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.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University