Abstract: Computer simulation is the most common approach to studying wireless ad-hoc routing algorithms. The results, however, are only as good as the models the simulation uses. One should not underestimate the importance of validation, as inaccurate models can lead to wrong conclusions. In this paper, we use direct-execution simulation to validate radio models used by ad-hoc routing protocols, against real-world experiments. This paper documents a common testbed that supports direct execution of a set of ad-hoc routing protocol implementations in a wireless network simulator. The testbed reads traces generated from real experiments, and uses them to drive direct-execution implementations of the routing protocols. Doing so we reproduce the same network conditions as in real experiments. By comparing routing behavior measured in real experiments with behavior computed by the simulation, we are able to validate the models of radio behavior upon which protocol behavior depends. We conclude that it is possible to have fairly accurate results using a simple radio model, but the routing behavior is quite sensitive to one of this model's parameters. The implication is that one should i) use a more complex radio model that explicitly models point-to-point path loss, or ii) use measurements from an environment typical of the one of interest, or iii) study behavior over a range of environments to identify sensitivities.
Keywords: wireless, network
Copyright © 2004 by IEEE.The copy made available here is the authors' version; for a definitive copy see the publisher's version described above.
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