Simulations in Wireless Sensor and Ad Hoc Networks: Matching and Advancing Models, Metrics, and Solutions

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TOPICS IN AD HOC AND SENSOR NETWORKS

Simulations in Wireless Sensor and Ad Hoc Networks: Matching and Advancing Models, Metrics, and Solutions
Ivan Stojmenovic, University of Birmingham and University of Ottawa

ABSTRACT
The objective of this article is to give advice for carrying out a proper and effective simulation activity for protocol design. It challenges some of the existing criticisms of simulation practices that emphasized validation aspects. This article advocates the use of simple models, matching assumptions and metrics in the problem statement and simulation to provide a basic “proof of concept,” and comparison with truly competing solutions, which is possible only after a thorough and critical literature review. Then the complexity of the models can be increased (one parameter at a time), revising the algorithms themselves by adapting them to new assumptions, metrics, and the corresponding simulation environment. Selected independent variables should explain performance under a wide range of scenarios.

unclear which protocol will perform well under a wide range of scenarios. It is our view that each article should be judged on its overall contribution, including the assumptions used, theory developed, new algorithms introduced, protocol details, simulation results, and relevance to an ultimate goal of staying on a path toward creating applications. We begin with a literature review of existing criticism for simulation practices, and then discuss what we believe are the main issues. We take a more general view of simulation as a support for new ideas and theories, providing a platform for their comparison with truly competing existing solutions, not merely for their validation. We also discuss the proper meaning of a proof of concept, selection of independent variables to clearly represent a variety of scenarios, and simplicity of overall…...

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