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INFO90002 2022 Semester 1 ASSIGNMENT 1

Weighting: 20% of your total assessment (5% Conceptual Model, 15% E-R Model)

Group Assessment: Groups of four (4) students from the same tute

Assignment deadline: Check Canvas

Assignment submission: Canvas

The StarAir Airline Case Study

StarAir is an international airline flying several types of aircraft made by Boeing and Airbus. The airline has concerns that their IT system needs improvements to the Board of Directors decided to start with an updated model for the future database.

The company needs to keep track of its fleet of aircraft and the airports they fly to and from.

StarAir needs to know the manufacturer specifications of each aircraft, i.e. it’s model (e.g. A350-900, 787-9), manufacturer/supplier (Airbus, Boeing), aircraft length, its wingspan, minimum required runway length and maximum seat capacity. They also need to keep track of suppliers for each aircraft model, e.g. for an A350-900 the supplier is Airbus. Supplier details need to include the company name, contact person name and phone number. Note, StarAir buys only new aircraft, so a manufacturer is also a supplier.

Every aircraft gets a unique registration number (also called tail number), as per the Convention on International Civil Aviation requirements1.

Every airline decides on the number of seats for each plane it buys so StarAir needs to record economy, premium economy and business class seat capacity for each aeroplane as determined by StarAir. Note, due to modern business class seats, the planes do not have first-class.

The following data about airports needs to be stored: airport code (these are internationally adopted codes, e.g. MEL for Melbourne Tullamarine, SYD for Sydney Kingsford Smith, LHR for London Heathrow, LCY for London City airport, etc.), airport name, location (city or region, state if applicable, country), airport departure tax and airport landing tax (in the currency that is charged by the airport), which aeroplane models can land at that airport based on runway requirements.

So for each aircraft, the StarAir operations department needs to know at which airports it can land. For example, many smaller airports cannot accommodate an A380.

StarAir also wants to record routes they are flying (route code, local or international, departure airport, destination airport), and legs that make up this route.

Some routes contain 2-3 flight legs. For example, the Melbourne-London route consists of 2 legs – Melbourne to Bangkok, then Bangkok to London Heathrow. Each leg is a route in itself.

A leg is described by departure airport, destination airport, length in miles and expected flight duration.

Each leg has multiple flights associated with it, i.e. on any given day none, one or more flights can be flying this leg. For example, StarAir flight ST212 (operated by Boeing 777-300ER) departs Sydney to Singapore at 9:20 every day of the week, flight ST222 (operated by Airbus A380-800) departs Sydney to Singapore at 16:10 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

For flight details, the airline wants to record the flight code (e.g. ST212, ST14 and similar), day of the week and scheduled departure time for that day, expected arrival time and default aircraft type. As explained in the previous paragraph, a flight can operate on multiple days of the week, only once per day but on different days of the week, it could be different departure times.

For every flight instance, StarAir needs to store data of the flight, allocated aircraft, and allocated crew members (more details on crew employees are provided later in the case study).

Each route has a number of booking classes2 (as travel professionals call them) associated with it. A booking class has a fare code, fare rules, and commission in % payable to travel agents for selling the flights in this fare category. The table below lists examples of booking classes as used by StarAir.

Fare codeClassRulesCommission rate %
DBusinessChanges – unlimited no charge, cancellation fee -$10010
CBusinessChanges – unlimited, first change – no charge, every next change – $250, cancellation fee -$50010
JBusinessNon-refundable, changes – $250 each7
YEconomyChanges – unlimited, first change – no charge, every next change – $150, cancellation fee -$10010
BEconomyChanges – unlimited, first change – no charge, every next change – $150, cancellation fee -$10010
MEconomyNon-refundable, changes after departure not allowed; changes before departure – $4005
WEconomyNon-refundable, no changes5

For each flight, StarAir allocates a specific number of seats to each booking class based on the aircraft type. For example, an A350-900 has 40 Business class and 263 Economy class seats. On a flight from Sydney to Singapore, 10 seats will be D fare code at $4000, 20 seats – C fare code at $3700, and 10 seats J fare code at $3200.

The company keeps track of employees but for the purpose of this phase, they only want to keep track of the flying crew. So for each employee, they need to store employee ID, first name, last name, phone number, employment type, and types of aircrafts this employee was trained to work on. Employment type means position (e.g. flight attendant, senior flight attendant, pilot, co-pilot) and annual salary.

Each flight instance gets crew members allocated to it, i.e. pilots, co-pilots, flight attendants. StarAir needs to keep track of which employee worked on which flight instance.

TASK: Your group has been asked to provide:

  • A Conceptual model of the StarAir case study in Chen notation. In conceptual design surrogate keys can be added to strong entities only. Weak entities must have PFKs.
  • A physical Entity Relationship model using Crows Foot notation suitable for a MySQL relational database version 8.0 or higher. The physical E-R model should be based on your Chen conceptual model.
  • A copy of your final workbench file (format .mwb).

Assignment Submission:

ONE GROUP MEMBER should submit the assignment via the CANVAS LMS https://lms.unimelb.edu.au

ONE PDF document named as your Group number id (e.g. Wed10-1.pdf) on or before the deadline, containing:

  • Legible image of your Conceptual Model in Chen notation
    • Legible image of your Physical ER Model in Crows foot notation
    • Assumptions (maximum 100 words) – your models should speak for themselves.
    • Work break down per team member (measured 1-100% per team member)
    • Student name and Student Number of all the students in your group

N.B. If you fail to submit legible models you will be penalised 10% of your total grade for this assignment.

ONE COPY of your team’s final MySQL Workbench modelling file (with an .mwb extension) of the Physical ER model on or before the deadline.

Late Submissions

Assignments that are late without a formally granted deadline extension from the subject coordinator will attract a penalty of 10% for each Academic Day as per the School of Computing and Information Systems policy.

Group Work Advice

The industry expects our Master graduates to be able to work and communicate effectively in teams. This is why the University includes group work assessment in the majority of graduate classes.

When you form your team immediately decide the following:

  • How you will communicate with each other?
  • How often you will communicate?
  • How often you will meet as a group?
  • Agree on a communication escalation path E.G. WhatsApp – then if no response, SMS then if no response, email then if no response phone call, then if no response speaks to the Subject Coordinator
  • Work out each team member’s strengths and weaknesses. Assign tasks based on strengths.
  • Agree on a timetable or Gantt chart of tasks and deadline dates.
  • Pick someone to be the team leader/coordinator of your team. They will have a responsibility to do their own work and follow up with other team members to make sure they are doing theirs.
  • Although unlikely, work out how you will break a deadlock before you need to break a deadlock.
  • Teams from a variety of cultural, age, gender, socio-economic and educational backgrounds do better than homogenous teams. Mix it up to avoid groupthink and the same cognitive biases in team members.
  • Team Problems? Escalate to the Subject Coordinator EARLY so it doesn’t mean anger, tears and regret later.
  • Failure to plan is a plan to fail. Don’t fail. PLAN.

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