An efficient visualisation mechanism for communication network monitoring information
Most, if not all, of the control and monitoring functions of modern communication network systems are implemented as software. Such software systems are of considerable size and complexity in order to cope with the pre-defined requirements. Effective presentation of results and control of network activities are part of the expected software specifications. This thesis begins with an overvIew of the functions of Network Performance Management. Furthermore, it concentrates on Information Visualisation and its major role in the process of designing useful and usable software for communication network systems. Additional work follows on the author's novel idea of Figural Deformity Visualisation and its potential advantages with respect to network performance data pre-analysis. Figural Deformity (FD) can be a novel way of visualising multiple-variations by employing a single object and gradually deforming its original shape in order to represent relevant mapped parameters. Nevertheless, some research issues are considered before attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed visual mechanism by conducting user trials with qualified subjects. The thesis continues by presenting a prototype FD-Interface which has been used to collect the required experimental data. The relevant statistical analysis presents strong evidence in favour of the proposed type of user-interfaces. Finally, the work is concluded by presenting an initial implementation of the idea which has been evaluated in one of the largest companies of the British telecommunication industry.