module specification

CT7143 - Computer Network Analysis and Simulation (2015/16)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2015/16, but may be subject to modification
Module title Computer Network Analysis and Simulation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing
Total study hours 200
152 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Coursework - Analytical
Coursework 30%   Coursework - Practical
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen 3-hours Examination
Running in 2015/16
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

The module provides an introduction to computer network analysis and simulation. The theoretical work is based on the relevant chapters from Mathematics (including probability and statistics as well as queue theory) and designed to give a broad-based understanding of the principles and functioning of the discrete event simulation systems as well their application to certain classes of networks. The practical work will involve development and experimentation with various types of network models with the help of the tools and network simulator.

Module aims

To provide an understanding of the principles of computer simulation as applied to computer networks.
To ensure that students can apply obtained knowledge and effectively use relevant tools.


  • Introduction to simulation models.
  • Relevant topics from probability and statistics as well as queue theory.
  • Performance evaluation of the communications link.
  • Analytical models of LANs.
  • Overview of simulation languages.
  • Network simulator ns-2 and its use for investigation of the dynamic behaviour of various types of networks, postprocessing and analysing of data produced by network simulator.
  • Other network simulation and network design tools.
  • Role of reliability in computer network design.

Learning and teaching

During the lectures it is intended to follow structured format where next lecture material is built on the previous ones.

In the coursework there are two Parts: Analytical and Practical. Analytical  Part is divided into two sub-parts -  paper-based and exhibition-based. First sub-part  requires  to analise and produce  summary of the research papers. Second sub-part is based on the analysis of the educational and product content at the available exhibitions. Involvement of exhibitions represent an element of blended learning. Practical Part is focused on the use of Network Simulator ns-2.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to

LO1. Understand the process of development of computer network models.
LO2. Explain the principles of functioning of the computer simulators.
LO3. Calculate the performance of the appropriate computer networks using relevant mathematical models.
LO4. Design computer network models for the simulator.
LO5. Investigate dynamic behaviour of the computer networks using network simulator.
LO6. Describe and compare relevant simulation languages and tools.
LO7. Process and critically analyse the data produced by network simulator.
LO8. Understand a role of reliability in computer network design.

Assessment strategy

Coursework will begin in the first third of the module after following a few focused Network Simulator ns-2 tutorials and completed by towards the end of the module. The work will implement ideas that have been introduced in lectures to assure the student has understood what has been presented.

Unseen Examination:  LO1,2,3,6, and 8
Coursework: LO4,5 and 7


Main sources/textbooks

[Eit04] Eitan Altman and Tania Jimenez (2004). NS Simulator for beginners (Lecture Notes), Univ.
de Los Andes, Merida, Venezuela and ESSI, Sophia-Antipolis, France,
[Gre02] Greis, M.: "Tutorial for the Network Simulator ns", The VINT Project,
[Jai91] Jain, R.K. "The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis: Techniques for
Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling", John Wiley & Sons,
ISBN: 978-0-471-50336-1, 720 pages
[Pak02] Pakstas, A.: "Role of Reliability Issues in Computer Network Design", SoftCom 2002
[Sad95] Sadiku, M.N.O, and Ilyas, M. Simulation of Local Area Networks, CRC Press, 1995.
[Sch78] Schoemaker, S. (ed): "Computer Networks and Simulation", North-Holland Publishing
Company, 1978.

Additional Recommended Reading:

[Cah98] Cahn, R.S.: "Wide Area Network Design: Concepts and Tools for Optimization". Morgan
Kaufmann Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, 1998, ISBN 1-55860-458-8, 441 pages.
[Fal02] Fall, K. (ed): "The ns Manual", The VINT Project, January 31, 2002
[Kih00] Park, K., Willinger, W. Self-similar network traffic: An overview. In Park, K. and Willinger
(Eds), Self-Similar Network Traffic and Performance Evaluation, John Wiley and Sons,
New York, Chichester, 2000, pages 1-38.
[Kle75] Kleinrock, L. Queueing Systems - Volume 1: Theory, John Wiley and Sons, New York,
[Kle76] Kleinrock, L.. Queueing Systems - Volume 2: Computer Applications, John Wiley and
Sons, New York, 1976.[McC03] McCabe, J.D.: "Network Analysis, Architecture and Design", Morgan Kaufmann
Publishers, San Francisco, USA, 2003. ISBN 1-55860-887-7.
[Mon09] Montgomery, D.C. "Design and Analysis of Experiments", John Wiley & Sons, 2009,
ISBN 978-0-470-39882-1, 656 pages.
[ns-2] Network Simulator ns-2.