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Ethernet Switch/terminal Simulators for Novices to Learn Computer Networks

Kanada, Y., 29th edition of the International Conference on Information Networking (ICOIN 2015), January 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICOIN.2015.7057953.
[ 日本語のページ ]
[ Paper PDF file ]
[ Poster PDF file ]
[ Simulator program ]

Abstract – Many commercial and open-source network simulators are available; however, most of them are not suited for novices in college and school education or learning. Moreover, although Ethernet has recently become much more important, simulators that can be used for this purpose is rare because most simulators suited for education and learning are designed for IP communication. The author developed a simple CLI-based Ethernet simulator that can display contents of Ethernet packets to send or to receive in terminals and contents of MAC address tables in switches in “real time”, and used the simulator in a university class for learning computer networks. The simulator, which is in public domain, is written in Python and, thus, runs on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and other operating systems. The use of this simulator was evaluated based on a report assignment. The evaluation result shows that the average score of the reports written by using the simulator was much better, although it is not statistically significant because the number of students is small. The simulator seems to be effective to learn behaviors of Ethernet-based networks.

Poster display photo

Keywords: Ethernet, Learning computer networks, Computer- network education, Switch simulator, Bridge simulator, MAC address learning.

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