PIK - Praxis der Informationsverarbeitung und Kommunikation
Fachzeitschrift für den Einsatz von Informationssystemen
Ed. by Müller, Paul
Simulation is the de-facto standard tool for the evaluation of distributed and communication systems like sensor networks. Most simulation efforts focus on protocol- and algorithm-level issues, thus depending on the right choice and configuration of models. However, as such models commonly neglect time dependent issues, many research challenges, like energy consumption and radio channel utilization still remain.
In this article we present two new tools to model and analyze sensor networks: Avrora, a fast and accurate sensor network simulator, and AEON, a novel tool built on top of Avrora, to evaluate the energy consumption and to accurately predict the lifetime of sensor networks.
Avrora is a highly scalable instruction-level simulator for sensor network programs. It simulates the execution of the program down to the level of individual clock cycles, a time quantum of about 135 ns. By incorporating state of the art simulation techniques, including an efficiently maintained event queue, fast-forward through sleep-time, and parallel simulation, it can simulate entire networks of nodes in real time.
AEON's energy model is based on Avrora and makes use of the cycle accurate execution of sensor node applications for precise energy measurements. Due to limited energy resources, power consumption is a crucial characteristic of sensor networks. AEON uses accurate measurements of node current draw and the execution of real code to enable accurate prediction of the actual power consumption of sensor nodes. Consequently, it prevents erroneous assumptions on node and network lifetime. Moreover, our detailed energy model allows to compare different low power and energy aware approaches in terms of energy efficiency. Thus, it enables a highly precise estimation of the overall lifetime of a sensor network.