ns-3 NEXT: Towards a reference platform for offline and augmented wireless networking experimentation

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Rui Lopes Campos
Manuel Ricardo
Hélder Martins Fontes
Vítor Hugo Fernandes
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In the past years, INESC TEC has been working on using ns-3 to reduce the gap between Simulation and Experimentation. Two major contributions resulted from our work: 1) the Fast Prototyping development process, where the same ns-3 protocol model is used in a real experiment; 2) the Trace-based Simulation (TS) approach, where traces of radio link qualities and position of nodes from past experiments are injected into ns-3 to achieve repeatable and reproducible experiments. In this paper we present ns-3 NEXT, our vision for ns-3 to enable simulation and experimentation using the same platform. We envision ns-3 as the platform that can automatically learn from past experiments and improve its accuracy to a point where simulated resources can seamlessly replace real resources. At that point, ns-3 can either replace a real testbed accurately (Offline Experimentation) or add functionality and scale to testbeds (Augmented Experimentation). Towards this vision, we discuss the current limitations and propose a plan to overcome them collectively within the ns-3 community. © 2019 ACM.