14.3. 14.3 Types of communications networks, modelling constructs

A communications network consists of network elements, nodes (senders and receivers) and connecting communications media. Among several criteria for classifying networks we use two: transmission technology and scale. The scale or distance also determines the technique used in a network: wireline or wireless. The connection of two or more networks is called internetwork. The most widely known internetwork is the Internet.

According to transmission technology we can broadly classify networks as broadcast and point-to-point networks:

Regarding our other classification criterion, the scale of the network, we can classify networks by their physical area coverage:

Wireless networks can be categorised as short-range radio networks, wireless LANs, and wireless WANs.

The various components and types of communications networks correspond to the modelling constructs and the different steps of building a simulation model. Typically, a network topology is built first, followed by adding traffic sources, destinations, workload, and setting the parameters for network operation. The simulation control parameters determine the experiment and the running of the simulation. Prior to starting a simulation various statistics reports can be activated for analysis during or after the simulation. Statistical distributions are available to represent specific parameterisations of built-in analytic distributions. As the model is developed, the modeller creates new model libraries that can be reused in other models as well.