February 20, 2015

On the Fidelity of Network Experiments Using Single Machine Emulation

  • Beshay J.
  • Francini A.
  • Prakash R.

Network emulation strikes the balance between using real machines on full-fledged networks and running software models of applications and networks in simulation environments. Advanced features now available in Linux make it possible to emulate entire networks on a single machine. Nonetheless, particular care has to be taken to ensure that the behavior of emulated networks matches that of real networks. The implementation of the network stack in Linux can lead to erroneous results if not properly configured. In this paper we expose a few limitations of Linux-based network emulation that researchers need to be aware of while performing their experiments. We also propose solutions to ensure the fidelity of emulation results.

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