Broadcast is one of the core building blocks of many services deployed on ad-hoc wireless networks, such as Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs) or Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). Most broadcast protocols are however only ever evaluated using simulations, which have repeatedly been shown to be unreliable, and potentially misleading. In this paper, we seek to go beyond simulations, and consider the particular case of PAMPA, a promising family of wireless broadcast algorithms for ad-hoc and wireless networks. We report on our efforts to further our experimental understanding of PAMPA, and present the first ever characterisation of the PAMPA family on a real deployment. Here it has to deal with real network problems such as node, message and sending failure. Our experiments show that the standard PAMPA algorithm out-performs all other protocols in the family, with a delivery ratio consistently around 7%, and a retransmission ratio as low as 4%, for a failure-free run. We use this opportunity to reflect on our findings and lessons learnt when moving from simulations to actual experiments.
complete documentdoi: http://doi.org/10.1186/1869-0238-5-5 (publisher's link)
(available in Open Access)