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Comparing wireless flooding protocols using trace-based simulations

Martin Jacobsson* and Christian Rohner

Author Affiliations

Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, PO Box 337, Uppsala 751 05, Sweden

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2013, 2013:169  doi:10.1186/1687-1499-2013-169

Published: 19 June 2013


Most wireless multi-hop networks, such as ad hoc networks and wireless sensor networks, need network-wide broadcasting, which is best done with a flooding protocol. In this article, we use packet trace information from a real test-bed network to define a simulator for flooding protocol performance studies. Five protocols are compared using the simulator. Trace-based simulations promise to have the benefits of the simulator, such as reducing required work effort and repeatability but still produce results close to the real test-bed or deployment. We propose and evaluate different approaches on how to use collected trace data and how to tune the parameters to achieve the best possible accuracy in comparison with actual test-bed measurements. We study the resulting accuracy of the model so that performance studies know with what confidence a certain conclusion can be made. Using the new trace-based model and knowing its accuracy, we compare the five flooding protocols to gain additional insights into their performance. Finally, by modifying the trace data, we study how real-world effects, such as links with in-between qualities and asymmetric links, influence the different flooding protocols.