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The role of Matlab and Simulink in teaching communications

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Authors
Ian Marsh
Abstract
This paper describes the use of the Matlab and Simulink environment in

the process of teaching and learning digital communications. Communications, unlike networking, requires knowledge from many more disciplines, furthermore they all require some mathematical background. The number of component blocks in communication systems can be large unlike TCP/IP networking which sits below socket-based applications and over ready-designed link layer technologies. This makes understanding of networking relatively straightforward, this is not to say its configuration or operation is at all simple. In communications some blocks operate in the analog domain, whilst others in the digital domain and often blocks are optional or interchangeable. Simulation and modeling tools can help in the communications domain, their use also has well known advantages in the teaching and learning process. In this paper we give a technical description of the main concepts within communications using simulation and modeling tools based on Matlab and Simulink. We show how it eases the tasks of both student and teacher and illustrate the usefulness with some examples used in the faculty of engineering at the university of Porto, Portugal.

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Page last modified on May 04, 2011