers delivered through the library service of Athabasca University
  • A course evaluation form
  • Links to a variety of resources on the World Wide Web.

Additional supporting materials of interest to students may occasionally be made available electronically.

Special Instructional Features

COMP 435 is offered through Moodle, a Learning Management System that can be accessed through the Web. COMP 435 can be completed at the student's workplace or home. COMP 435 is an elective in all undergraduate programs offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, October 7, 2009.