NSF mmWave Project

CCRI: ENS: Collaborative Research: ns-3 Network Simulation for Next-Generation Wireless

NSF Project Number: CCRI–2016381


Project Overview

This project is a collaborative effort by University of Washington and Georgia Institute of Technology to extend the popular ns-3 network simulator to meet the challenges of modeling next-generation wireless networks. The project will advance the state-of-the-art in simulator performance for dense wireless networks that increasingly characterize many next-G scenarios of interest. We seek to improve ns-3's run-time scalability for dense, heterogeneous network scenarios based on innovative applications of two broad strategies:

i. Parallelization: ns-3 simulations execute sequentially on a single CPU core, the ability to parallelize wireless simulations has been somewhat of an open research question. Some promising recent work from our collaborators at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) opens the door to realizing effective parallelization for wireless simulations within ns-3. While LLNL is focusing on parallelizing 5G cellular scenarios, we will focus on the same for Wi-Fi and plans to transfer techniques used in ns-3 to simulate cell-edge interference to reduce the event coupling between parallel wireless simulation processes.

ii. Improved Link Abstractions: Achieving run-time gains by parallelizing must be complemented by more efficient execution of simulation models in each (parallelized) process. To this end, we will pursue a few approaches: a. identify and prune states corresponding to wireless interference events that have little or no bearing on packet reception outcomes, and b. seek novel link-to-system mappings for complex transmis- sion scenarios (fading, MIMO and multi-user channels) that can represent such inherently computationally burdensome use-cases much more efficiently while preserving simulation fidelity.

Georgia Tech's activities center on high-fidelity mmWave channel models that incorporate environmental effects, i.e. blockages and reflections that occur from obstacles such as walls, buildings, furniture, and even human beings. Georgia Tech is also working on optimistic parallel simulations for limited-interference settings such as occur with highly-directional antennas in the mmWave bands. Georgia Tech is also working on educational materials to help new ns-3 users work with advanced wireless features in the simulator.

Educational Activities

The Georgia Tech graduate course, ECE 6110: CAD for Communication Networks, has been revamped to focus on modeling and simulation of computer networks with a significant hands-on component involving ns-3 programming. The ns-3 lab assignments from the course have been made freely available on the Web and are an excellent resource for beginning ns-3 programmers. In particular, the first lab assignment is a tour of the programs in the ns-3 tutorial, where the programmer is asked to make various modifications to the tutorial programs in order to cement their basic knowledge of ns-3 concepts in preparation for more advanced network simulations.

Basic information about ECE 6110, along with the lab assignments, can be found at ECE 6110: CAD for Communication Networks.


The following publications were produced with partial or full support from this NSF award.

A. Deng and D. Blough, "Efficient and Effective Proactive Scheduling for mmWave WLANs," Proc. of the ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems, to appear, 2023.

J. Zhang, S. Avallone, and D. Blough, "Implementation and Evaluation of IEEE 802.11ax Channel Sounding Frame Exchange in ns-3," Proc. of the Workshop on ns-3, pp. 10-18, 2023.

Y. Liu and D. Blough, "Environment-Aware Link Quality Prediction for Millimeter-Wave Wireless LANs," Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Mobility Management and Wireless Access, pp. 1-10, 2022. (Best Paper Award)

Y. Liu, Y. Jian, R. Sivakumar, and D. Blough, "Maximizing Line-of-Sight Coverage for mmWave Wireless LANs with Multiple Access Points," IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Vol. 30, pp. 698-716, Apr. 2022.

Y. Liu, S. Crisp, and D. Blough, "Performance Study of Statistical and Deterministic Channel Models for mmWave Wi-Fi Networks in ns-3," Proc. of the Workshop on ns-3, pp. 33-40, 2021.

Open-Source Code

The following code was produced with support from this NSF award.

ns-3 WiGig implementation, https://apps.nsnam.org/app/wigig/

Enhanced mmWave LAN ns-3 simulator, https://github.com/yuchen-sh/mmWave-WLAN-802.11ad/tree/master

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