John Heidemann

Effects of Detail in Wireless Network Simulation

TitleEffects of Detail in Wireless Network Simulation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsJ. Heidemann, N. Bulusu, J. Elson, C. Intanagonwiwat, K. -chan Lan, Y. Xu, W. Ye, D. Estrin, and R. Govindan
Date Publishedjan
Conference LocationPhoenix, Arizona, USA

Experience with wired networks has provides guidance about what level of detail is appropriate for simulation-based protocol studies. Wireless simulations raise many new questions about appropriate levels of detail in simulation models for radio propagation and energy consumption. This paper describes the trade-offs associated with adding detail to simulation models. We evaluate the effects of detail in five case studies of wireless simulations for protocol design. Ultimately the researcher must judge what level of detail is required for a given question, but we suggest two approaches to cope with varying levels of detail. When error is not correlated, networking algorithms that are robust to a range of errors are often stressed in similar ways by random error as by detailed models. We also suggest visualization techniques that can help pinpoint incorrect details and manage detail overload.