An Autonomic Reconfigurable Miniaturized Mobile Wireless Experimentation Testbed

[ Overview    Publications    Related Work   Instructions  Related Projects ]

Group Members
Faculty:    Tzi-cker Chiueh
StudentsPradipta De, Ashish Raniwala, Rupa Krishnan, Krishna Tatavarthi , Nadeem Ahmed Syed , Jatan Modi , Srikant Sharma


Academic research in wireless networking relies heavily on simulation. The accuracy of the simulation results depends on the fidelity of the models used in simulation. Inherent complexity of the wireless physical layer makes it very difficult to come up with accurate models that can capture its behavior. Even the well-known simulators used in academic research, like ns-2 and GloMoSim, cannot faithfully  represent the signal propagation behavior of the wireless channel. Moreover, more complex the model, more simulation time it incurs.

An alternate approach to simulation is to use testbeds for validation of  the wireless protocols. A common pitfall of most of the existing testbeds is that they are designed for specific projects, and are not easily extensible for use in other projects. The development of open shared testbeds for wireless experiments, along the lines of Netbed and PlanetLab, can alleviate the problem of wireless network experimentation. In this project, we are architecting a miniaturized wireless network testbed that supports (1) per-experiment remote topology reconfiguration, (2) mobile experimentation, (3) hybrid NS-2 simulations, (4) controlled fault injections, and (5) 24x7 autonomous operations.

A snapshot of the second MiNT prototype is shown below:



The first MiNT prototype demonstrated the feasibility of our design approach that uses radio signal attenuators for miniaturization. It had limited reconfiguration and mobility support. It incorporated extensive monitoring and application debugging facilities. Finally, it had necessary infrastructure to provide hybrid simulation capability where one can run unmodified ns-2 simulations with its link, MAC and physical layers replaced by real components, comprising the driver implementation, card firmware and the real wireless channel. 

The second MiNT prototype (MiNT-m) support full topology reconfiguration on an experiment-by-experiment basis as well full node mobility. It incorporates real-time tracking of nodes using a vision-based tracking system and collision avoidance-based automated node trajectory planning. It also supports autonomous 24x7 operations including automated battery charging. Finally, MiNT-m has support for advanced features such as experiment pause, breakpointing, and rollback. 


Detailed Instructions

Assembling a MiNT Node (with vendor information)

    Since October 2005, iRobot which is the manufacturer of Roomba, has announced the Roomba Serial Command Interface, that will simplify the design of the mobility platform by eliminating the use of Universal Remote Controller to control the Roomba movements, as well as, getting accurate estimates of Roomba battery charge status.

Downloadable Software 

Related Work

Pitfalls in Pure Simulation
 J. Heidemann, N. Bulusu, and J. Elson, “Effects of Detail in Wireless Network Simulation,” in Proc. of the SCS Multiconference on Distributed Simulation, Jan 2001.
M. Takai, J. Martin, and R. Bagrodia, “Effects of Wireless Physical Layer Modeling in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks,” in Proc. of MobiHoc, Oct 2001.
K. Pawlikowski, H.-D. J. Jeong, and J.-S. R. Lee, “On Credibility of Simulation Studies of Telecommunication Networks,” in IEEE Communications Magazine, 2002.
D. Kotz, C. Newport, R. S. Gray, J. Liu, Y. Yuan, and C. Elliot, “Experimental Evaluation of Wireless Simulation Assumptions,” Dartmouth Computer Science, Tech. Rep. TR2004-507, 2004.
G. Zhou, T. He, S. Krishnamurthy, and J. A. Stankovic, “Impact of Radio Irregularity on Wireless Sensor Networks,” in Proc. of Sensys, 2004.
D. Ganesan, D. Estrin, A. Woo, D. Culler, B. Krishnamachari, and S. Wicker, “Complex Behavior at Scale: An Experimental Study of Low-Power Wireless Sensor Networks,” UCLA Computer Science, Tech. Rep. UCLA/CSD-TR 02-0013, 2003.
Wireless Network Testbeds
D. Maltz, J. Broch, and D. Johnson, “Experiences Designing and Building a Multi-Hop Wireless Ad-Hoc Network Testbed,” in CMU TR99-116, 1999.
H. Lunndgren, D. Lundberg, J. Nielsen, E. Nordstrom, and C. Tscudin, “A Large-scale Testbed for Reproducible Ad Hoc Protocol Evaluations,” in Proc. of WCNC, 2002.
B. A. Chambers, “The Grid Roofnet: A Rooftop Ad Hoc Wireless Network,” MIT Master’s Thesis, Tech. Rep., Jun 2002.
P. Bhagwat, B. Raman, and D. Sanghi, “Turning 802.11 Inside Out,” in Proceedings of HotNets-II, 2003.
R. Karrer, A. Sabharwal, and E. Knightly, “Enabling Large-scale Wireless Broadband: The Case for TAPs,” in Proc. of HotNets, 2003.
B. White, J. Lepreau, L. Stoller, R. Ricci, S. Guruprasad, M. Newbold, M. Hibler, C. Barb, and A. Joglekar, “An Integrated Experimental Environment for Distributed Systems and Networks,” in Proc. of OSDI,Dec 2002.
B. White, J. Lepreau, and S. Guruprasad, “Lowering the Barrier to Wireless and Mobile Experimentation,” in Proc. of HotNets, 2002.
D. Raychaudhuri, I. Seskar, M. Ott, S. Ganu, K. Ramachandran, H. Kremo, R. Siracusa, H. Liu, and M. Singh, “Overview of the ORBIT Radio Grid Testbed for Evaluation of Next-Generation Wireless Network Protocols,” in Proc. of WCNC, Mar 2005.
WHYNET: Scalable Testbed for Next Generation Mobile Wireless Networking Technologies
Timothy X Brown, Sheetalkumar Doshi†, Sushant Jadhav‡, Jesse Himmelstein, "Test Bed for a Wireless Network on Small UAVs", American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Nitin H. Vaidya,Jennifer Bernhard, Venugopal Veeravalliy, P. R. Kumar, Ravi Iyer, "Illinois Wireless Wind Tunnel:A Testbed for Experimental Evaluation of Wireless Networks, " UIUC Computer Science Tech Report.
J. Kaba and D. Raichle, “Testbed on a Desktop: Strategies and Techniques to Support Multi-hop MANET Routing Protocol Development,” in Proc. of MobiHoc, 2001.
S. Sanghani, T. X. Brown, S. Bhandare, and S. Doshi, “EWANT: The Emulated Wireless Ad Hoc Network Testbed,” in Proc. of WCNC, 2003.
G. Judd and P. Steenkiste, “Repeatable and Realistic Wireless Experimentation through Physical Emulation,” in Proc. of HotNets, 2003.
E. Hernandez and A. Helal, “RAMON: Rapid-Mobility Network Emulator,” in Proceedings of 27th Annual IEEE LCN, 2002.
Hybrid Simulation
K. Fall, “Network Emulation in the Vint/NS Simulator,” in Proc. of IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications, July 1999.
M. Neufeld, A. Jain, and D. Grunwald, “Nsclick:: bridging network simulation and deployment,” in Proc. of ACM Intl Workshop on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems, 2002. 

Related Project Pages

ORBIT: Open-Access Research Testbed for  Next-Generation Wireless Networks
WHYNET: Scalable Testbed for Next Generation Mobile Wireless Networking Technologies
Rice University TAPs Project
MIT Roofnet
Ad-hoc Protocol Evaluation Testbed
Digital Gangetic Plane
Fault Injection and Analysis Tool

Last Modified: 06/04/2006