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RAMON: Rapid-Mobility Network Emulator

                                        Edwin Hernandez and Abdelsalam (Sumi) Helal
                                 Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Department
                                    University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-6120, USA
                                                        helal@cise.ufl.edu
                                     http://www.harris.cise.ufl.edu/projects/rapmobile.htm

                                                             Abstract
                  In wireless networks, as in many areas of engineering, simulation has been the de-facto
                  standard for testing, dimensioning and analyzing mobile protocols. Emulation, which presents
                  a lower cost, more accurate, yet more complex engineering alternative to simulation, has not
                  been widely used in mobile computing studies. RAMON is a software/hardware emulator
                  tailored to mimic the realistic characteristics of wireless networks. RAMON is especially
                  designed to study how mobile protocols cope with high vehicular speeds. The main advantage
                  of RAMON is the rapid, cost-effective and accurate testing it provides. This ranges from
                  proper identification of protocol bottlenecks, to testing of newly available wireless networks
                  and hardware and software devices.
                  Keywords: Network emulation, rapid-mobility, RAMON, Mobile-IP,
                    wireless LAN, simulation.

Introduction                                                         emulator, which is a hybrid approach to simulation and
      Mobile computing networks provide environments and             emulation.
scenarios, which challenge and overturn the current paradigms
of computing. Nomadic data and devices make the current              Simulation versus Emulation
network protocols insufficient and unable to cope with                    Simulation environments and specifically network
mobility. Simulation environments have been developed by             simulators have been widely used throughout the past few
the research community to study and improve the performance          decades. Wire-line emulators have also been used to
of mobile network protocols, determine bottlenecks, and              replicate the conditions of end-to-end network delays found
reduce the cost of hardware implementations. The most widely         on. For example, the End-to-End Emulator, ENDE [Bott93],
used simulator is the Network Simulator (ns) [Fla00] which           developed at the Texas A&M University, is aimed to imitate
provides simulation environments for wired and wireless              the Internet by providing end-to-end network delay using
networks.                                                            ICMP packets as a real time traffic source. In the same way,
      Although simulation of mobile networks of moderate             the Ohio Network Emulator ONE [All97] is able to emulate
speeds can be easily achieved using ns, rapid mobility               transmission, queuing, and propagation delay between two
conditions and complex propagation models challenge the              computers interconnected by a router.           Finally, The
utility and suitability of the simulation approach. In particular,   National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
the duplication of the software development process of the           NET or NISTNET [NIST01] emulator allows an
simulator, to include new operating system platforms and/or          inexpensive PC-based router to emulate numerous complex
newly introduced wireless technologies, is costly and                performance scenarios, including: tunable packet delay
unpractical. For example, in the case of Wireless LAN                distributions, congestion and background loss, bandwidth
technology currently, the 802,11b is currently implemented in        limitation, and packet reordering and duplication. There are
ns. The 802.11a, however, is not and hence significant coding        also other emulators that are commercially available.
needs to be done before ns is ready for use with the 11a                  RAMON extends currently available wired-network
network. A hybrid approach that pieces together existing ns          emulators by adding wireless extension features. It glues
software modules with emerging wireless network hardware is          together pieces of hardware and software to allow the
needed. Such approach seems to be a more cost-effective and          replication of realistic mobile networks and mobile
faster way to test and develop mobile network protocols. This        connection scenarios. RAMON emulates mobility in
paper introduces RAMON, a Rapid-Mobility Network                     wireless networks by affecting the actual network physical
                                                                     parameters. It also emulates mobile unit speed, acceleration
and trajectory changes, by controlling the causality between      publications were difficult to replicate. It is our motivation
actual network parameters and network behavior perceived by       that the combination of network simulation and emulation
the moving computer. In the subsequent subsections, we            can potentially lead to better practices and faster and more
describe the architecture of RAMON and the methodology            reliable and replicable results than a simulation-only
used to emulate a wireless network.                               approach.
     Networked application can be easily tested in an
emulation environment without needing to go through the           A New Mobile Network Emulator
intermediate steps done in a simulator.           First of all,       We have toyed with the idea of replacing parts of the ns
applications can be tested without changing their API by          simulator with actual components. In particular, we focused
isolating the network and transport layers of the system as an    on emulating the L1/L2 layers of the wireless network, as
independent variable. Secondly, by using actual hardware          well as capturing the relative effect of mobility across a
components instead of modeling them, the complexity of            predetermined path. Figure1 depicts the architecture of
coding the algorithms and the computation time required to        RAMON and the wireless and wired components. The
simulate radio-wave fading, antenna propagation, or base-         emulator consists of three nodes used for mobility
station implementation details, can be avoided. This amounts      management and routing. Each node is composed of an
to a significant savings in time and cost of developments. For    Access Point (AP), which is also called Base Station, and a
instance , a Mobile-IP simulation involving 1-mobile unit and     Pentium server loaded with the mobility management
20 base-stations required 500 Mbytes of trace file running for    software. The operating system platform used is Linux
more than 3 hours on a very powerful server to process a 600      kernel 2.4.18 and the Access Points are Cisco’s, loaded with
second long simulation scenario. On the contrary an emulation     IOS version 11.03. Any mobility protocol can be loaded
code would use exactly 600 seconds of the real-time clock         and installed at each node in RAMON. The Mobility
(6% of 3 hours) to accomplish the same study.                     Management protocol used in this paper is Mobile-IP
     The simplification of systems parameters required in a       [Perk02]. Although, Mobile-IP is widely supported as well
simulator (e.g., propagation models) is another reason to         as many routing daemons, protocols such as Cellular-IP and
question the simulation approach and to embrace emulation.        Hawaii, among many others can be also be emulated in
Even though simplification reduces simulation time as well as     RAMON [Camb00, Ramj99].
implementation complexity, obtained results and drawn                 For the experiments presented in this paper, Mobile-IP
conclusions could be quite misleading due to                      was the mobility protocol of use. The home and foreign
oversimplification.                                               agents are mapped to the mapped in the architecture
     In fact, most experimental work on networks (especially,     presented above as part of Node 1, Node 2, and Node 3.
wireless) has been conducted using purely a simulation            Each node also requires of an Access Point, an attenuator,
approach. In a recent study by Pawlikowski et al [Pawk02], it     and antenna.
was pointed out that 76% of the authors in IEEE journals who
used a simulation-based approach were not concerned with the
random nature of the results, and made statistical mistakes
during the initial setup of the experiments. The randomness of
the experiments and the assumptions made in many research
item                 description
                                                                                                Controller      8-portparallel to3/7-bitparallel port
                                                                                                 Attenuator     JFWIndustries-50P-13207bit0-127dB0-3GHz
                                                     Node 1                                                      Cushcraft3dBi omni-directional
                         attenuator                                                             Antenna
                                            Access
                                                                                                Access Point     IEEE802.11bAIRONET-350
      Omni-directional                       Point
        antenna                                                                                 Emulator        Pentium II- 350MHz 256MB ofRAM/10 GBHarddrive
                                               Computer                                         Computer         Advantech8251embeddedcomputer-Cyrix233MHz,
                                                                                                                 128 MB RAM/ 6GB Hard drive


                                                              controller
                                                     Node 2
                         attenuator         Access                         lpt eth0                     Home
      Omni-directional
                                             Point                                                      Agent
        antenna
                                                                           eth1          eth3
                                                                                                                                                  Internet
                                               Computer                                                                                          Harris Lab

                                                                                  eth2
                                                                      Emulator
                                                     Node 3
                         attenuator
                                            Access
     Omni-directional
                                             Point
       antenna

                                               Computer


                                                                                         Mobile Host (MH)       Mobile Host (MH)
                                                                                              Laptop              PDA - iPAQ



                                      Figure 1. Rapid-Mobility Network Emulator (RAMON)

     Each Access Point (AP) is a Wi-Fi 802.11b [ieee99]                       From simulation to emulation in RAMON
complaint entry point which in this case correspond to a                           As mentioned earlier, network simulation conducted
CISCO 350. The AP was configured with a power output of                       with the ns simulator requires a scripting language where
100mW and at the channels 1, 6, and 11, respectively. The                     the topology and the network architecture are defined. To
Mobile Node (MN), in this case a IBM Thinkpad Pentium II                      support a new network technology (say supporting the new
233 MHZ and 128MB of RAM, could be also any other                             802.11a or 802.11g), each component used on ns, from
computing terminal compatible with 802.11b. RAMON also                        traffic generators, TCP implementation, and application
has direct access to the internet thru the Harris Computing Lab               level interfaces should be implemented as an object file in
at the University of Florida. . The wired-network emulator                    the ns libraries.
included in RAMON corresponds to the NIST net                                      The main advantage of using ns is the ability to codify
implementation. The NIST net emulator provides a more                         the simulation scenario, as well as data collection, using two
robust conceptualization and this development is compatible                   languages: tcl and C++. Once the implementation of the
with low-cost platforms.                                                      object is completed in C++ it can be manipulated and used
     The attenuators shown in Figure 1 are used to manipulate                 from the scripts made in tcl.
and control the signal strength coming out of the access points.
This manipulation on the value of signal strength is used to                       The network simulator ns, reads in the input script and
emulate the motion towards and away from a base-station.                      creates instances of the objects defined and then starts the
The attenuator chosen for RAMON have been especially built                    simulation. The user is in charge of analyzing the output and
by JFW Industries (model 50P-1230 [jfw02]). They provide a                    the generated trace file, which contains valuable packet
digitally (software) controlled parallel interface which allows               information. Several hours of simulation time are needed to
attenuation level stepping from 1 thru 128 dB. A summary of                   simulate several minutes of real-time scenarios (orders of
the software and hardware components used in RAMON is                         magnitude longer than emulation).
included in Table 1 below.
Table 1. List of software and hardware tools used in RAMON
                                    Item                          Description
                Software            Operating System              Linux Kernel.2.4.18 modules IP/IP and support for
                                                                  virtual interfaces
                                    Statistics                    Tcpdump[tcpd02]. Tcptrace,[tcpt02] and ethereal
                                                                  [ethe02] are used for collecting statistics
                                    Emulation                     NIST Network Emulator
                                    Mobility Protocols            Mobile IP – dynamics HUT [Fom99]]
                Hardware            Emulator                      Pentium II 350 MHz – 256 MB RAM/10 G
                                    Attenuator                    JFW Industries – 50P -1230
                                    Network node                  Embedded computer – Advantech 8251
                                    Controller                    TTL/custom design
                                    Mobile Host                   Laptop IBM Thinkpad/Pentium II 233 MHz-128
                                                                  MB RAM/4GB Hard drive
                                    Access Points                 CISCO AIRONET 350 [Cis01]
                                    Antennas                      Omnidirectional 3dBi Cushcraft




                                                                                                         plots


                                                                   trace file                              results
                                              network simulator
                           tcl                                                     trace analysis
                                                    (ns)
                                                                                        awk,
                                                                                       xgraph             stats




                                     ns                                     802.
               protocols                                    4G
                                   objects                                  11a


                                                      New Technologies (to develop)

                                   networks




                                                   Figure 2. Network simulator (ns)

     As shown in Figure 2, new technologies would                          architecture, is reduced to acquisition and integration,
require the simulation community to build and test, new                    which is much simpler process than the creation of source
objects implementations into ns. The development of a                      code compliant to the simulator environment (otcl and
new object model for a network protocol such as IEEE                       tcl/c++ objects). For instance, the experiments presented in
802.11a may take weeks, if not months, particularly                        this paper using Wi-Fi complaint equipment, could be
under a non-centralized development process of new                         reproduced using IEEE 802.11a in a matter of days, and
object classes and models undertaken by the research                       not months as would be required in the case of extending a
community. In RAMON, researchers can quickly define                        simulator.
an emulation scenario that integrates the latest
technology (actual network hardware), test new
protocols and obtain performance results. In fact, the
integration of the hardware piece into the test bed
Attenuation Control and Emulation of                                                   0     0 ≤ d ≤ 0. 9 R
                                                                               A(d ) =                                              (3)
Speed                                                                                  128     d > 0 .9 R
     In order to emulate speed, two factors should affect the
mobile node: the received signal strength and the signal to                        Although, the models depicted several values of
noise ratio. These factors can be varied from the access                      attenuation to use in the attenuator, experimental
point and received at the client adaptor (network card)                       measurements indicated that the valid range of attenuation
level. Mobility is then emulated by increasing the signal                     was from 0 to 60 dB, approximately. Anything bellow this
strength of one AP and decreasing the other two, or the                       value was affected by the AP signal leakage, which is
combination of any two or more APs (based on the paths                        difficult to completely circumvent.
of mobility and the scenario). The association of the                              Figure 3 shows the value measured at the mobile node
802.11 client to the mobile network is defined by the                         using a WaveLAN 802.11b card and the Linux operating
internal properties of the wireless card.                                     system at an emulated speed of 20 m/s. The attenuation
     For instance, Eq. 1 represents the path loss equation                    value corresponds to two values of n ranging from 2.5 to
and the signal received by a network node at a distance d                     3.5. All the experiments were conducted with the mobile
from the AP.                                                                  node physically located 10 m away from RAMON.
      S r ( dBW ) = S t (dBW ) + Gt ( dBi ) +                    (1)          Experimental Results
            Gr (dBi ) − K o − n log10 (d )                                         Our research examines the ability of mobile
                                                                              networking protocols to cope with speed under various
     The values of Gi indicate the gains at the both ends of                  wireless networks. A mobility scenario of a vehicle passing
the antenna, using the isotropic in dBi. In other words, the                  by a straight segment of a road equipped with 802.11b APs
signal strength received at the mobile node is the                            is shown in Figure 4. This scenario assumes that the
summation of all the gains (St, Gi) minus the propagation                     majority of the communication takes place between the
loss due to fading of the signal. This propagation loss                       mobile node and the correspondent node in the internet.
depends on the many characteristics of the terrain and was                    The experiment consisted of an FTP transfer of a 28MByte
empirically defined by [Phal95] using different values of                     file located at several hops from RAMON but which was
Ko and n, depending upon different terrain conditions at                      nevertheless emulated as a 20 ms delay between the
different frequency values.                                                   gateway (Home Agent) and the correspondent host.

Propagation Model                                                                Figures 5 through 7 correspond to different attenuation
     The experimental values and equations used for the                       models at a constant speed of 20 m/sec. Figure 5 depicts
propagation in RAMON correspond to the modeling for                           the speed of 20 m/s. The throughput is found to follow the
indoor and micro-cellular environments [Pahl95], which is                     shape of the attenuation function received at the network
depicted by Eq 2. The empirical model indicates that the                      card level. The sequence-time plot also indicates that
attenuation is negligible at closer distance from the                         handoff occurs between 1 to 5 seconds. On the average, the
antenna, and quickly logarithmically decays at certain                        peak throughput decreases as the distance from the home-
distances using different values of n and Ko, In this case 10,                agent increases while the delay between the end-points
and 20 are used in Eq. 2.                                                     increases.

                  0,                        d ≤ R / 100   d >= 1.2 R            Figures 6 and 7 represent similar experiments. On the
                                                                             average, the smaller the value of n, the lower the average
A(d ) =     10 + n log(d ),                 R / 100 < d ≤ 0.9 R       ( 2)
        20 + 10(n + 1.3) log(d ),                                            throughput. In this specific case (Figure 6), throughput is
                                                   d > 0 .9 R                measured at 134Kbytes/sec down from 141Kbytes/sec after
                                                                              more than 53342 packets transferred and more than
In Eq2, d is the distance between the AP and the mobile                       60Mbytes of information exchanged (three times the
node and R is the cell ratio (which has a value of 500 m).                    original file of 28MBytes). Figure 7 depicted a much
Also we used a simple square attenuation model, which is                      higher performance value for throughput and smaller
used to simplify and determine the handoff rate.                              handoff time for any speed lower than 20 m/sec.
-30
                                           0                1000             2000             3000             4000          5000               6000          7000




                                     -40




             Signal Strength (dBm)
                                     -50




                                     -60




                                     -70




                                                                                                                                                             Square
                                     -80
                                                                                                                                                             n=2.5
                                                                                                                                                             n=3.5


                                     -90

                                                                                                     Distance (m)




Figure 3. Experimental values of signal strength measured at the mobile node using three
                   different attenuation patterns (speed = 20 m/s).




                          192.168.4.1                       10.3.3.14
                                                   HAgent


                                                                                              INTERNET
          10Mb/
          10ms



     192.168.4.2
                                               1 Mb/    FA2        1 Mb/    FA3       1 Mb/     FA4       1 Mb/       FA5    1 Mb/     FA6       1 Mb/    FA7         1 Mb/    FA8
            FA1
                                               10ms                10ms               10ms                10ms               10ms                10ms                 10ms




            10.0.1.0                                   10.0.2.0            10.0.3.0            10.0.4.0           10.0.5.0           10.0.6.0            10.0.7.0             10.0.8.0




      0                                        1                    2                  3                   4                  5                    6                  7                  8




                                           Figure 4. A Simple mobility scenario emulated in RAMON
(a)                                                            (a)




                            (b)                                                            (b)
     Figure 5. Throughput and time-sequence plot                     Figure 6. Throughput and time-sequence plot
                    at 20 m/sec (n=2.5)                                           at 20 m/sec (n=3.5)
This assertion is true as speed was increased and average
values of throughput and handoff delay were measured                  Figure 9a shows the time-sequence plot when using
(Figure 8).                                                      n=2.5 and the results indicate that at higher distances
                                                                 from the base station, an increase in the delay of a few
     We have used RAMON to verify previous simulation-           hundred of milliseconds is enough to drop the bandwidth
only results (using ns) obtained by other researchers, that      to almost zero after 30 seconds of emulation
studied Mobile-IP performance under different speeds. As
depicted in Figure 9, the performance of mobile-IP is over-
                                                                      Other test bed platforms and experimental results
estimated by using a simplified squared propagation
                                                                 have related the handoff rate as physical variable that is
model, at speeds smaller than 20 m/sec. As speed increases
                                                                 equivalent to speed, which is correct for a simple
the card depends only on the variations of signal strength
                                                                 attenuation model (Eq.3). Campbell, et al. [Camb01]
detected to initiate handoff
                                                                 presents the throughput as a function of the handoff rate
                                                                 between two access points only, without considering
     The behavior observed using the squared attenuation         signal strength effect or any of the variable conditions
pattern is linear and at 80 m/s only reaches 60 Kbytes/sec.      included in RAMON, (e.g., increased delay on crossing
This final experiment at 80 m/sec required the FTP session       different access points, different attenuation models,
to be initiated before the emulation took place. This            realistic Mobile-IP implementation, among others). The
situation was not required at any of the speeds lower than       results shown in this paper indicate that simply forcing
80 m/sec. For the experiments where the FTP session was          handover between two access points at different rates is
initiated at the time the emulation started, the throughput      not sufficient to demonstrate the effects of speed on
value vas not greater than 12 Kbytes/sec. This fact can be       mobile protocols.
observed in Figure 9, where at speed of 80 m/sec, the
majority of data is transferred during the first 20 seconds of
the emulation.
     .
(a)                                                    (a)




                             (b)
Figure 7. Throughput and time-sequence plot                                          (b)
            at 20 m/sec (square)


              180
                                            Square
                                            n=2.5
              140                           n=3.5
 Kbytes/sec




              100



              60
                    0   20   40      60    80       100
                             Speed (m/s)
                                                                                      (c)
       Figure 8. Average throughput and speed                Figure 9. Time-sequence plot for speeds (n=2.5)
         using different attenuation patterns.                     of (a) 40 m/s, (b) 60 m/s, (c) 80 m/s

                                                                   Figure 8 depicts the difference on average
                                                          throughput and speed using different attenuation models.
                                                          The figure shows a great level of degradation on the
                                                          average value of throughput as speed increased of at least
                                                          50% at 80 m/sec when compared to the average
                                                          throughput at 20 m/sec. This expected performance loss
                                                          is greater than the expected by Campbell [Camb01] of
                                                          only 25% at 20 handoff/min or an equivalent speed value
of 300 m/sec. (assuming a cell diameter of 1000 m)            [ethe02] http://www.ethereal.com/
Lastly, we can assure that the effectiveness of a handoff
                                                              [Fall00] K. Fall, K. Varadhan, editors. NS notes and
protocol needs to be thoroughly tested using emulated
                                                                       documentation. The VINT project, LBL,
conditions that resemble realistic scenarios. Therefore, in
                                                                       February 2000. http://www.isi.edu/nsnam/ns/
order to cope with the variability of signal strength,
network latency, and speed, an emulation environment as       [Hern01] E. Hernandez and A. Helal, "Examining
RAMON is very much needed for the testing of mobile and               Mobile-IP Performance in Rapidly Mobile
wireless networks.                                                    Environments: The Case of a Commuter Train,"
                                                                      Accepted to LCN 2001 in Tampa, FL, Nov 14-
Conclusions                                                           16, 2001
    A novel approach for wireless and mobile network          [ieee99] IEEE-board, “Part11: Wireless LAN Medium
emulation is presented in this paper. The RAMON                        Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer
emulator can effectively replicate realistic conditions of             Specification (PHY), Piscataway, New York,
mobility providing interesting insights and observations               1999.
previously unknown and non-observed in pure simulation
experiments such as ns [Hern01]. Using RAMON, we have         [jfw02] http://www.jfwindustries.com/
shown that handoff and throughput change significantly        [Perk02] C. E. Perkins, “IP support for mobility RFC-
with the attenuation model used in the study. Therefore, a            3002”, IETF-RFC, January 2002.
careful selection and capture of such models are necessary
for obtaining accurate data about the performance of a        [Ramj99] Ramachandran Ramjee, Thomas La Porta,
given wireless network.                                              Sandy Thuel, Kannan Varadhan, and Shie-Yuan
                                                                     Wang. “HAWAII: A Domain-based Approach
                                                                     for Supporting Mobility in Wide-area Wireless
Acknowledgements                                                     Networks “,International Conference on
We would like to thank Matt Grover with University of                Network Protocols, ICNP'99
Florida Network Services for his assistance in providing      [Fons99] Forsberg, D., Malinen, J.T., Malinen, J.K.,
components for the RAMON prototype. Thanks are also                   Weckström, T., Tiusanen, M., “Distributing
due to Madhav Shinta and Choonhwa Lee for their                       Mobility Agents Hierarchically under Frequent
valuable comments on this work.                                       Location Updates,” Sixth IEEE International
                                                                      Workshop      on      Mobile      Multimedia
References                                                            Communications (MOMUC'99), San Diego
                                                                      1999.
 [All97] M. Allman, A. Caldwell, S Ostermann. “ONE:
                                                              [Pahl95]      K. Pahlavan, A. Levesque “Wireless
         The Ohio Network Emulator”, TR-19972,
                                                                         Information Networks”, John Wiley & Son’s,
         School of Electrical Engineering and Computer
                                                                         New York, 1995.
         Science, Ohio University, August 1997.
                                                              [Pasw02] K. Pawlikowski, H. Jeong, J Lee. “On
 [Bolot93] C Bolot, "End-to-End Packet Delay and Loss
                                                                     Credibility of Simulation    Studies    of
         Behavior in the Internet," ACM Computer
                                                                     Telecommunication    Networks”,      IEEE
         Communication Review, Vol. 23, No. 4, October
                                                                     Communications Magazine, January 2002, pp
         1993, pp. 289-298.
                                                                     132-139.
 [Camb00] A. T. Campbell, Gomez, J., Kim, S., Turanyi,
                                                              [tcpd02] http://www.tcpdump.org
        Z., Wan, C-Y. and A, Valko "Design,
        Implementation and Evaluation of Cellular IP",        [tcptr02] http://www.tcptrace.org/
        IEEE Personal Communications, Special Issue
        on IP-based Mobile Telecommunications
        Networks, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 42-49, August
        2000.
 [Camb01] A. T Campbell, J Gomez, S. Kim and C. Wan.
        “Comparison of IP Micro-mobility Protocols”,
        IEEE Wireless Communications, February 2002,
        pp. 72-82.
 [Cis01] http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/
          pcat/ao350ap.htm

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RAMON : Rapid Mobile Network Emulation

  • 1. RAMON: Rapid-Mobility Network Emulator Edwin Hernandez and Abdelsalam (Sumi) Helal Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Department University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-6120, USA helal@cise.ufl.edu http://www.harris.cise.ufl.edu/projects/rapmobile.htm Abstract In wireless networks, as in many areas of engineering, simulation has been the de-facto standard for testing, dimensioning and analyzing mobile protocols. Emulation, which presents a lower cost, more accurate, yet more complex engineering alternative to simulation, has not been widely used in mobile computing studies. RAMON is a software/hardware emulator tailored to mimic the realistic characteristics of wireless networks. RAMON is especially designed to study how mobile protocols cope with high vehicular speeds. The main advantage of RAMON is the rapid, cost-effective and accurate testing it provides. This ranges from proper identification of protocol bottlenecks, to testing of newly available wireless networks and hardware and software devices. Keywords: Network emulation, rapid-mobility, RAMON, Mobile-IP, wireless LAN, simulation. Introduction emulator, which is a hybrid approach to simulation and Mobile computing networks provide environments and emulation. scenarios, which challenge and overturn the current paradigms of computing. Nomadic data and devices make the current Simulation versus Emulation network protocols insufficient and unable to cope with Simulation environments and specifically network mobility. Simulation environments have been developed by simulators have been widely used throughout the past few the research community to study and improve the performance decades. Wire-line emulators have also been used to of mobile network protocols, determine bottlenecks, and replicate the conditions of end-to-end network delays found reduce the cost of hardware implementations. The most widely on. For example, the End-to-End Emulator, ENDE [Bott93], used simulator is the Network Simulator (ns) [Fla00] which developed at the Texas A&M University, is aimed to imitate provides simulation environments for wired and wireless the Internet by providing end-to-end network delay using networks. ICMP packets as a real time traffic source. In the same way, Although simulation of mobile networks of moderate the Ohio Network Emulator ONE [All97] is able to emulate speeds can be easily achieved using ns, rapid mobility transmission, queuing, and propagation delay between two conditions and complex propagation models challenge the computers interconnected by a router. Finally, The utility and suitability of the simulation approach. In particular, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the duplication of the software development process of the NET or NISTNET [NIST01] emulator allows an simulator, to include new operating system platforms and/or inexpensive PC-based router to emulate numerous complex newly introduced wireless technologies, is costly and performance scenarios, including: tunable packet delay unpractical. For example, in the case of Wireless LAN distributions, congestion and background loss, bandwidth technology currently, the 802,11b is currently implemented in limitation, and packet reordering and duplication. There are ns. The 802.11a, however, is not and hence significant coding also other emulators that are commercially available. needs to be done before ns is ready for use with the 11a RAMON extends currently available wired-network network. A hybrid approach that pieces together existing ns emulators by adding wireless extension features. It glues software modules with emerging wireless network hardware is together pieces of hardware and software to allow the needed. Such approach seems to be a more cost-effective and replication of realistic mobile networks and mobile faster way to test and develop mobile network protocols. This connection scenarios. RAMON emulates mobility in paper introduces RAMON, a Rapid-Mobility Network wireless networks by affecting the actual network physical parameters. It also emulates mobile unit speed, acceleration
  • 2. and trajectory changes, by controlling the causality between publications were difficult to replicate. It is our motivation actual network parameters and network behavior perceived by that the combination of network simulation and emulation the moving computer. In the subsequent subsections, we can potentially lead to better practices and faster and more describe the architecture of RAMON and the methodology reliable and replicable results than a simulation-only used to emulate a wireless network. approach. Networked application can be easily tested in an emulation environment without needing to go through the A New Mobile Network Emulator intermediate steps done in a simulator. First of all, We have toyed with the idea of replacing parts of the ns applications can be tested without changing their API by simulator with actual components. In particular, we focused isolating the network and transport layers of the system as an on emulating the L1/L2 layers of the wireless network, as independent variable. Secondly, by using actual hardware well as capturing the relative effect of mobility across a components instead of modeling them, the complexity of predetermined path. Figure1 depicts the architecture of coding the algorithms and the computation time required to RAMON and the wireless and wired components. The simulate radio-wave fading, antenna propagation, or base- emulator consists of three nodes used for mobility station implementation details, can be avoided. This amounts management and routing. Each node is composed of an to a significant savings in time and cost of developments. For Access Point (AP), which is also called Base Station, and a instance , a Mobile-IP simulation involving 1-mobile unit and Pentium server loaded with the mobility management 20 base-stations required 500 Mbytes of trace file running for software. The operating system platform used is Linux more than 3 hours on a very powerful server to process a 600 kernel 2.4.18 and the Access Points are Cisco’s, loaded with second long simulation scenario. On the contrary an emulation IOS version 11.03. Any mobility protocol can be loaded code would use exactly 600 seconds of the real-time clock and installed at each node in RAMON. The Mobility (6% of 3 hours) to accomplish the same study. Management protocol used in this paper is Mobile-IP The simplification of systems parameters required in a [Perk02]. Although, Mobile-IP is widely supported as well simulator (e.g., propagation models) is another reason to as many routing daemons, protocols such as Cellular-IP and question the simulation approach and to embrace emulation. Hawaii, among many others can be also be emulated in Even though simplification reduces simulation time as well as RAMON [Camb00, Ramj99]. implementation complexity, obtained results and drawn For the experiments presented in this paper, Mobile-IP conclusions could be quite misleading due to was the mobility protocol of use. The home and foreign oversimplification. agents are mapped to the mapped in the architecture In fact, most experimental work on networks (especially, presented above as part of Node 1, Node 2, and Node 3. wireless) has been conducted using purely a simulation Each node also requires of an Access Point, an attenuator, approach. In a recent study by Pawlikowski et al [Pawk02], it and antenna. was pointed out that 76% of the authors in IEEE journals who used a simulation-based approach were not concerned with the random nature of the results, and made statistical mistakes during the initial setup of the experiments. The randomness of the experiments and the assumptions made in many research
  • 3. item description Controller 8-portparallel to3/7-bitparallel port Attenuator JFWIndustries-50P-13207bit0-127dB0-3GHz Node 1 Cushcraft3dBi omni-directional attenuator Antenna Access Access Point IEEE802.11bAIRONET-350 Omni-directional Point antenna Emulator Pentium II- 350MHz 256MB ofRAM/10 GBHarddrive Computer Computer Advantech8251embeddedcomputer-Cyrix233MHz, 128 MB RAM/ 6GB Hard drive controller Node 2 attenuator Access lpt eth0 Home Omni-directional Point Agent antenna eth1 eth3 Internet Computer Harris Lab eth2 Emulator Node 3 attenuator Access Omni-directional Point antenna Computer Mobile Host (MH) Mobile Host (MH) Laptop PDA - iPAQ Figure 1. Rapid-Mobility Network Emulator (RAMON) Each Access Point (AP) is a Wi-Fi 802.11b [ieee99] From simulation to emulation in RAMON complaint entry point which in this case correspond to a As mentioned earlier, network simulation conducted CISCO 350. The AP was configured with a power output of with the ns simulator requires a scripting language where 100mW and at the channels 1, 6, and 11, respectively. The the topology and the network architecture are defined. To Mobile Node (MN), in this case a IBM Thinkpad Pentium II support a new network technology (say supporting the new 233 MHZ and 128MB of RAM, could be also any other 802.11a or 802.11g), each component used on ns, from computing terminal compatible with 802.11b. RAMON also traffic generators, TCP implementation, and application has direct access to the internet thru the Harris Computing Lab level interfaces should be implemented as an object file in at the University of Florida. . The wired-network emulator the ns libraries. included in RAMON corresponds to the NIST net The main advantage of using ns is the ability to codify implementation. The NIST net emulator provides a more the simulation scenario, as well as data collection, using two robust conceptualization and this development is compatible languages: tcl and C++. Once the implementation of the with low-cost platforms. object is completed in C++ it can be manipulated and used The attenuators shown in Figure 1 are used to manipulate from the scripts made in tcl. and control the signal strength coming out of the access points. This manipulation on the value of signal strength is used to The network simulator ns, reads in the input script and emulate the motion towards and away from a base-station. creates instances of the objects defined and then starts the The attenuator chosen for RAMON have been especially built simulation. The user is in charge of analyzing the output and by JFW Industries (model 50P-1230 [jfw02]). They provide a the generated trace file, which contains valuable packet digitally (software) controlled parallel interface which allows information. Several hours of simulation time are needed to attenuation level stepping from 1 thru 128 dB. A summary of simulate several minutes of real-time scenarios (orders of the software and hardware components used in RAMON is magnitude longer than emulation). included in Table 1 below.
  • 4. Table 1. List of software and hardware tools used in RAMON Item Description Software Operating System Linux Kernel.2.4.18 modules IP/IP and support for virtual interfaces Statistics Tcpdump[tcpd02]. Tcptrace,[tcpt02] and ethereal [ethe02] are used for collecting statistics Emulation NIST Network Emulator Mobility Protocols Mobile IP – dynamics HUT [Fom99]] Hardware Emulator Pentium II 350 MHz – 256 MB RAM/10 G Attenuator JFW Industries – 50P -1230 Network node Embedded computer – Advantech 8251 Controller TTL/custom design Mobile Host Laptop IBM Thinkpad/Pentium II 233 MHz-128 MB RAM/4GB Hard drive Access Points CISCO AIRONET 350 [Cis01] Antennas Omnidirectional 3dBi Cushcraft plots trace file results network simulator tcl trace analysis (ns) awk, xgraph stats ns 802. protocols 4G objects 11a New Technologies (to develop) networks Figure 2. Network simulator (ns) As shown in Figure 2, new technologies would architecture, is reduced to acquisition and integration, require the simulation community to build and test, new which is much simpler process than the creation of source objects implementations into ns. The development of a code compliant to the simulator environment (otcl and new object model for a network protocol such as IEEE tcl/c++ objects). For instance, the experiments presented in 802.11a may take weeks, if not months, particularly this paper using Wi-Fi complaint equipment, could be under a non-centralized development process of new reproduced using IEEE 802.11a in a matter of days, and object classes and models undertaken by the research not months as would be required in the case of extending a community. In RAMON, researchers can quickly define simulator. an emulation scenario that integrates the latest technology (actual network hardware), test new protocols and obtain performance results. In fact, the integration of the hardware piece into the test bed
  • 5. Attenuation Control and Emulation of 0 0 ≤ d ≤ 0. 9 R A(d ) =  (3) Speed 128 d > 0 .9 R In order to emulate speed, two factors should affect the mobile node: the received signal strength and the signal to Although, the models depicted several values of noise ratio. These factors can be varied from the access attenuation to use in the attenuator, experimental point and received at the client adaptor (network card) measurements indicated that the valid range of attenuation level. Mobility is then emulated by increasing the signal was from 0 to 60 dB, approximately. Anything bellow this strength of one AP and decreasing the other two, or the value was affected by the AP signal leakage, which is combination of any two or more APs (based on the paths difficult to completely circumvent. of mobility and the scenario). The association of the Figure 3 shows the value measured at the mobile node 802.11 client to the mobile network is defined by the using a WaveLAN 802.11b card and the Linux operating internal properties of the wireless card. system at an emulated speed of 20 m/s. The attenuation For instance, Eq. 1 represents the path loss equation value corresponds to two values of n ranging from 2.5 to and the signal received by a network node at a distance d 3.5. All the experiments were conducted with the mobile from the AP. node physically located 10 m away from RAMON. S r ( dBW ) = S t (dBW ) + Gt ( dBi ) + (1) Experimental Results Gr (dBi ) − K o − n log10 (d ) Our research examines the ability of mobile networking protocols to cope with speed under various The values of Gi indicate the gains at the both ends of wireless networks. A mobility scenario of a vehicle passing the antenna, using the isotropic in dBi. In other words, the by a straight segment of a road equipped with 802.11b APs signal strength received at the mobile node is the is shown in Figure 4. This scenario assumes that the summation of all the gains (St, Gi) minus the propagation majority of the communication takes place between the loss due to fading of the signal. This propagation loss mobile node and the correspondent node in the internet. depends on the many characteristics of the terrain and was The experiment consisted of an FTP transfer of a 28MByte empirically defined by [Phal95] using different values of file located at several hops from RAMON but which was Ko and n, depending upon different terrain conditions at nevertheless emulated as a 20 ms delay between the different frequency values. gateway (Home Agent) and the correspondent host. Propagation Model Figures 5 through 7 correspond to different attenuation The experimental values and equations used for the models at a constant speed of 20 m/sec. Figure 5 depicts propagation in RAMON correspond to the modeling for the speed of 20 m/s. The throughput is found to follow the indoor and micro-cellular environments [Pahl95], which is shape of the attenuation function received at the network depicted by Eq 2. The empirical model indicates that the card level. The sequence-time plot also indicates that attenuation is negligible at closer distance from the handoff occurs between 1 to 5 seconds. On the average, the antenna, and quickly logarithmically decays at certain peak throughput decreases as the distance from the home- distances using different values of n and Ko, In this case 10, agent increases while the delay between the end-points and 20 are used in Eq. 2. increases.  0, d ≤ R / 100 d >= 1.2 R Figures 6 and 7 represent similar experiments. On the  average, the smaller the value of n, the lower the average A(d ) =  10 + n log(d ), R / 100 < d ≤ 0.9 R ( 2) 20 + 10(n + 1.3) log(d ), throughput. In this specific case (Figure 6), throughput is  d > 0 .9 R measured at 134Kbytes/sec down from 141Kbytes/sec after more than 53342 packets transferred and more than In Eq2, d is the distance between the AP and the mobile 60Mbytes of information exchanged (three times the node and R is the cell ratio (which has a value of 500 m). original file of 28MBytes). Figure 7 depicted a much Also we used a simple square attenuation model, which is higher performance value for throughput and smaller used to simplify and determine the handoff rate. handoff time for any speed lower than 20 m/sec.
  • 6. -30 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 -40 Signal Strength (dBm) -50 -60 -70 Square -80 n=2.5 n=3.5 -90 Distance (m) Figure 3. Experimental values of signal strength measured at the mobile node using three different attenuation patterns (speed = 20 m/s). 192.168.4.1 10.3.3.14 HAgent INTERNET 10Mb/ 10ms 192.168.4.2 1 Mb/ FA2 1 Mb/ FA3 1 Mb/ FA4 1 Mb/ FA5 1 Mb/ FA6 1 Mb/ FA7 1 Mb/ FA8 FA1 10ms 10ms 10ms 10ms 10ms 10ms 10ms 10.0.1.0 10.0.2.0 10.0.3.0 10.0.4.0 10.0.5.0 10.0.6.0 10.0.7.0 10.0.8.0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Figure 4. A Simple mobility scenario emulated in RAMON
  • 7. (a) (a) (b) (b) Figure 5. Throughput and time-sequence plot Figure 6. Throughput and time-sequence plot at 20 m/sec (n=2.5) at 20 m/sec (n=3.5) This assertion is true as speed was increased and average values of throughput and handoff delay were measured Figure 9a shows the time-sequence plot when using (Figure 8). n=2.5 and the results indicate that at higher distances from the base station, an increase in the delay of a few We have used RAMON to verify previous simulation- hundred of milliseconds is enough to drop the bandwidth only results (using ns) obtained by other researchers, that to almost zero after 30 seconds of emulation studied Mobile-IP performance under different speeds. As depicted in Figure 9, the performance of mobile-IP is over- Other test bed platforms and experimental results estimated by using a simplified squared propagation have related the handoff rate as physical variable that is model, at speeds smaller than 20 m/sec. As speed increases equivalent to speed, which is correct for a simple the card depends only on the variations of signal strength attenuation model (Eq.3). Campbell, et al. [Camb01] detected to initiate handoff presents the throughput as a function of the handoff rate between two access points only, without considering The behavior observed using the squared attenuation signal strength effect or any of the variable conditions pattern is linear and at 80 m/s only reaches 60 Kbytes/sec. included in RAMON, (e.g., increased delay on crossing This final experiment at 80 m/sec required the FTP session different access points, different attenuation models, to be initiated before the emulation took place. This realistic Mobile-IP implementation, among others). The situation was not required at any of the speeds lower than results shown in this paper indicate that simply forcing 80 m/sec. For the experiments where the FTP session was handover between two access points at different rates is initiated at the time the emulation started, the throughput not sufficient to demonstrate the effects of speed on value vas not greater than 12 Kbytes/sec. This fact can be mobile protocols. observed in Figure 9, where at speed of 80 m/sec, the majority of data is transferred during the first 20 seconds of the emulation. .
  • 8. (a) (a) (b) Figure 7. Throughput and time-sequence plot (b) at 20 m/sec (square) 180 Square n=2.5 140 n=3.5 Kbytes/sec 100 60 0 20 40 60 80 100 Speed (m/s) (c) Figure 8. Average throughput and speed Figure 9. Time-sequence plot for speeds (n=2.5) using different attenuation patterns. of (a) 40 m/s, (b) 60 m/s, (c) 80 m/s Figure 8 depicts the difference on average throughput and speed using different attenuation models. The figure shows a great level of degradation on the average value of throughput as speed increased of at least 50% at 80 m/sec when compared to the average throughput at 20 m/sec. This expected performance loss is greater than the expected by Campbell [Camb01] of only 25% at 20 handoff/min or an equivalent speed value
  • 9. of 300 m/sec. (assuming a cell diameter of 1000 m) [ethe02] http://www.ethereal.com/ Lastly, we can assure that the effectiveness of a handoff [Fall00] K. Fall, K. Varadhan, editors. NS notes and protocol needs to be thoroughly tested using emulated documentation. The VINT project, LBL, conditions that resemble realistic scenarios. Therefore, in February 2000. http://www.isi.edu/nsnam/ns/ order to cope with the variability of signal strength, network latency, and speed, an emulation environment as [Hern01] E. Hernandez and A. Helal, "Examining RAMON is very much needed for the testing of mobile and Mobile-IP Performance in Rapidly Mobile wireless networks. Environments: The Case of a Commuter Train," Accepted to LCN 2001 in Tampa, FL, Nov 14- Conclusions 16, 2001 A novel approach for wireless and mobile network [ieee99] IEEE-board, “Part11: Wireless LAN Medium emulation is presented in this paper. The RAMON Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer emulator can effectively replicate realistic conditions of Specification (PHY), Piscataway, New York, mobility providing interesting insights and observations 1999. previously unknown and non-observed in pure simulation experiments such as ns [Hern01]. Using RAMON, we have [jfw02] http://www.jfwindustries.com/ shown that handoff and throughput change significantly [Perk02] C. E. Perkins, “IP support for mobility RFC- with the attenuation model used in the study. Therefore, a 3002”, IETF-RFC, January 2002. careful selection and capture of such models are necessary for obtaining accurate data about the performance of a [Ramj99] Ramachandran Ramjee, Thomas La Porta, given wireless network. Sandy Thuel, Kannan Varadhan, and Shie-Yuan Wang. “HAWAII: A Domain-based Approach for Supporting Mobility in Wide-area Wireless Acknowledgements Networks “,International Conference on We would like to thank Matt Grover with University of Network Protocols, ICNP'99 Florida Network Services for his assistance in providing [Fons99] Forsberg, D., Malinen, J.T., Malinen, J.K., components for the RAMON prototype. Thanks are also Weckström, T., Tiusanen, M., “Distributing due to Madhav Shinta and Choonhwa Lee for their Mobility Agents Hierarchically under Frequent valuable comments on this work. Location Updates,” Sixth IEEE International Workshop on Mobile Multimedia References Communications (MOMUC'99), San Diego 1999. [All97] M. Allman, A. Caldwell, S Ostermann. “ONE: [Pahl95] K. Pahlavan, A. Levesque “Wireless The Ohio Network Emulator”, TR-19972, Information Networks”, John Wiley & Son’s, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer New York, 1995. Science, Ohio University, August 1997. [Pasw02] K. Pawlikowski, H. Jeong, J Lee. “On [Bolot93] C Bolot, "End-to-End Packet Delay and Loss Credibility of Simulation Studies of Behavior in the Internet," ACM Computer Telecommunication Networks”, IEEE Communication Review, Vol. 23, No. 4, October Communications Magazine, January 2002, pp 1993, pp. 289-298. 132-139. [Camb00] A. T. Campbell, Gomez, J., Kim, S., Turanyi, [tcpd02] http://www.tcpdump.org Z., Wan, C-Y. and A, Valko "Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Cellular IP", [tcptr02] http://www.tcptrace.org/ IEEE Personal Communications, Special Issue on IP-based Mobile Telecommunications Networks, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 42-49, August 2000. [Camb01] A. T Campbell, J Gomez, S. Kim and C. Wan. “Comparison of IP Micro-mobility Protocols”, IEEE Wireless Communications, February 2002, pp. 72-82. [Cis01] http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/ pcat/ao350ap.htm