Optical network models

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ns-3 network simulator presently doesn't include any support for simulation of WDM optical networks in the official distribution. There are three optical network simulation modules under active development as of January 2013, that have the goal to make ns-3 into optical network simulator. Note, however, that the term "optical network simulator" is rather broad, as there are many types and features of optical networks one might want to model and use in simulation. This page tracks info about these optics modules, intented for simulating

  • Optical Transport Network (OTN),
  • Passive Optical Network (PON), and
  • Radio over Fiber (RoF).

This page will be updated with new info as time permits.

Optical Transport Network: Photonic WDM Network Simulator (PWNS)

PWNS project logo

Project scope

Photonic WDM Network Simulator (PWNS) is an extension that provides support for simulating optical transport network. The project name is a parody on OWns (Optical WDM network simulator, described in [1]), a project with similar goals implemented in ns-2.

PWNS provides models for optical network components [2]:

  • edge network devices
  • core network devices
  • physical interfaces
  • channels
  • control plane

PWNS also provides models for physical and virtual entities [3]:

  • physical cable containing one or more fibers
  • shared risk link group containing parts of two or more cables that share a physical location
  • lightpath passing through one or more network devices
  • logical channel that has working and spare wavelength path
  • failure and repair models
  • uptime and downtime trackers

Source code

Current version is available at Bitbucket PWNS project. Contact Vedran Miletić with any questions you may have). Code contributions are welcome. Merge of selected components to ns-3-dev might happen in the future.


  1. Wen, B. and Bhide, N.M. and Shenai, R.K. and Sivalingam, K.M., Optical wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) network simulator (OWns): architecture and performance studies
  2. Miletić, Vedran; Mikac, Branko; Džanko, Matija. Modelling optical network components: a network-simulator based approach // Proceedings on the IX. International symposium on Telecommunications - BIHTEL 2012.
  3. Miletić, Vedran; Mikac, Branko; Džanko, Matija. Impact Evaluation of Physical Length of Shared Risk Link Groups on Optical Network Availability Using Monte Carlo Simulation // Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Networks and Optical Communications, NOC 2013 / Leitgeb, Erich (ur.).

Passive Optical Network

Project Summary

The aim of this project is to develop PON (passive optical network) models for NS-3. It is under the umbrella of CTVR that supports various research topics related with telecommunication.

Project Scope

The project will implement models for passive optical networks. The current focus is to develop one model for simulating XG-PON, which is also known as 10G-PON. We will also investigate how to use this model and WiMAX/LTE models distributed with NS-3 to simulate the coming FTTC (Fiber To The Cell) network scenario. In the future, models for other PON technologies, such as 10G-EPON and Long Reach PON, will also be developed to carry out comparative studies.

The current prototype is described in [1] and more detailed description will be posted here as soon as possible.


The code will be made public in September-December, 2013 timeframe through the websites of CTVR and MISL.


  1. X. Wu, K.N. Brown, C.J. Sreenan, P. Alvarez, M. Ruffini, N. Marchetti, D. Payne, and L. Doyle, An XG-PON Module for the NS-3 Network Simulator, to be published in Proceedings of Workshop on ns-3 (WNS3), in conjunction with ICST SIMUTOOLS, 5 march 2013, Cannes (France)

Radio over Fiber

Project scope

The goal of our work is to investigate and optimize the performance of MAC (Medium Access Control) radio protocols when it is used in a RoF (Radio-over-Fiber) architecture. Our study is mainly focused on IEEE 802.11 over RoF transmissions. We developed a RoF model in ns-3 based on the YANS Wi-Fi model which enables the simulation of 802.11 RoF systems. The current model includes [1]:

  • Distributed Antenna Systems RoF modeling;
  • Optical module computing delays and attenuations undergone by the radio signal transmission over fiber links.

Further points to be implemented:

  • Protocol-independent model (not limited to Wi-Fi transmissions);
  • Integration of optical network component models developed by PWNS (Prototype WDM Network Simulator).


The source code is not yet available for the public.


  1. Sebastien Deronne, Veronique Moeyaert and Sebastien Bette, Simulation of 802.11 Radio-over-Fiber Networks using ns-3, to be published in Proceedings of Workshop on ns-3 (WNS3), in conjunction with ICST SIMUTOOLS, 5 march 2013, Cannes (France)