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NSDI '05 — Abstract

Using Emulation to Understand and Improve Wireless Networks and Applications

Glenn Judd and Peter Steenkiste, Carnegie Mellon University


Researchers have long faced a fundamental tension between the experimental realism of wireless testbeds on one hand, and the control and repeatability of simulation on the other hand. To overcome the stark tradeoff of these traditional alternatives, we are developing a wireless emulator that enables both realistic and repeatable experimentation by leveraging physical layer emulation.

We discuss the design and implementation of a prototype wireless emulator, and show how this emulator can be leveraged to provide insight into wireless network and application behavior. Our experience shows that, compared to simulation, our emulator-based approach provides us with a better understanding of real-world wireless network performance, and enables us to quickly deploy our research into an operational wireless network, while still allowing us to enjoy the benefits of a controlled experimental environment.

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Last changed: 9 June 2005 rc
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