module specification

CT3020 - Network Planning and Simulation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Network Planning and Simulation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Coursework
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen Exam *FC*
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module provides an introduction to computer and telecommunications network planning, design and simulation. Aspects of network management, monitoring as well as security embedded to the design are considered as well. The theoretical work is focusing on two main aspects: (a) WAN design principles and relevant algorithms based on Graph Theory, and (b) systems approach to network design. The graduate attributes focused on in this module are A2, performance in a variety of contexts and A3, creative and ethical. The practical work involves development and manipulation of network models with the help of tools such WAN design tool and network simulator as well as analysis of the obtained designs and results of simulations.
 

Prior learning requirements

Communication Networks (CC2009N)
Operating Systems (CC2011N)
 

Module aims

The module provides an introduction to computer and telecommunications network planning, design and simulation. Aspects of network management, monitoring as well as security embedded to the design are considered as well. The theoretical work is focusing on two main aspects: (a) WAN design principles and relevant algorithms based on Graph Theory, and (b) systems approach to network design. The graduate attributes focused on in this module are A2, performance in a variety of contexts and A3, creative and ethical. The practical work involves development and manipulation of network models with the help of tools such WAN design tool and network simulator as well as analysis of the obtained designs and results of simulations.

This module aims to:
• enable students to understand the process of network planning and design;
• implement system design capabilities in the area of WAN planning and investigation of their dynamic behaviour using network simulator models;
• develop communication skills with particular reference to network design process and the powers of presentation;
• equip students for employment in the academia or industry (e.g. as network planning consultants);
• expose students to industrial practices via attending relevant exhibitions.

Syllabus

Theory:
• Introduction to the network design principles illustrated by the examples of voice and data network designs and optimisation of these designs
• Principles of evaluation and ranking of network designs according to chosen criteria (Cost, Performance/Delay, Reliability)
• Elements of graph theory and queueing theory for network design
• Systems methodology for network design, system and service descriptions, service characteristics and service metrics, performance characteristics
• Requirements analysis (user, application, device, network), requirements specifications and application map
• Flow analysis (individual and composite flows, critical flows), data sources and sinks, flow models, flow specification algorithm
• Logical design (technology choices, interconnection mechanisms)
• Network management architecture (OSI network management principles, SNMP-based network management architecture, use of MIBs, network monitoring tools, network documentation)
• Security and privacy architecture (risk assesment, security policies, use of firewalls, authentication mechanisms, malicious programs, intrusion detection, encryption/decryption techniques)
• Elements of physical network design (cabling layout in the campus network, documenting designs)
Practice:
• Coursework 1: Producing WAN designs using specialised tool, investigating various parameters of the designs as well as ranking of network designs according to the chosen design goals
• Coursework 2: Synthesising simple dynamic network models for the designs produced in Coursework 1 by using Network Simulator tool, analysing event traces produced by the simulator and investigating performance characteristics of the simulated network
 

Learning and teaching

The theoretical material will be covered in lectures (24 hours) and exemplified in laboratory based sessions (24 hours). Lecture materials as well as tutorial and coursework assignments are accessable on-line via WebLearn. Time will be devoted to the discussion and evaluation of problem solutions. The student will be expected to spend 40 hours in private study and directed reading. In addition to this, a substantial coursework (20 hours) will be set. Students will be expected to spend a further 22 hours in preparing for and taking the terminal examination.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module the student will be able to
LO1. Understand the process of network planning and design [A2]
LO2. Describe and analyse issues related to the design and operation of Network Management Systems [A2]
LO3. Appreciate fundamental principles and techniques employed in securing information and network systems [A2]
LO4. Apply WAN design procedures to basic networks and evaluate/rank produced designs as well as synthesise dynamic models for WAN networks. [A3]
LO5. Simulate dynamic models and modify them in order to investigate some particular scenario in network behaviour, process and critically analyse data produced by the network simulator. [A3]
 

Assessment strategy

Without being prescriptive the following is indicative of the assessment strategy. It is likely that course work will begin in the first third of the module and completed by towards the end of the module. The work will implement ideas that have been introduced in lectures to assure the student has understood what has been presented.
Exam is assessing graduate attribute A2 and Coursework is assessing A3.
 

Bibliography

Textbooks and Essential Lab Manuals
1. Robert S. Cahn (1998), Wide Area Network Design: Concepts and Tools for Optimization. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, ISBN 1-55860-458-8, 441 pages.
2. James D. McCabe (2007) Network Analysis, Architecture, and Design, Third Edition (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Networking), ISBN-10: 0123704804, 496 pages
3. WAN Design Tool Delite: see various materials on WebLearn ("Lab Tools and Manuals")
4. Eitan Altman and Tania Jimenez (2004). NS Simulator for beginners (Lecture Notes), Univ. de Los Andes, Merida, Venezuela and ESSI, Sophia-Antipolis, France,
http://www-sop.inria.fr/maestro/personnel/Eitan.Altman/COURS-NS/n3.pdf
5. Marc Greis: "Tutorial for the Network Simulator ns", The VINT Project,  http://www.isi.edu/nsnam/ns/tutorial/index.html

Additional Recommended Reading:
1. The Network Simulator - ns-2, http://www.isi.edu/nsnam/ns/
2. Kevin Fall (Editor): "The ns Manual", The VINT Project, January 31, 2002
3. Other texts related to network design: see various materials on module's WebLearn page.