WARPsim – A Code-Transparent Network Simulator for WARP Devices

Analyzing a communication protocol by means of simulation and real-world experimentation requires careful protocol implementation in both domains. Differences in the implementation may lead to significantly diverging performance results, which may affect the protocol design process adversely. A code-transparent simulation and experimentation framework for Wireless Access Research Platform (WARP) devices is proposed, which is called WARPsim. By extending the simulation engine appropriately, the same application code that runs on WARP devices can be used for simulation.

This project studies the implications of this approach using the example of implementing time-critical Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols on WARP devices. Key features are

  1. Simulation of higher-layer protocols designed for WARP devices in a code-transparent fashion
  2. Interface for a custom channel model
  3. Graphical representation for examination of protocols
  4. Extraction of evaluation metrics


Concept View:

On an abstract level, WARPsim consists of these components as shown in the figures above:

  1. Core simulation engine (following the real-time execution paradigm)
  2. Emulation of a specific set of WARP components
  3. Custom channel model
  4. Graphical interface for examination of protocols

The most important step for a code-transparent simulation is the proper emulation of the WARP device. We identified and encapsulated a set of critical WARP hardware and low-level software components that are emulated by the engine. If end-users need more sophisticated functionality, they have to identify the responsible blocks, determine their behavior and implement a matching emulation.


  • Andreas Schumacher



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