Dennis Silage, PhD
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Temple University


Digital Communication Systems Using SystemVue

Here you will find additional materials for using the analog and digital communication simulator SystemVue in undergraduate, graduate and continuing professional education.  These materials complement the text Digital Communication Systems using SystemVue (ISBN 1-58450-850-7) published by DaVinci Engineering Press, a division of Cengage Publishing in 2006.

The Description and Table of Contents (pdf) for the text are available here.

The text includes the SystemVue Textbook Edition application software from Agilent Technologies (link) and the simulation models described in the text.  This is a special application of the SystemVue 2007 Professional communication system simulator that, although somewhat restrictive, can execute the simulation models in the text.

The SystemVue Textbook Edition does not allow the addition or deletion of the model tokens or the connection between tokens.  Only the digital communication system models described in the text can be accessed and executed.  However, model token parameters can be changed with this procedure:

Changing Model Parameters in the SystemVue Textbook Edition

The text is a direct outgrowth of experience in teaching analog and digital communication systems at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level.  The sea change in this material for the student and professional is the introduction of channel noise and non-linearities in the analysis of communication systems within the last decade.  Prior to this time, analog and digital communication systems were presented by analytical equations without noise, and with a hardware laboratory without significant non-linearities.

These tenants for using SystemVue simulation to teach students digital communication in lecture and laboratory were presented at the 2003 and 2006 Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education:

ASEE 2003 SystemVue Simulation in Laboratory
ASEE 2006 SystemVue Simulation in Lecture

The material included here is for educational use only and can be freely distributed for that purpose with suitable citation of origin.  The material is copyrighted and no other rights or other license is implied by their inclusion here.

The syllabus and lecture slides in Adobe PDF format for the one semester undergraduate course EE4512 Analog and Digital Communications are given here.  The course utilizes a standard textbook, Stern and Mahmoud, Communication Systems, Pearson Prentice-Hall 2004,  for the lecture but the SystemVue simulations are fully integrated into the lecture and co-requisite Laboratory.


Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Frequency Domain Analysis
Chapter 3 - Digital Baseband Modulation Techniques
Chapter 4 - Receiver Design
Chapter 5 - Digital Bandpass Modulation and Demodulation Techniques
Chapter 6 - Analog Modulation and Demodulation
Chapter 7 - Multiplexing Techniques
Chapter 8 - Analog-to-Digital and Digital-to-Analog Conversion

Advanced laboratories and projects in SystemVue require the application software which is available from Agilent Technologies for academic and professional use.  The SystemVue Textbook Edition instructs the student or professional on the simulation environment and can be used for most of the Laboratories provided here by changing the model parameters.

Chapter 1  The SystemVue simulation models in the text support Communication Simulation Techniques, which is an introduction to the simulation environment and the libraries and tokens. As a quick-start to the simulation environment, AM and FM analog communication systems are modeled in SystemVue.

Chapter 2  The SystemVue simulation models in the text support Baseband Modulation and Demodulation. SystemVue simulation models are provided for rectangular, sinc, raised cosine, and multilevel pulse amplitude modulation. The optimum correlation receiver for baseband signals, partial response signaling, and delta modulation are also modeled in SystemVue.

Bit Error Rate of Rectangular Baseband Pulses Laboratory

Chapter 3  The SystemVue simulation models in the text support Bandpass Modulation and Demodulation. SystemVue simulation models are provided for binary and multilevel amplitude, frequency, and phase shift keying. The optimum correlation receiver for bandpass signals, quadrature amplitude modulation, and differential phase shift keying are also modeled in SystemVue.

M-ary (M=8) Amplitude Shift Keying Laboratory
Noncoherent Demodulation of Binary Amplitude Shift Keying Laboratory
Minimal Phase Shift Keying Laboratory
Suboptimal Demodulation of Binary Frequency Shift Keying Laboratory
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation Laboratory

Chapter 4  The SystemVue simulation models in the text support Synchronization and Equalization. Techniques for carrier frequency, carrier phase, and symbol synchronization are modeled in SystemVue. SystemVue simulation models are provided for channel equalization and channel models.

Chapter 5  The SystemVue simulation models in the text support Multiplexing. SystemVue simulation models are provided for time, frequency, and code division multiplexing. Techniques for direct sequence and frequency hopping spread spectrum, and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing are modeled in SystemVue.

Chapter 6  The SystemVue simulation models in the text support Sampling and Quantization. SystemVue simulation models are provided for sampling baseband and bandpass analog signals, companding, and pulse code modulation.  Additional material and laboratories include:

Bandpass Sampling of QPSK in SystemVue
Bandpass Sampling of MFSK in SystemVue


Digital Communication Systems using SystemVue was reviewed in QEX, the technical journal of the ARRL, and a copy of the review is available here.

Digital Communication Systems using SystemVue was also reviewed on Amazon:

Excellent Package, February 20, 2006    Andrew Whitworth

As an engineering student, I have been exposed to a number of different textbooks on this subject, all with varying degrees of value. This book easily rises to the top of the pack. I will explain why.

Many books attempt to discuss the topic of electrical communication schemes through blunt mathematical rigor. Such an analysis may benefit the mathematically inclined, but leaves the rest of the students wanting. This book, however, is packaged with the excellent SystemVue software, a powerful software package that is used in industry to design actual communication systems. By utilizing the simulation software, in addition to providing a large number of images (graphs, constellation plots, output waveforms, etc), readers are given a visualization of the complex topics discussed in the text.

I think that it is incredibly valuable to be able to visualize the concepts being discussed, and I also think it is important to see how a physically-realizable system can come to certain results. The differing effects of BFSK and QPSK for instance, may be difficult to understand in a purely mathematical context, but by viewing the output waveforms, and spectrums comparatively, the user is able to quickly discern the differences between the two schemes.

The only qualm I would have about this book is that the version of SystemVue that comes with the book is a heavily watered down version, and is only capable of simulating the examples from the book (the user cannot use the software to create a new simulation). However, when you consider the sheer price of the SystemVue software suite, it is amazing that the book's author was able to include any version at all. I highly recommend this book to anybody who is new to the subject of communication systems, and even people who have had classes on the subject, but want to see the material presented in a more visual way. Because of the relative inexpensiveness of this book, It makes an excellent counterpart to other textbooks that are more steeped in the mathematically rigorous derivations.

A comprehensive survey suitable for a college course, April 13, 2006   D. Donovan

Dennis Silage's DIGITAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS USING SYSTEMVUE would be a fine college text with its comprehensive survey of the Agilent SystemVue simulation environment.  Advanced users of the communications simulator will find here plenty of analysis and insights on DSP processors and applications, offering pros and advanced digital communications users an introduction to the SystemVue environment using plenty of examples and results.