Master Practical Course: Computer Network Simulation

Important Information

  • Pre-meeting: In person
  • Registration: 22.07.–27.07.2022 using the matching system
  • Duration: 17.10.2022 – 10.02.2023 with:
    • 4 weekly introductory lectures in the beginning
    • 5 bi-weekly meetings, with individual group discussions/feedback on assignments
    • 5 bi-weekly consultation sessions where additional concepts could be discussed
    • We plan to hold all lectures and meetings in person (depending on the current situation and regulations)! Attendance of lectures and meetings is mandatory
  • ECTS: 10.
  • Capacity: 12.
  • Concept: Teams of max 3 students will be given 5 bi-weekly graded assignments where they apply network simulation, learn how to use it and obtain meaningful results.

Course Description

Simulation is an essential tool extensivly used for development of new technologies and solutions. It allows us to obtain preliminary results and insights without the need for, sometimes costly, real-world deployments. Especially in the area of computer networks, simulation provides a straightforward and flexible method for prototyping and obtaining insights on bleeding-edge networking solutions.

This master practical lab course will give you an introduction with hands-on experience to computer networks simulation. During the run of the course you will learn how to use OMNeT++, a discrete-event simulator. Furthermore, you will gain experience on how to extend the simulation framework with new applications/protocols. Additionally, you will understand how to obtain meaningful information, results, and/or artefacts out of the simulated environment. Finally, you’ll learn about limitations of simulation and situations in which it might not be usable.

The contents of this course include, but are not limited to:

  • Introduction to discrete event simulation
  • Introduction into simulation software (OMNeT++, NS3)
  • Revision of knowledge on computer networking
    • Including an overview on how network protocols work in simulation
  • Introduction into relevant computer networking technologies, e.g.
    • Edge Computing
    • Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN)
    • 5th Generation Mobile Networks (5G)
  • Best practices for result collection, evaluation, and visualization

Learning Outcomes / Study Goals

After successful completion of this module, students will understand how discrete-event simulation works and will be able to apply this knowledge in practice to simulate modern computer networks and obtain meaningful results out of the introduced tools. Furthermore, they will be able to evaluate and visualize the obtained results.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The class is conducted as lab course during Winter Term 2022/23. The class comes in two parts. The first 4 weeks will include lectures on the topic of discrete event simulation and related relevant technologies. In parallel to the lectures, groups of max 3 students will be formed, who will familiarize themselves with and prepare the simulation environment to be used in the graded assignments.

In the second part, the groups will work on 5 bi-weekly graded assignments broadeding their understanding of computer network simulation. The assignment topics can include (subject to change):

  1. Implementation of a new application into the simulator
  2. Definition and implementation of evaluation methods for data obtained from simulation
  3. Edge Computing
  4. 5G
  5. TSN/V2X (subject to change)

During the term, bi-weekly meetings discussing the solved assignments will be conducted, in which each groups will receive individual feedback on the graded assignment and will have to answer questions on their solution as part of the grading process.


  • General knowledge about computer networking
  • General familiarity with C++ programming language
  • Access to a unix-based system with root priviliges