Master Practical Course: Computer Network Simulation

Important Information

  • Pre-meeting: 10:00 am on Wednesday, 12.07.2023; Online
  • Registration: 14.07.2023 – 19.07.2023 using the matching system
  • Duration: 16.10.2023 – 09.02.2024 with:
    • All meetings and consultation hours will take place on Fridays from 14:00 until 18:00 in room 01.07.023
    • Course split into two blocks
    • First block with introductory lectures (5 weeks)
      • Graded homework associated with each lecture
    • Second block with project work (~10 weeks)
      • Initial project meeting and discussion
      • Mid-term project meeting and discussion
      • Final project presentation
    • 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: 30.
  • Concept: Initial weekly homeworks individually, project work in teams of 3 students. The students will apply network simulation in a practical setting, and learn how to use it and obtain meaningful results.

Course Description

Simulation is an essential tool extensively 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 while developing a project. Additionally, you will understand how to obtain meaningful information, results, and/or artifacts 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 a 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 obtained results.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The class is conducted as lab course during Winter Term 2023/24. The class comes in two parts/blocks. The first 5 weeks will include lectures on the topic of discrete event simulation and related relevant technologies. Each lecture will come with an associated, graded, individual homework. Each homework will include a 5 minute discussion with the lecturer on the homework’s topic. 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 project development in the second block.

In the second part, the groups will work on project broadeding their understanding of computer network simulation. They will develop an extensive simulation utilizing a subset of technologies mentioned below:

  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)

The students will be able to define their project topic in consultation with the lecturers. During the second block, students will hold three presentations. One at the beginning discussing their ideas, one mid-term and one final talk outlining their project and results. In each of those meetings, students will have to answer questions on their solution as part of the grading process. There will also be weekly consultation hours.


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