Wireless Topology Discovery


The Wireless Topology Discovery (WTD) project is an effort to collect data on the dynamic characteristics of a real world wireless network.  Empirical data in this regard is valuable since the dynamic behavior of such a system is difficult to model mathematically.  The long term goal of this project is to test and develop reliable and efficient routing protocols for large, and perhaps geographically constrained, wireless networks.

Current protocols for ad-hoc networks lack validation in real world settings.  Many of these protocols were developed using simplified models, such as pure random motion, for the dynamic behavior of network nodes.  This is quite unrealistic in the real world.  Consider what happens on a college campus around noon.  A large number of network nodes suddenly flock toward the student center and residence hall cafeterias, where lunch is being served.  This may also coincide with the busiest time of the day for network traffic.  The WTD project aims to supply more realistic data for use in testing and developing wireless network routing protocols in this type of setting.

To make such data collection possible, we are currently sysneting up to deploy approximately 300 wireless PDAs, running Windows Pocket PC, to a select group of UCSD freshmen.  This will initially serve as a testbed for preliminary feasibility and software experiments.  Following preliminary testing, additional PDAs will be distributed to all incoming freshmen at UCSD's new Sixth College (opening Fall 2002).  Such wide distribution will allow for the anonymous collection of meaningful data regarding the dynamic behavior of a large wireless network.

If you have questions or comments about this project, please contact me. My homepage is linked below.

For other wireless traces, see the CRAWDAD community wireless data archive at Dartmouth.



The trace data is now freely available for download here.


A technical report has now been released for this project. See the publications section below for a link to the paper. Raw data will be made available soon. Anyone interested in the raw data should contact me at the email address below.


Trace data has now been collected and will soon be made publicly available. Check back periodically if you're interested in the raw data.

A poster (right) has recently been presented at MobiCom 2003 titled "Access and Mobility of Wireless PDA Users".


The Jornada 568s and 548s have been deployed and are now anonymously collecting topology information.


Marvin McNett

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