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Experimental evaluation of wireless simulation assumptions
David Kotz, Calvin Newport, Robert S. Gray, Jason Liu, Yougu Yuan, Chip Elliott
Dartmouth TR2004-507

Abstract: All analytical and simulation research on ad~hoc wireless networks must necessarily model radio propagation using simplifying assumptions. Although it is tempting to assume that all radios have circular range, have perfect coverage in that range, and travel on a two-dimensional plane, most researchers are increasingly aware of the need to represent more realistic features, including hills, obstacles, link asymmetries, and unpredictable fading. Although many have noted the complexity of real radio propagation, and some have quantified the effect of overly simple assumptions on the simulation of ad~hoc network protocols, we provide a comprehensive review of six assumptions that are still part of many ad~hoc network simulation studies. In particular, we use an extensive set of measurements from a large outdoor routing experiment to demonstrate the weakness of these assumptions, and show how these assumptions cause simulation results to differ significantly from experimental results. We close with a series of recommendations for researchers, whether they develop protocols, analytic models, or simulators for ad~hoc wireless networks.

Note: This paper is significantly revised and extended from TR2003-467, "The mistaken axioms of wireless-network research."

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   David Kotz, Calvin Newport, Robert S. Gray, Jason Liu, Yougu Yuan, and Chip Elliott, "Experimental evaluation of wireless simulation assumptions." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2004-507, June 2004.

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