Database Systems 2 (Adv) (INFO3504)


This unit of study provides a comprehensive overview of the internal mechanisms and algorithms of Database Management Systems (DBMS) and other systems that manage large data collections. These skills are needed for successful performance tuning and to understand the scalability challenges faced by the information age. This unit builds upon the second-year INFO2820 "Database Systems 1 (Adv)" and correspondingly assumes a sound understanding of SQL, schema design and transactional programs.
The first part of this subject focuses on mechanisms for large-scale data management. It provides a deep understanding of the internal components of a database engine. Topics include: physical data organisation and disk-based index structures, query processing and optimisation, locking and logging, and database tuning.
The second part focuses on the large-scale management of textual data such as by an information retrieval system or with web search engines. Topics include: distributed and replicated databases, information retrieval, document management, text index structures, and web-scale data management.
This is an advanced alternative to INFO3404; it covers material at an advanced and challenging level. In particular, students in this advanced stream will study an actual DBMS implementation on the source code level, and also gain practical experience in extending the DBMS code base.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lectures, Seminar, Tutorials, Laboratories, Project Work - own time


Through semester assessment (40%) and Final Exam (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


Distinction-level result in INFO2120 or INFO2820 or COMP2007 or COMP2907

Assumed knowledge

This unit of study assumes that students have previous knowledge of database concepts including (1) ER modelling, (2) the relational data model and (3) SQL. The prerequisite material is covered in INFO 2120/2820. Sound experience with the C programming language and the Unix software development environment is also expected.



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.