I can help you. Please send me more details about your job to khe1412 at gmail.
It is possible to convert AC410 by conversion tool Ampl2m. Automated conversion cannot do the complete AC410 software conversion due to significant difference with application handling between AC400 and AC800M. Manual programming and experience is important part of the conversion process.
Post-conversion manual job for one AC410 cpu may take 2-3 weeks depends on how tricky is original software written.
However 3 weeks job is much easier than half year manual reprogramming AC400 to AC800M.
The AC 800M controller can easily be simulated by running a SoftController in a computer.
The AC410 is another model of controller for which, as far as I can tell, there exist no simple method to simulate. ABB in Norway has made a simulator, but I believe it requires dedicated and proprietary hardware.
The control network communication is very different between these controllers. The AC410 runs MB300, a proprietary, but IEEE 802.3 compliant protocol (it uses Ethernet as media) while the AC 800M runs MMS, a somewhat more openly standardized protocol based on regular Ethernet IP and TCP.
The protocol specification is, at least in the case of MB300 proprietary. The upper (OSI) layers of MB300 has a lot in common with GCOM, which is (was) more widely used. The ABB Advant Master documentation suite has a user manual dedicated for GCOM. The lower layers are very different though.
MMS is simpler in its design (offering query/answer and write/reply methods) while MB300 has full bodied features for automatic routing, media redundancy, ordering, subscribing, on event delivery, prioritation, etc.
If networking is what you have specialized your thesis on, you seem to have taken on a challenging task... :-) For pure conversion of PLC code and type circuits, there exist a number of methods. See the other reply.