Flux Research Group / School of Computing

Lowering the Barrier to Wireless and Mobile Experimentation

Brian White, Jay Lepreau, and Shashi Guruprasad

Proceedings of First Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets-I) 2002.

Networking, Testbeds


The success of ns highlights the importance of an infrastructure that enables efficient experimentation. Similarly, Netbed's automatic configuration and control of emulated and live network environments minimizes the effort spent configuring and running experiments. Learning from the evolution of these systems, in this paper we argue that a live wireless and mobile experimental facility focusing on ease of use and accessibility will not only greatly lower the barrier to research in these areas, but that the primary technical challenges can be overcome.

The flexibility of Netbed's common abstractions for diverse node and link types has enabled its development from strictly an emulation platform to one that integrates simulation and live network experimentation. It can be further extended to incorporate wireless and mobile devices. To reduce the tedium of wireless and mobile experimentation, we propose automatically allocating and mapping a subset of a dense mesh of devices to match a specified network topology. To achieve low-overhead, coarse repeatability for mobile experiments, we outline how to leverage the predictability of passive couriers, such as PDA-equipped students and PC-equipped busses.