Using the Discrete Event System Specification to model Quantum Key Distribution system components

Jeffrey D. Morris, Michael R. Grimaila, Douglas D. Hodson, Colin V. McLaughlin, David R. Jacques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present modeling a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system with its components using the Discrete Event System Specification (DEVS) formalism. The DEVS formalism assures the developed component models are composable and exhibit well-defined temporal behavior independent of the simulation environment. These attributes enable users to assemble a valid simulation using any collection of compatible components to represent complete QKD system architectures. To illustrate the approach, we introduce a prototypical “prepare and measure” QKD system, decompose one of its subsystems, and present the detailed modeling of the subsystem using the DEVS formalism. The developed models are provably composable and exhibit behavior suitable for the intended analytic purpose, thus improving the validity of the simulation. Finally, we examine issues identified during the verification of the conceptual DEVS model and discuss the impact of these findings on implementing a hybrid QKD simulation framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-480
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Defense Modeling and Simulation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Conceptual modeling
  • Discrete Event Simulation
  • Discrete Event System Specification
  • Quantum Key Distribution
  • modeling and simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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