Introduction about Sensor network simulator: Sensor network is a specialized discipline that is used for monitoring any applications through wireless sensors and devices. These sensors have an important role in smart city applications (air pollution monitoring) and healthcare (body temperature monitoring) and so on. In recent times, if we consider any application or modern technology sensors play a major role in it. So, this is mandatory to know about sensors and their simulators. Let we start,

“This article contains a group of details that is sensor network simulator, use of sensor network, limitation of the sensor, category, and tools of Sensor Network and more. We will assure you this is useful to gain your knowledge about sensors and their simulators”

           A simulator is a tool that is used for the development of a network and research purposes and it also has the similar behavior of some real-world entities. The main advantage of the simulator is it can be designed depending upon the need of users with some real-world applications and then the individual part of each sensor is constructed by the multiple abstraction levels.

Why do we use simulators?

           Current day, designers are constructing new kinds of wireless sensor networks every day, and arise some issues when the network is built. To overcome these issues the simulators are used for a feasible approach of the sensor network with the quantitate analysis. In traditional methods, constructing a network is based on three techniques. There are,

  • Physical measurement
  • Analytical method
  • Computer simulation

The above three models are used when we design a network it takes more time and also low efficiency. But using a simulator is mandatory to avoid these kinds of issues. Then we are going to deal with some limitations of the simulator. Here, simulators have some problems while it debugs, develops, and deploy the application.

Demerits of Simulators

           In the field of research when direct use of simulators makes some issues as a result of the simulation process. Those limitations are,

  • Each and every simulator has an individual protocol. These protocols are written by its separate kernel this is said to be a Simulator protocol stack.
  • The impact of simulation results is taken based on the installed simulator and also the architecture of the operating system.
  • Finally, we consider the simulated clock in the simulation process is used to increase the time which is constant and the timestamp is decide the time and its constant increment. Here, we want to alternate simulation clocks for better consumption of time.

For modeling, the important real-time characteristics of that are the big challenge of the current trending simulators. So these are some limitations while using the sensor network simulator. Then the next topic we will go through the categorization of simulations. 

Implementing Sensor Network Simulator Projects

Category of simulators

           For considering the research purpose, simulators are used for the simulation of WSN, and hence, the simulator is classified into five different kinds. There are,

  • Instruction level simulator
  • Generic Network Simulator
  • Packet level Simulator
  • Algorithm level simulator
  • Code-level simulator

Instruction Level Simulator: In some kind of simulator model, the execution of CPU is in even cycle level or the instruction level. Sometimes that kind of simulator also acts as an emulator and it’s useful to measure some specific hardware platforms in WSN. This is the role of Instruction level Simulators in a sensor network. 

Generic Network Simulation: 

This simulator is specially made to perform a simulation based on network properties.

  • This simulator provides a simulation result that is a well-defined radio medium but it gives very few details of the nodes in the simulation process. Because the simulation mainly considers the network aspects.
  • Generic Network simulator is used to write the applications based on high-level languages and the coding’s completely different from the other executed real-network of sensors.

Packet level Simulators: This simulator performs its simulation depending on the OSI stack of the network. In this OSI architecture, a stack has a collection of layers. But the simulation process is done by only two layers that are physical layer and the data link layer.

  • PARSEC provides a tool for simulation that is GloMoSim which is used for the discrete event simulation in a parallel manner.
  • NS-2 is one of the emerging and most popular network simulators and it does not achieve the whole target of Wireless Sensor Network but give full support to Internet Packet Networks.
  • For component-based programming models and loosely coupled networks simulation, the suitable tool is J-Sim and it also provides support for process-driven simulations.
  • The extension of the NS2 simulator is SensorSim and it helps to sensor channels models, battery models, and models for radio propagation.

Algorithm Level Simulator: These are the simulators that are based on the algorithm presentation, data structure, and logic. For example, if we analyze the particular algorithm in a wireless sensor network, AlgoSenSim tool is used. The example of AlgoSenSim is,

  • Flooding
  • Localization
  • Distributed routing 

Code-level Simulators: This simulator follows the code for the nodes which is placed in the real sensor network as it is. Before running the simulator the coding is compiled at least once in that particular machine. Here the workstation PC is faster when compared to the sensor nodes.

  The above five types of simulators are widely used in the simulation process and these are the category of simulators. The above section is useful to gain knowledge about types of simulators. Our experts have extraordinary knowledge about these kinds of simulators. Then we will discuss tools that are used in sensor network simulator. Here we discuss eight different kinds of the tool in a detailed manner. Let us see each topic separately,

Tools in Wireless Network Simulator

For developing the sensor networks various simulators can be used. The following list represents some components which are used in recent times of the simulation process. There are,

  • Sensoria
  • Higher version of network simulator like NS-3
  • SenQ
  • Mannasim
  • LecsSim
  • GTNetS (Georgia Tech Network Simulator)
  • JiST/SWANS++
  • Java in Simulation Time/ Scalable Wireless Ad-hoc Network Simulator(JiST/SWANS)


  • Sensoria provide a GUI that allows a user for creating graphical representation in different simulation model then during displaying the result the graphical structure have multiple formats.
  • This tool gives big support for WSN when compared to the other tools in various simulators.
  • This Sensoria tool is efficient to simulate the lower to a higher level of large scale areas and also have complete Graphical user interface properties.

Higher version Network Simulator (Especially for NS-3)

           NS3 is a modern simulator then it handles the discrete event-based simulation. This is useful to simulate wireless sensor networks. But we compared to lower versions of the Network simulator like NS2, which give more accuracy. Here there are some elements for the sensor network are mentioned and they are as follows. 

  • Energy models
  • Media Access Control protocol
  • Packet formats

SenQ: It is said to be a high fidelity simulation process especially for wireless networks because it connects each sensor network to the operating system. In final, it produces the result accurate and scalable.

  • For achieving a scalable environment, protocols and applications of sensor networks are repeated and without changing anything in real-time environments. 

Mannasim: This tool is an extended version of Network Simulator 2 that can be used for WSN.

  • It also has an SGT (Script Generator tool) for creating the TCL script.
  • IoT is NS2 based wireless network simulation process.

LecsSim: It gives a simple way for simulating the distributed algorithm and it is also useful for a large number of the wireless network. It contains some additional models that are, propagation model and common node functionality. 

GTNetS (Georgia Tech Network Simulator)

  • The important rule for GTNetS is to build a structured simulation that is also like an actual network. 
  • This is also useful to study for large-scale networks and also its support for a wide variety of conditions.

JiST/SWANS++: For providing more meaningful and realistic results it’s extended from JiST/SWANS.

JiST/SWANS: This is based on JVM that is Java Virtual Machine and it is useful for discrete event simulators for the purpose of achieving high performance.

  • It also has the same characteristics as GloMoSim and NS2 and it can also use large networks.
  • JiST platform is also adaptable for the SWANS that is a Scalable Wireless Network Sensor.

The above eight tools are mainly used in wireless network simulators. These tools are very important to build a simulator. Finally, we will discuss Testbed for sensor networks. This Testbed is used to have a high-fidelity in the experiments in a wireless sensor network.

Suitable Testbed for Sensor Network

           A testbed is considered as an environment that is useful to create a framework or protocols and it is also able to count the physical parameters. It allows replicable, rigorous, and transparent testing. Here suitable Testbed is,

  • Not Replicable Environment (NRE)
  • Large Scale(LS)

These are the two kinds of Testbeds used in wireless sensor network simulators. So far we discuss entire the details about the sensor network simulator like the use of the simulator, limitations of simulator and types of simulator and tool, Testbed for the simulator. We hope this article is useful for gaining knowledge about network simulators. For further clarification about sensor network simulation tools, kindly contact us.