Course Title: Network Design and Performance

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Network Design and Performance

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr. Chandana Watagodakumbura

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2092

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.08.16

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You are expected to have knowledge of communication and network engineering principles, mathematics fundamentals and TCP/IP.

Course Description

The course will provide you with an introduction to the key concepts of network operations at a strategic level.  First a network development life-cycle will be examined to give a big picture of network development from concept to retirement.  Next issues to do with network topology and design are examined.  Networks must have the ability to multiplex and switch information and so key issues and technologies related to these issues are considered.  Finally there is the topic of performance prediction,  this examines the use of simulation and traffic theory to help predict network performance.  Traffic theory has wide application to many areas of technology  and planning ranging from telephone system design, to the design of supermarket queues, and aircraft holding patterns.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information (;ID=eyj5c0mo77631).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At undergraduate level this course develops the following Program Learning Outcomes:

1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.

2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources

At postgraduate level this course develops the following Program Learning Outcomes:

• High levels of technical competence in the field
• Be able to apply problem solving approaches to work challenges and make decisions using sound engineering methodologies

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the phases and dangers of each stage of network development development.
  • Identify and explain key concepts and algorithms related to network topology design.
  • Simulate data networks to predict performance.
  • Predict the performance of data networks and many other situations where materials or information flow through a system using traffic theory.
  • Setup a basic core routing systems using BGP and MPLS, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these protocols.
  • Explain key concepts of network multiplexing and switching.

Overview of Learning Activities

Key learning activities will include-

  • Simulation challenge:  you will use a simulator to discover how well a network will perform given a variety of protocols including VoIP, streaming video, downloads, and web browsing.
  • Core network setup:  you will setup a small core backbone system using MPLS and BGP.
  • Traffic Theory challenge: you will be acting as a junior engineer in a three way conversation with a senior traffic engineer and a client.  You will need to take clear meeting minutes and perform calculations as required.  This will test your written and oral communications skills as well as your knowledge of traffic theory.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources will include-

  • Lecture notes will be available on the course website before classes start (make sure you get a  copy before the first lecture).
  • RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 
  • The simulator Opnet IT Guru is available for free download from the Opnet web site at

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will consist of a written exam,  laboratory exercises,  and a traffic theory challenge.