Distributed routing algorithms for interconnected FDDI LANS

  • Ian J. Warford

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The Fibre Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) represents the new generation of local area networks (LANs). These high speed LANs are capable of supporting up to 500 users over a 100 km distance. User traffic is expected to be as diverse as file transfers, packet voice and video. As the proliferation of FDDI LANs continues, the need to interconnect these LANs arises.
FDDI LAN interconnection can be achieved in a variety of different ways. Some of the most commonly used today are public data networks, dial up lines and private circuits. For applications that can potentially generate large quantities of traffic, such as an FDDI LAN, it is cost effective to use a private circuit leased from the public carrier.
In order to send traffic from one LAN to another across the leased line, a routing algorithm is required. Much research has been done on the Bellman-Ford algorithm and many implementations of it exist in computer networks. However, due to its instability and problems with routing table loops it is an unsatisfactory algorithm for interconnected FDDI LANs. A new algorithm, termed ISIS which is being standardized by the ISO provides a far better solution.
ISIS will be implemented in many manufacturers routing devices. In order to make the work as practical as possible, this algorithm will be used as the basis for all the new algorithms presented.
The ISIS algorithm can be improved by exploiting information that is dropped by that algorithm during the calculation process. A new algorithm, called Down Stream Path Splits (DSPS), uses this information and requires only minor modification to some of the ISIS routing procedures. DSPS provides a higher network performance, with very little additional processing and storage requirements.
A second algorithm, also based on the ISIS algorithm, generates a massive increase in network performance. This is achieved by selecting alternative paths through the network in times of heavy congestion. This algorithm may select the alternative path at either the originating node, or any node along the path. It requires more processing and memory storage than DSPS, but generates a higher network power.
The final algorithm combines the DSPS algorithm with the alternative path algorithm. This is the most flexible and powerful of the algorithms developed. However, it is somewhat complex and requires a fairly large storage area at each node.
The performance of the new routing algorithms is tested in a comprehensive model of interconnected LANs. This model incorporates the transport through physical layers and generates random topologies for routing algorithm performance comparisons. Using this model it is possible to determine which algorithm provides the best performance without introducing significant complexity and storage requirements.
Date of AwardNov 1992
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorR.L. Brewster (Supervisor)


  • local area networks
  • LAN interconnection
  • internetworking
  • routers

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