John S. Baras


ATEMU: A Fine-Grained Sensor Network Simulator

J. Polley, D. Blazakis, J. McGee , D. Rusk and J.S. Baras

First Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensor and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks, Santa Clara, CA, October 4-7, 2004

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In this paper we describe the design and implementation of ATEMU, a fine grained sensor network simulator. ATEMU is intended to bridge the gap between actual sensor network deployments and sensor network simulations. We adopt a hybrid strategy, where the operation of individual sensor nodes is emulated in an instruction by instruction manner, and their interactions with each other via wireless transmissions are simulated in a realistic manner. A unique feature of ATEMU is its ability to simulate a heterogeneous sensor network. Using ATEMU it is possible to not only accurately simulate the operation of different application on the MICA2 platform but also a complete sensor network where the sensor nodes themselves maybe based on different hardware platforms. In addition we also describe our implementation of XATDB, our front-end debugger/GUI for ATEMU. XATDB provides an excellent educational tool for people to start learning about the operation of sensor nodes and sensor networks, without requiring the purchase of actual sensor node hardware. The accuracy and emulation capabilities provided by ATEMU ensure that when and if actual hardware is used, the software will already have undergone rigorous testing and debugging on an accurate platform. This would provide the sensor network deployment community with a much more accurate estimate of the performance of various algorithms and protocols in realistic scenarios and platforms.

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