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On the Simulation of Networked Sensor Systems
Wei Dong, Yi Gao, Zhiwei Zhao and Xianghua Xu

A typical wireless sensor network (WSN) consists of a large number of sensor nodes, and is envisioned to support a wide range of applications. As most sensor nodes are operating unattended for a long lifetime, the need for robust software is very important for networked sensor systems. Simulation of networked sensor systems should be an important phase in application development. In this paper, we provide a detailed technical review of sensor network simulators. We not only list existing sensor simulators in the literature, but also summarize each simulator’s advantages and disadvantages. Hence, simulator users can benefit from this summarization. We provide a taxonomy of various simulators based on the simulator architecture, the simulated CPU model, radio model, and sensor model.We point out some challenges of sensor network simulation, and summarize some recent techniques to address these challenges. Simulator developers can benefit from these descriptions. Finally, we further highlight some guidelines from both simulator users’ perspective and simulator developers’ perspective, and give case studies on how to select a simulator.

Keywords: Wireless sensor network; robust software; simulation.

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