University: Villanova University
We are using OPNET for:
1. Service Oriented Architecture Modeling
Service Oriented Architectures are rapidly becoming an accepted means of providing network information exchange across a heterogeneous fabric of nodes. Understanding issues of bandwidth, scalability, Communities Of Interest (COI), and security are crucial to the success of the application of this architectural approach. We are investigating methods for modeling existing SOAs in a configurable and parameterized way to enable simulation of a variety of heterogeneous, wireless (and wired) networks under a variety of bandwidth, node capability, security and compression scenarios.
We have completed an evaluation of OPNET, and have identified the Application Characterization Environment (ACE), Wireless and 3D modules as most important to our modeling and simulation research.
Current research projects include the development of an enterprise-scale model of a heterogeneous network consisting of a hierarchy of clustered nodes, groupings of clusters, and super-groups of groups, with additional mobile nodes with much greater flexibility in connectivity.
Portions of this research have been performed as part of Villanova University's Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology (CEET), and its flagship research program, the Applied Research in Computing Enterprise Services (ARCES) Project.
2. Modeling Wireless Medical Device Networks
In the US, hospitals are often operating at, or close to, their full bed capacity, which frequently causes incoming ER patients to be detoured to more distant facilities because no beds are available for the existing patients in the ER. The process of moving patients from the ER, through their care, recovery, and discharge, is often complex, requiring matching of beds, monitors, space, and staff resources to the unique hour-to-hour mixture of patients and illnesses in the enterprise.
Some hospitals are adapting "lean manufacturing" techniques in which the facility uses wireless patient monitors to allow flexible use of patient beds, space, and staff resources to match changing patient-acuity demands. Unfortunately, wireless medical devices cannot be safely deployed with complete independence, because dangerous radio- and data-interference limitations exist.
This research focuses on modeling, simulation and analysis of Wireless Medical Device Networks (WMDNs) to assist with wireless medical network pre-planning and ongoing configuration change management. Developed models can be part of an effective Verification and Validation process for the wireless medical device network to ensure patient safety and also to facilitate the necessary clinical outcomes. We are planning to evaluate OPNET, including the ACE module, for this form of systems modeling to determine its applicability as a tool for this research.
Courses Using OPNET
CSC 9010 (Special Topics: Service Oriented Architecture Design and Analysis) is a course under active development by by Prof. Vijay Gehlot and Prof. Thomas Way, for initial offering in Spring 2008. The course will teach the principles of discrete-event simulation as applied to the simulation and modeling of computer networks. The course will make use of a number of approaches, including OPNET Modeler, the OPNET ACE module for characterization, and Colored Petri Nets for teaching network simulation to graduate students.
This page was last updated in November 2007.