General concepts concerning local area network designs, functions and topologies will be presented. Ethernet as a multipoint bus topology local area network will be presented in detail. The Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detect (CSMA/CD) method of fairly regulating access to the shared network bus is studied. The Ethernet Network in relation to the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) is reviewed, but only the layers pertaining to Ethernet are discussed throughout the majority of the paper. The specifications as described by Xerox, Digital and Intel are presented to help the designer understand the network's physical limitations. Analytical models are used to predict performance and actual measured performance studies will be used to make performance assumptions. The performance is studied under varying load conditions. The data gathered concerns both limits imposed on the number of users by the finite bandwidth of the channel and efficient utilization of that channel. In conclusion, design specifications and performance data will be used together to formulate a design methodology for building the most efficient Ethernet network.


Computer Science


This report is substantially the M.S. thesis of the first author, completed May, 1987.

Report Number


Document Type

Technical Report

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 1987 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

May 1987