MobiNet: A Scalable Emulation Infrastructure for Ad hoc and Wireless Networks

Abstract: 

The current state of the art in evaluating applications and communication protocols for ad hoc wireless networks involves either simulation or small-scale live deployment. While larger-scale deployment has been performed, it is typically costly and difficult to run under controlled circumstances. Simulation allows researchers to vary system configurations such as MAC layers and routing protocols. However, it requires the duplication of application, operating system, and network behavior within the simulator. While simulation and live deployment will clearly continue to play important roles in the design and evaluation of mobile systems, we present MobiNet, a third point in this space. In MobiNet, the communication of unmodified applications running on stock operating systems is subject to the real-time emulation of a user-specified wireless network environment. MobiNet utilizes a cluster of emulator nodes to appropriately delay, drop or deliver packets in a hop by hop fashion based on MAC-layer protocols, ad hoc routing protocols, congestion, queuing, and available bandwidth in the network. MobiNet infrastructure is extensible, facilitating the development and evaluation of new MAC layers, routing protocols, mobility and traffic models. Our evaluations show that MobiNet emulation is scalable and accurate while executing real code, including video playback.