Open Access

Simulating Real-Time Aspects of Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Paolo Pagano1Email author,
  • Mangesh Chitnis1,
  • Giuseppe Lipari1,
  • Christian Nastasi1 and
  • Yao Liang2
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20092010:107946

Received: 10 June 2009

Accepted: 10 November 2009

Published: 22 December 2009


Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) technology has been mainly used in the applications with low-frequency sampling and little computational complexity. Recently, new classes of WSN-based applications with different characteristics are being considered, including process control, industrial automation and visual surveillance. Such new applications usually involve relatively heavy computations and also present real-time requirements as bounded end-to- end delay and guaranteed Quality of Service. It becomes then necessary to employ proper resource management policies, not only for communication resources but also jointly for computing resources, in the design and development of such WSN-based applications. In this context, simulation can play a critical role, together with analytical models, for validating a system design against the parameters of Quality of Service demanded for. In this paper, we present RTNS, a publicly available free simulation tool which includes Operating System aspects in wireless distributed applications. RTNS extends the well-known NS-2 simulator with models of the CPU, the Real-Time Operating System and the application tasks, to take into account delays due to the computation in addition to the communication. We demonstrate the benefits of RTNS by presenting our simulation study for a complex WSN-based multi-view vision system for real-time event detection.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Real-Time Systems Laboratory (RETIS Lab), Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Department of Computer and Information Science, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


© Paolo Pagano et al. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.