University of Oulu

Assessing modeling and visualization capabilities of modeling tools : limitations and gaps of the open source modeling tools

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Author: Shikur, Henok1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : H. Shikur, 2015
Publish Date: 2015-02-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Pahnila, Seppo
Aaramaa, Sanja
Reviewer: Pahnila, Seppo
Aaramaa, Sanja
Due to the increasing number of Information Communication Technology (ICT) environments, security is becoming a concern for many researchers and organisations. Organisations have implemented different security measures to protect their assets. Different industries—such as power plants and water, oil, and gas utilities—are adapting different network modelling tools for guarding their assets and are preparing for incidents that might occur in the future. Modelling tools are very important for the visualisation of computer networks. There are currently many modelling tools with different modelling and visualisation capabilities for computer networks. The aim of this research is to make a thorough assessment of the different modelling tools’ capabilities of modelling computer networks and visualising computer network communication. Furthermore, it hopes to show areas for improvement in order to increase the quality of modelling tools based on industry requirements. The research methodology of this research takes the form of a case study. First, the study analyses previous research in order to illustrate gaps in the literature, as well as identifying the strengths and weaknesses of existing network modelling tools. The empirical part of the research includes first, studying and evaluating seven open-source modelling tools based on different types of capabilities, this may limit the generalisability of the findings to some extent; and second, selecting four modelling tools for further study. Once four modelling tools were evaluated based on literature reviews and the requirements set in this study, the top two open-source (OSS) modelling tool packages were selected, downloaded, installed, and evaluated further. The criteria set to evaluate the four modelling tools in this research are based on the requirements provided by the European company nSense, which provides different vulnerability assessments, security consulting, and training, and the existing literature. The evaluation of the tools resulted in the screens that were copied and presented in this document for verification. Finally, the one tool which was the most suitable for further studies, and which fulfilled most of the requirements set in this research, was recommended for further research. In total, four modelling tools were chosen for the evaluation, using different literature reviews based on the requirements (see Appendix A) in this research. The results showed that the two top modelling tools were OMNeT++ and IMUNES. After practical analysis of these tools, OMNeT++ was found to be the best tool based on the aims and requirements of this research. Further, the study found that usability problems played a large part in evaluating different modelling tools, which might have changed the outcomes of the result. It can therefore be concluded that this type of evaluation is highly dependent on the evaluator’s knowledge and skill, as well as the usability of the tool.
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