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[techbooks] REVIEW: "Optical Communications Networks", Biswanath Mukherjee

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKOPCMNT.RVW 990225 Optical Communications Networks , Biswanath Mukherjee, 1997, 0-07-044435-8, U$60.00 %A Biswanath Mukherjee mukherje@cs.ucdavis.edu %C
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 1999
      BKOPCMNT.RVW 990225

      "Optical Communications Networks", Biswanath Mukherjee, 1997,
      0-07-044435-8, U$60.00
      %A Biswanath Mukherjee mukherje@...
      %C 300 Water Street, Whitby, Ontario L1N 9B6
      %D 1997
      %G 0-07-044435-8
      %I McGraw-Hill Ryerson/Osborne
      %O U$60.00 905-430-5000 800-565-5758 fax: 905-430-5020
      %P 576 p.
      %T "Optical Communications Networks"

      The book is intended as a text for a graduate level course in the
      networking and protocol aspects of a fibre optic based network above
      the physical layer. In particular, in deals with wavelength division
      multiplexing (WDM) architectures. While pedagogical styles, such as
      end of chapter exercises, are present, the author also sees the work
      as forming a reference for industry professionals.

      Part one examines the foundational technologies. Chapter one presents
      optical networking, and specifically WDM optical networking, as the
      answer to pretty much all current networking problems, based on its
      enormous bandwidth capabilities. However, this section also
      demonstrates the differing requirements of students and professionals.
      Where students will be able to accept statements made about technical
      needs for WDM networking, communications workers will be rather
      horrified at the cavalier dismissal of practical problems. On the
      other hand, the tutorial value of the exercises will not delight any
      classes. Many of the questions are childishly simplistic, while
      others rely on material that is not supplied in the text. The
      material on physical media, sources (lasers), and components is
      demanding, and would require significant background in optics.

      Part two looks at local optical networks in a very mathematics
      intensive, and quite academic manner. Chapter three reviews options
      for a single hop network structure and four details the Rainbow
      example while five discusses multihop architectures as six examines
      the GEMNET system. All of this text moves very quickly through basic
      concepts. Channel sharing and multicasting is talked about in chapter

      In starting to look at wide area networking, in part three, chapter
      eight considers elements of topological design. Again, many points
      are passed over quite tersely. A formal method is used to obtain an
      optimal solution to a topological problem in chapter nine, but it
      specifically ignores wavelength continuity constraints. Similar
      shortcuts are taken in routing and minimizing frequencies used in
      chapter ten. Chapter eleven discusses wavelength conversion, while
      chapter twelve finishes up with other wavelength routing topics.

      Part four is a grab bag of topics. Chapter thirteen examines
      multiwavelength ring networks. "Feedback" loop elimination is
      discussed in chapter fourteen. Amplifiers may be necessary in certain
      optical networks, and optimising their placement is discussed in
      chapter fifteen. Finally, chapter sixteen looks at the other two
      contenders in optical networking technology, time (TDM) and code (CDM)
      division multiplexing.

      I am willing to grant that, in the hands of a knowledgeable
      instructor, and with proper prerequisite background, this text would
      be suitable for the course described. Professionals, however, will
      find the content abrupt and possibly impractical. In a sparsely
      populated field any work is valuable, but it could certainly be

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKOPCMNT.RVW 990225

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