CPU-OS Simulator

CPU-OS Simulator is a combined CPU simulator and an OS simulator. This educational software is designed to support computer education through simulations of modern CPU and Operating System for the learners and teachers of computer organization and architecture. This site is dedicated to this software which is made freely available.

OS-CPU Simulator main screen

Educational simulators in computer education are created to provide support for teaching and learning by mimicking the behaviours of computer hardware and software and often include visualization and animation methods to aid student engagement and deeper understanding. This site is primarily dedicated to one such simulator which is designed to simulate many different aspects of computer architecture and operating systems. Although this simulator has features common to many similar simulators, it also boasts many unique features. It is characterised as an integrated and multi-level simulator. It is integrated as it incorporates multiple simulations that are able to support each other across well-defined interfaces. It is multi-level as it provides simulations at different levels of computing hardware and software technology.

CPU-OS Simulator is the product of many years’ development effort. It has been successfully integrated in undergraduate computing degree programmes in support of teaching modules in computer architecture and operating systems at Edge Hill University. It has been the subject of research work to evaluate and establish the effectiveness of the simulations with the help of funding from The Higher Education Academy (HEA).  The simulator is a complex piece of software and is being regularly maintained and enhanced. Although the version available for download is reasonably stable and usable it probably is still buggy requiring more extensive testing. Please feel free to browse the site to discover the simulator’s capabilities and to download and try out the simulations. The manual for the simulator is being prepared and therefore is not available yet. However, a set of tutorials are included to help you try out the simulations offered. These tutorials are modified versions of the actual tutorials used to support the practical lab sessions at the university. Should you wish to have a go at the tutorials I will be happy to hear from you about your experiences with the simulations.

Academic Papers

  • Mustafa, B. (2009) ‘YASS: A System Simulator for Operating System and Computer Architecture Teaching and Learning’. Proceedings of the Frontiers in Science Education Research Conference, March 22-24, 2009, Famagusta, North Cyprus. URL: European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education (scimath.net)
  • Mustafa, B. (2009) An Integrated Approach to Effective Computer Architecture Learning by Simulation. E-ALT2009 Conference, June 22-24, 2009, Seville, Spain.
  • Mustafa, B. (2009) Evaluating a System Simulator for Computer Architecture Teaching and Learning Support. The Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Science’s 10th Annual Conference, August 25-27, 2009, Canterbury, UK (Also in HEA ITALICS, Volume 9, Issue 1, 100-104, February 2010). DOI: 10.11120/ital.2010.09010100
  • Mustafa, B. (2009) Simulating CPU Pipelining for Computer Architecture Teaching and Learning Support. IEE IV 2009 Conference, November 5-6, Freiburg, Germany.
  • Mustafa, B. (2011) Modern Computer Architecture Teaching and Learning Support: An Experience in Evaluation. i-Society 2011 Conference, June 27-29, London, UK (indexed in IEEE Xplore online library). URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5978481&queryText%3Db+mustafa+i-society
  • Mustafa, B. (2011) Visualizing the Modern Operating System: Simulation Experiments Supporting Enhanced Learning. ACM SIGITE Conference, October 20-22, 2012, West Point, New York, USA. DOI: 10.1145/2047594.2047650
  • Mustafa, B., Alston, P. (2012) Understanding Computer Architecture with Visual Simulations: What Educational Value? International Workshop on evidenced-based Technology Enhanced Learning, March 28-30, 2012, Salamanca, Spain (also in Springer series: International Workshop on Evidence-Based Technology Enhanced Learning Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing, Volume 152, 2012, pp 1-9) DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-28801-2_1
  • Mustafa, B. (2013) Simulation Still Rules: Modern Computer Systems Architecture Visualized and Laid Bare. 2nd International Workshop on evidenced-based Technology Enhanced Learning, May 22-24, 2013, Salamanca, Spain. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-00554-6_12
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