sQualNet: An Accurate and Scalable Evaluation Framework for Sensor Networks [Conference Paper]

NESL Technical Report #: 2007-4-4


Abstract: Although there is growing interest in the use of physical testbeds to evaluate the performance of applications and protocols for sensor platforms, such studies also encounter significant challenges that include the lack of scalability and repeatability, as well as the inability to represent a diverse set of operational scenarios. On the other hand, simulators can typically address the preceding problems but often lack the high degree of fidelity available to the analysts with physical testbeds. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of sQualNet - an accurate and scalable evaluation framework for sensor networks that effectively addresses the preceding challenges. In particular, sQualNet integrates sensor network operating systems with a very high-fidelity simulation of wireless networks such that sensor network applications and protocols can be executed, without modifications, in a repeatable manner under a diverse set of scalable environments. sQualNet extends beyond the existing suite of simulators and emulators in four key aspects: first it supports emulation of sensor network applications and protocols in an efficient and flexible manner; second, it provides an efficient set of models of diverse sensing phenomena; third, it provides accurate models of both battery power and clock drift effect which have been shown to have a significant impact on sensor network studies; and finally it provides an efficient kernel that allows it to run experiments that provide substantial scalability in both the spatial and temporal contexts. We demonstrate these advantages, both qualitatively and quantitatively, by means of various case studies including a study that evaluates an experiment with up to 1000 nodes running networking application like Surge faster than real time.

Publication Forum: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN)

Date: 2007-04-13

Place: Cambridge, MA

Public Document?: Yes

NESL Document?: Yes

Document category: Conference Paper