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Meta-Simulation of Large WSN on Multi-core Computers

Adnan Iqbal and Bernard Pottier

Symposium on Theory of Modeling and Simulation (DEVS'10) (DEVS 2010)
Orlando, ON, April 11-15 2010


With the advances in wireless communications and integration, large networks of small devices, for instance Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), are emerging with lot of visible applications. Such networks differ from general purpose networking, as they are deployed to serve single objective application, with high optimization requirements such as performance enhancement and power saving. This application specific optimization can be guaranteed only with the use of formal models and evaluation based simulations of distributed algorithms (DA) controlling such networks. Compared to other difficult fields such as architecture or parallel program design, the WSN design problem is of high complexity, and even more challenging. It requires robust methodologies, including simulation support. Although we know several works on WSN simulation and programming, these solutions fail to obtain results on a whole set of desirable criteria : scalability, flexibility, concurrent execution and performance. We present a model based approach of WSN application specification separating network organization from behaviours, allowing them to vary independently. Simulation programs are produced as network of processes executing DAs following the required organization. The full paper will describe two time-driven execution models based on direct CSP channel communications, and an intermediate programmable channel process matching needs such as random error generations. A strong point for the model based approach is that network description can be achieved with high level tools independently from the programming syntax. We have specified and executed number of WSN protocols with varying objectives and semantics. We will describe the tool flow that targets an Occam compiler producing multi-threaded binaries, shown to be efficient on multi-core systems. The practical experimentation has also revealed an enhanced scalability and interesting performances compared to other approaches. We expect the final flow of this project to enable sensor code production out of the simulated specification.

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