Licentiate thesis 2009-001

Detailed Simulation of Heterogeneous Wireless Sensor Networks

Joakim Eriksson

14 May 2009


Wireless sensor networks consist of many small nodes. Each node has a small microprocessor, a radio chip, some sensors, and is usually battery powered which limits network lifetime. Applications of wireless sensor networks range from environmental monitoring and health-care to industrial automation and military surveillance.

Since the nodes are battery powered and communication consumes more than computation much of the research focuses on power efficient communication. One of the problems is however to measure the power consumption and communication quality of the different solutions.

Simulation of sensor networks can greatly increase development speed and also be used for evaluating power consumption as well as communication quality. Simulation experiments typically give easier access to fine grained results than corresponding real-world experiments. The problem with simulators is that it is hard to show that a simulation experiment corresponds well with a similar real-world experiment.

This thesis studies how detailed simulation of wireless sensor networks can be validated for accuracy and also shows several important uses of detailed simulation such as power consumption profiling and interoperability testing. Both of them represent important topics in today's wireless sensor network research and development.

The results of the thesis are the simulation platform COOJA/MSPSim and that we show that MAC-protocol experiments performed in our simulator COOJA/MSPSim correspond well with experiments performed in our testbed. We also show that using COOJA/MSPSim any software running in the simulation can be power profiled.

Available as PDF (1.03 MB)

Download BibTeX entry.