Analysis of simulator feasibility in development of wireless sensor network applications
Yousaf, Muhammad Husham
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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) consist of small autonomous electronic devices that sense environmental conditions and communicate over wireless links. WSNs have applications in various fields of science and technology, which are diverse and typically exist in remote areas with harsh conditions. This makes testing and debugging of applications time consuming, costly and sometimes even impossible for application developers. Hence, simulators are used to develop and test WSN applications to verify the functionality of applications without actual deployment and to avoid debugging and testing costs. Selection of a feasible simulator for WSN application development requires analysis and comparison of available WSN simulators. A feasible simulator fulfils application requirements and presents related features. Existing comparison surveys and articles present strengths and weaknesses of WSN simulators. They do not concentrate on the attributes of simulators, which an application developer should consider in selecting a feasible WSN simulator before application development. In this thesis, WSN simulators are analyzed and their attributes are collected, which can be used in selecting a feasible simulator for application development. Three types of attributes are collected: 1) activity attributes, 2) basic attributes, 3) core attributes. Activity attributes present how active and up-to-date the WSN simulators are. Basic attributes specify the type, category and development language of WSN simulators. Core attributes present the availability of core WSN requirements such as, scalability, consumed power and memory calculation modules in simulators. Seven simulators are compared using these attributes. Requirements for typical WSN applications are defined and consist of multi-hop routing, calculation of execution time, power and memory consumption of nodes. The feasibilities of the simulators are measured against the application requirements. COOJA meets all the requirements and seems feasible for WSN application development and testing. Feasibility of COOJA simulator is verified experimentally by developing three test applications. In the first application, COOJA simulates multi-hop network and provides four types of statistics, which are network, power, sensor and topology statistics. In the second application, COOJA measures power and memory consumption. In the third application, power consumption is measured for each function call of the application program. COOJA fulfils all requirements and is found feasible for WSN application development and testing.