FIT3030 Network performance and modelling - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Arkady Zaslavsky


Caulfield : Abdul Malik Khan


A detailed understanding of the factors that influence the performance of computer networks and the tools used to measure and predict performance, are important skills required by professional network and application designers. This unit aims to provide this knowledge and associated skills for Information Technology students, and includes network performance studies, indicators of network performance and methods of measurment; SNMP and other Network monitoring tools; Predicting Network performance; Queueing theory and Modeling of networks; Overheads of network protocols including features of TCP/IP that influence network performance; Network performance in distributed systems.


At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • understand various measures of data network performance
  • be able to use various hardware and software tools to measure performance
  • use simulation packages to construct models of computer networks
  • use models for performance analysis and prediction
  • make recommendations for network performance improvement


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT1005 Networks and Data Communications or CPE1007 Data Communications and Networks or CPE2002 Data Communications and Networks, or equivalent.

Unit relationships

This is an elective unit of the net-centric major for the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems and supports other third level units on network and application design. You may not study this unit after having completed CSE3151 Communications Network Performance or CPE3014 Communications Network Performance in your degree.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

This unit does not have a required text. However students are expected to make use of texts shown in the Recommended reading section below.


Textbook availability

The monash library contains a excellent selection of books and most of the books on the recommended reading list are available for loan. Some of the recommended texts may also be available for sale at the Monash Bookshop.



Software requirements

OPNET Academic Edition, Version 9.0 (build 1995), OPNET Corp, 2005.
Software may be downloaded from (47MB) and requires individual student registration during the first use. NOTE: You must be logged in with Administrator privileges to install the software.

Software may be:

  • downloaded from

Hardware requirements

OPNET Academic Edition
Operating Systems:

  • Windows NT 4.0: Service Pack 3, 5, or 6a; Service Packs 4 and 6 are not supported.
  • Windows 2000: Service Packs 1, 2, and 4 are supported but not required.
  • Windows XP: Service Pack 1 or 2 is required.


  • 256MB required.

Disk space:

  • 200MB required (additional 200MB required during installation).
  • A minimum 20MB of additional disk space is also recommended to store model files created during labs and tutorials.


  • 1024x768 or higher resolution, 256 or more colors.

Students may use the facilities available in the PSIT Network Lab. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Recommended reading

Held G. Enhancing LAN Performance 4th.Ed Auerbach-CRC Press (2004) ISBN 0-8493-1942-0
Blommers J. Practical Planning for Network Growth Prentice Hall (1996) ISBN 0-13-206111-2
Nassar D.J. Network Performance Baselining Macmillan (2000) ISBN 1-57870-240-2
Lloyd-Evans R. Wide Area Network Performance and Optimization Addison-Wesley (1996), ISBN 0-201-42270-0
Jain R. The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis Wiley (1991) ISBN 0-471-50336-3
Hall E. Internet core protocols: the definitive guide O’Reilly (2000) ISBN 1-56592-572-6
Sloan J. Network Troubleshooting Tools O'Reilly (2001) ISBN:0-596-00186-X
Kesidis G. ATM Network Performance 2nd Ed, Kluwer Academic (2000) ISBN 0-7923-7710-9
Banks, Carson & Nelson, Discrete Event System Simulation Prentice-Hall (1999) ISBN 0-13-217449-9
Schwartz M. Telecommunication Networks: Protocols, Modelling and Analysis Addison-Wesley(1988) ISBN 0-201-16423-X

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for FIT3030 are:

  • This Unit Information outlining the administrative information for the unit
  • The FIT3030 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted
  • Newsgroups/discussion groups that can be linked from the Unit Homepage

Teaching in this unit is conducted using Lecture, Tutorial, Laboratory tests, Assignment and Project work. The unit will have one 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour tutorial (in network Lab) each week for one semester. The topics dicussed in lectures will be supported by material from several relevant texts. The concepts introduced in the lectures will be reviewed during the tutorials with the aid of examples and exercise. Hands-on work is included in the tutorials to link the concepts discussed in lecture with practical experience in the corresponding problem domain, and to support the assignment and project work.

In addition to the time spent in lecture and tutorial, you will need to additionally allocate up to 8 hours per week for completion of Lab and project work, private study and revision. Much of this requires the use of a computer, including time for email, newsgroups/discussion groups.

Unit website

Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 Introduction.
2 Indicators of network performance
3 Introduction to OPNET Lab Test 1
4 Data transfer rates and Bandwidth
5 Analytical modelling: Introduction to queuing theory Lab Test 2
6 Link utilisation in switched networks
Non teaching week
7 Low level protocol performance
8 TCP/IP performance: error management and flow control
9 How & where to measure performance
10 Using SNMP to gather performance metrics
11 Performance in Distributed Systems Assignment 1 Due
12 Case studies: ISP performance study
13 Unit revision and Exam preparation


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of lab tests and an assignment with a weighting of 40% and a 3-hour closed book formal examination with a weighting of 60%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

  • attempt all assignments and the examination
  • attend at least 80% of tutorials
  • score at least 50% of the possible marks for the entire unit
  • achieve no less than 40% of the total available marks for the practical work
  • achieve no less than 40% of the total available marks for the final examination

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Prac% * 40/100 + Exam% * 60/100

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Lab test 1 week 3 5%
Lab test 2 week 5 5 %
Assignment 1: Network modelling project week 11 30 %
Examination Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the FIT3030 website Assignments Page.

Assignment Submission

Deliver the folder containing your assignment to the School's Assignment Collection mailbox on level 6 of the H building on Caulfield campus by 4pm on the Friday of week 11, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will not be accepted unless extensions have been granted (see below).

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by completing an Application for Extension form and forwarding this to the Lecturer for approval, at least 2 working days before the due date. The application form is available from the CaSIT Administraion office or may be downloaded from the Student Resources section of Faculty homepage. Please note that your tutor cannot approve a request for extension. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt. Assignments and other submitted work will normally be assessed by your tutor and will be returned during a subsequent tutorial session. Where this is not possible (eg. after end of semester) assignment work is forwarded to the lecturer and held for no more than 6 months. Work which has not been collected after this time will be discarded.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

Preferred methods of communication for students is to initially attempt to discuss topics and raise questions with tutors before contacting the lecturer, but students may also use the discussion groups and mailing lists given on the unit web site. Students can also send email to the lecturer or ask questions during or at the end of lectures.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

In addition to the scheduled class times, lecturers and tutors set aside other times for general consultations. Consultation times for Lecturer and Tutors are posted on the staff members own web sites and on personal staff timetables posted on staff office doors. Consultations occur in the staff member's office or the tutor helpdesk area. At other times, for direct communication with your unit lecturer or tutor, see the contact details shown below:

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Associate Professor Arkady Zaslavsky
Associate Professor
Phone +61 3 990 32479
Fax +613 9903 1077

Mr Malik Khan

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 27, 2007