The computer-aided evaluation and synthesis of a data communications network
Thesis DisciplineComputer Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
With most terrestrial telecommunication networks experiencing growth the need for powerful computer design tools is becoming mandatory. Such tools facilitate the quick and accurate quantification of many complex technical and economical interactions enabling planners to control the evolution of their networks. This thesis focuses on several issues surrounding the computer-aided design of a wide area data communications network. Three main topics are addressed: the application of interactive computer graphics to network design tools; the inherent shortcomings of several contemporary design methods; and the application of the tools developed during this study for the evaluation of an existing wide area network. Network Designers Workshop (NDW), the computer planning tool presented in this thesis has been developed to address some of the main inadequacies found in current day design tools. NDW utilizes high resolution graphics to provide the designer with a highly interactive framework for the rapid prototyping of communication networks. In addition, NDW's network synthesis methodology emphasises the importance of adopting an integrated approach to network design by enabling the planner to find a minimum cost solution through a series of iterative designs. The architecture and facilities of a modern packet switching network are also examined with a special focus on the mechanisms available for the collection of the essential performance data needed for the evaluation and design stage. The final section of this thesis concentrates on the application of the design tools presented in this study for the evaluation and cost driven optimization of a multimillion dollar packet switching network. Finally the impact of nodal cost and access network tariff structures on the optimum cost topology are illustrated.