Graduate School and Research Center in Digital Sciences

Emulation and simulation methodologies

T Technical Teaching


Communication solutions for ITS must be evaluated for performance and benefits on ITS. Although field trials or operational tests are the most important final test before commercial deployment, cost, logistic and safety concerns make  simulation and emulation studies the preferred choice for flexible tests of communication solutions for ITS. Yet, simulation and emulation platforms, if employed using incorrect methodologies, may lead to inaccurate results.

This module teaches the fundamentals of simulation and emulation methodologies providing guidance on how to design a performance evaluation campaign, set up a test scenario, select the appropriate models, level of granularity, metrics for statistical correctness, and discuss the differences between simulation and emulation platforms and how to use them for accurate performance evaluation of communications for ITS.

 Details of each section:

  • Fundamentals of Discrete Event Simulations (DES) – we describe here basics of DES and how complex simulators are built on them.
  • Model-based  Representation  -  we cover in this section the various models that need to be  included in a DES, from communication and networking, to mobility and data traffic, and describe the methodology to model them correctly.
  • Application-based Granularity Requirements – We describe here the different granularity level of the model-based evaluation, from bit-level, packet-level, to system-level evaluation, and their appropriate selection as a function of the application requirements.
  • Fundamentals on Random Numbers – Random numbers play a crucial role in DES-based evaluations. We describe various approaches, and pitfalls to avoid.
  • Fundamentals on Statistical Tools for Performance Evaluation – Performance evaluations require a correct methodology for statistical correctness of the results. We provide in this section the basics of statistics that can be used in simulation and emulation studies .
  • Simulation  vs. Emulations and– We cover the fundamental differences between simulation and emulation platforms, and describe their assets and drawbacks. 
  • Case study  -We introduce two widely known simulation platforms and one emulation platform that can be used for the evaluation of communications for ITS, and describe their features and take them as case-study for exemplary ITS scenarios.