Modelling and performance studies of integrated network scenarios in a hospital environment
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The hospital network is evolving towards a more integrated approach by interconnecting wireless technologies into backbone networks. Although various integrated network scenarios have been published in the networking literature, a generic hospital model has not yet been fully explored and it remains a challenging topic in practice. One of the problems encountered by network practitioners is the seamless integration of network components into healthcare delivery. A good understanding of the performance of integrated networks is required for efficient design and deployment of such technologies in hospital environments. This dissertation reports on the modelling and evaluation of integrated network scenarios in hospital environments. The impact of traffic types (e.g. voice and video), traffic load, network sizes and signal strength on network performance is investigated by simulation. Three piloted case studies look at client performance in radiology Accident and Emergency (A & E) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) scenarios. Each scenario reflects the need for various traffic types that end up distinct network behaviours. In the radiology scenario, email and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) traffic is found to perform well under medium-to-large networks. In the A & E scenario, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic generates very limited jitter and packet loss. This performance is aligned with the Quality of Service (QoS) requirements. In the ICU scenario, the performance of video conference degrades with network size, thus, a QoS-enabled device is recommended to reduce the packet delay and packet losses.