Optical Networking and Design

Subject ELEN90034 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 3 hour lecture per week
Total Time Commitment:

200 hours.


4-year Electrical Engineering degree or equivalent

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof William Shieh



Subject Overview:


This subject covers the basic areas of optical networks.


In particular, it includes the following topics:

  • Optical network elements
  • Optical transport network architecture and design
  • Optical circuit switching, optical burst switching, and optical packet switching
  • Optical network control and management
  • Optical network survivability
  • Traffic grooming in optical networks
  • IP over WDM networks
  • Optical access network architectures and technologies (eg. Active Ethernet, EPON, GPON, WDM PON)
  • Design and analysis of optical access networks
  • Free space optical networks.
Learning Outcomes:


On completion of this subject, the students will develop skills and knowledge required to understand the fundamentals of optical networks and to be able to solve technical problems in the following areas:

  1. Fundamental optical network elements
  2. Optical network architectures ranging from optical access networks to backbone optical transport networks
  3. Approaches and methodologies of optical network design optimisation
  4. Techniques of optical network survivability
  5. Problem solving skills and critical thinking in the discipline of optical networks
  6. The subject will also help students develop an enthusiasm towards research and development in the field of optical networks
  • Formally supervised written examination not exceeding three hours at the end of semester, worth 50%
  • A one-hour mid-semester test 20%
  • A written report on project of 2000 words per student (approximately 40-45 hours of work per student) in week 12, worth 30%.

Hurdle requirement: Students must pass the written exam to pass the subject.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 1-6 are assessed in the final written examination, the mid-semester test, and the submitted project report or assignments. ILOs 3, 5 and 6 are also assessed in the submitted project report or assignments.

Prescribed Texts:

“Optical Networks: A Practical Perspective” by Rajiv Ramaswami and Kumar N. Sivarajan.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject , the students should have developed:

  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • Critical and creative thinking, with and aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • Sense of intellectual curiosity
  • Ability to interpret data and research results
  • Ability to learn in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies
  • Capacity to confront unfamiliar problems
  • Ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature
  • Ability to develop models of practical applications and evaluate their performance by rigorous analytical means.


The subject is delivered through sessions that combine lecture presentation, discussion, and mini-tutorials. Private study is also required, in addition to the weekly sessions. Learning is also enhanced by active participation in the online Discussion Board.


Students are provided with lecture slides and tutorial problems. Extensive reference material is uploaded or linked on the subject website.


Student teams are encouraged to interact with industry professionals as part of their assignment. Specific industry interactions may be organised according to interest and opportunities.

Related Course(s): Master of Telecommunications Engineering

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