Introduction to Computer and Network Performance Analysis using Queuing Systems

By Prof. Varsha Apte   |   IIT Bombay
Learners enrolled: 4233
About the course: Analyzing the performance of any computer or networked system: such as Web application servers, packet scheduling disciplines, operating system schedulers, cellular telephony networks is an important step in the design and deployment of such systems. Performance of many systems can be measured, but a sound basis in queuing system models is required for two important aspects: 1) to ensure that the performance tests are performance field data is correct, and 2) for predicting the performance of a system in a scenario that cannot be measured. The theory of queues is a mathematical theory that helps model a wide range of computing and networking systems with a common abstraction of a queuing system. In this course, you will learn the most basic results in queuing systems, in an intuitive way, and learn how to apply them to computer and network systems performance. The focus in this short course will be on being able to reason about asymptotic values of performance metrics at high loads and low loads, which is very useful in validating results of performance tests. Practical examples of performance analysis of networked servers (e.g. a Web server), of packet network links, of cellular networks etc, will be provided. A case study of interpreting the load test results of a simple Web Server using the framework of queuing systems will be covered throughout the course.

PRE-REQUISITES: At least 3rd year UG in CSE Pre-requisite Courses : Operating Systems and Computer Networks.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: 4th year undergraduates or post-graduates in Computer Science and Engineering, IT industry professionals engaged in computer applications performance testing and evaluation.

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 4 weeks
Category :
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Systems
Credit Points : 1
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 22 Aug 2022
End Date : 16 Sep 2022
Enrollment Ends : 22 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 29 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 :
1.1 Introduction, why do delays happen,  contention for resources
1.2 Performance metrics and parameters
1.3 Intro to queuing system: Standard parameters and metrics, Kendall Notation. Metrics of open queuing systems
1.4 Intro to Memorylessness
1.5 Operational Laws,Utilization Law, Throughput, stability of a queuing system
Week 2 :
2.1 Asymptotic Analysis of G/G/1, G/G/1/K queues (Values of metrics at low load and high load asymptotes)
2.2 Asymptotic Analysis of G/G/c/K queues, Examples
2.3 Little's Law - Intro and discussion
2.4 Examples for Little's Law and a Case Study of application of queing theory (open systems)
2.5 Some results for M/G/1 queues and
Memoryless arrivals
Week 3 :
3. 1 Case Study:Experimental Performance Measurement of a Web Server (open load)atch.
3.2 Open queuing networks - tandem queuing network 
3.3 Open queuing networks - general jackson queuing network 
3.4 Open queuing networks - examples
3.5 Closed Queuing Systems. Metrics, parameters. Analysis of simplest closed queueing system
Week 4 :
4.1 Closed Queuing System: Low Load and High Load Asymptotes of all metrics. Response Time linear asymptote, Kleinrock's Saturation Number Heuristic
4.2 Case Study: Experimental Performance Measurement of a Web Server (closed load)
4.3 General formulation of Jacksonian Closed Queuing Networks
Arrival Theorem, Mean Value Analysis (Derivation)
4.4  Mean Value Analysis - more explanation
4.5 Mean Value Analysis  examples: concluding Case Study of a Load test on a web server. Discuss applications and limitations of queueing systems based modeling

Books and references

1. Performance Modeling and Design of Computer Systems: Queueing Theory in Action, by Mor Harchol-Balter

Instructor bio

Prof. Varsha Apte

IIT Bombay
Prof. Varsha Apte is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. She works in the areas of performance analysis of computing systems and networks. She completed her M.Sc. in from Pune University in 1989, and PhD. from Duke University in 1994, both in Computer Science. After her Ph.D., she joined the Teletraffic Theory and Performance Analysis department in AT&T Bell Labs as Member, Technical Staff, which later became the Network Design and Performance Analysis department of AT&T Labs. She joined as faculty in the CSE Dept, IIT Bombay in 2002. During the academic years 2009-2011, she was Visiting Faculty at the Computer Science and Automation Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. While in Bangalore, she also worked at IBM Research Labs as part-time Visiting Researcher from June 2009-May 2010. For more information, please visit: https://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~varsha/

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 29 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 3 assignments out of the total 4 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Bombay .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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