Atallah, G., Ball, M., Baras, J., Goli, S., Karne, R., Kelley, S., Kumar, H., Plaisant, C., Roussopoulos, N., Shneiderman, B., Srinivasarao, M., Stathatos, K., Teittinen, M., Whitefield, D.
Today's telecommunications networks are becoming increasingly large, complex, mission critical and heterogeneous in several dimensions. For example, the underlying physical transmission facilities of a given network may be "mixed media" (copper, fiber-optic, radio, and satellite); the sub networks may be acquired from different vendors due to economic, performance, or general availability reasons; the information being transmitted over the network may be "multimedia" (video, data, voice, and images) and, finally, varying performance criteria may be imposed e.g. data transfer may require high throughput while the others, whose concern is voice communications, may require low call blocking probability. For these reasons, future telecommunications networks are expected to be highly complex in their services and operations. Due to this growing complexity and the disparity among management systems for individual sub networks, efficient network management systems have become critical to the current and future success of telecommunications companies. This paper addresses a research and development effort which focuses on prototyping configuration management, since that is the central process of network management and all other network management functions must be built upon it. Our prototype incorporates ergonomically designed graphical user interfaces tailored to the network configuration management subsystem and to the proposed advanced object-oriented database structure. The resulting design concept follows open standards such as Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) and incorporates object oriented programming methodology to associate data with functions, permit customization, and provide an open architecture environment.