Performance modelling and the representation of large scale distributed system functions
This thesis presents a resource based approach to model generation for performance characterization and correctness checking of large scale telecommunications networks. A notion called the timed automaton is proposed and then developed to encapsulate behaviours of networking equipment, system control policies and non-deterministic user behaviours. The states of pooled network resources and the behaviours of resource consumers are represented as continually varying geometric patterns; these patterns form part of the data operated upon by the timed automata. Such a representation technique allows for great flexibility regarding the level of abstraction that can be chosen in the modelling of telecommunications systems. None the less, the notion of system functions is proposed to serve as a constraining framework for specifying bounded behaviours and features of telecommunications systems. Operational concepts are developed for the timed automata; these concepts are based on limit preserving relations. Relations over system states represent the evolution of system properties observable at various locations within the network under study. The declarative nature of such permutative state relations provides a direct framework for generating highly expressive models suitable for carrying out optimization experiments. The usefulness of the developed procedure is demonstrated by tackling a large scale case study, in particular the problem of congestion avoidance in networks; it is shown that there can be global coupling among local behaviours within a telecommunications network. The uncovering of such a phenomenon through a function oriented simulation is a contribution to the area of network modelling. The direct and faithful way of deriving performance metrics for loss in networks from resource utilization patterns is also a new contribution to the work area.