A Markov-Based Channel Model Algorithm for Wireless Networks

Almudena Konrad
Ben Y. Zhao
Anthony D. Joseph
Reiner Ludwig

Fourth ACM International Workshop on Modeling,
Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems (MSWiM 2001)
Best Paper Award

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Paper Abstract

Techniques for modeling and simulating channel conditions play an essential role in understanding network protocol and application behavior. In previous work, we demonstrated that inaccurate modeling using a traditional analytical model yielded significant errors in error control protocol parameters choices. In this paper, we demonstrate that time-varying effects on wireless channels result in wireless traces which exhibit non-stationary behavior over small window sizes. We then present an algorithm that divides traces into stationary components in order to provide analytical channel models that, relative to traditional approaches, more accurately represent characteristics such as burstiness, statistical distribution of errors, and packet loss processes. Our algorithm also generates artificial traces with the same statistical characteristics as actual collected network traces. For validation, we develop a channel model for the circuit-switched data service in GSM and show that it: (1) more closely approximates GSM channel characteristics than a traditional Gilbert model and (2) generates artificial traces that closely match collected traces' statistics. Using these traces in a simulator environment enables future protocol and application testing under different controlled and repeatable conditions.