PublicsafetyNIST - Modeling, Simulation and Performance Evaluation for Future Public Safety Networks

Start: 01 June 2017
End: 31 May 2019
Funding: Industry
Status: Ongoing
Division: Communication Networks
Department: Mobile Networks (MONET)

Network simulation is a vital tool for researching network performance; it bridges the gap between conducting mathematical analysis (which has tractability limits) and network experiments (which may be cost-prohibitive to conduct at scale, or simply infeasible due to lack of hardware). Network simulation relies on a mix of high and low fidelity models of network systems, with realism (to the point of code reuse) in some places, and high levels of abstraction in others. What is needed for research is an accessible, extensible tool with enough basic capability in a problem domain to allow the researcher to quickly move into a problem, tune or extend existing scenarios and models, perhaps write new ones, and conduct simulation campaigns. In this activity, we are involved in a two-year effort to enhance the ns-3 discrete-event network simulator to be just such a basic simulation framework for public safety communications research (PSCR).

Our broad objective can be summarized as follows. We are intensively collaborating with the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST), the University of Washington and the broader PSCR community to further develop ns-3 as an accessible, sustainable, and usable packet simulator for PSCR research. In terms of traditional Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment, ns-3 is a complex, multi-author piece of software that has undergone 26 software releases since 2008, and has been used for thousands of research works, so one could argue that the tool overall is at a TRL 9 level (“fielded and used as intended”). However, it is constantly undergoing improvement, revisions, and new features being added, while at the same time it must track technology developments in the outside world. So the reality is that some parts of ns-3 are very mature and unlikely to ever change, while others parts are much lower at the TRL scale ranging to TRL 2 (“concepts formulated”). We aim in this project to take PSCR models for LTE Mobile Broadband and progress them to the state at which external researchers can use and extend them without much difficulty (i.e. put into operational practice) which might merit a TRL score of 7 for these models.

In this poster we discuss the activities that are ongoing in this line and in particular those related with the model, simulation and performance evaluation of the Radio Access Network (RAN) and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) for public safety scenarios.

In particular, we will focus on support for:

  • UE-to-UE PC5 (Sidelink) support, according to 3GPP specifications.
  • Support for all the three ProSe services, i.e., Direct communication, Direct discovery and Synchronization.
  • Support for simulating ProSe services in in-coverage and out-of-coverage scenarios.
  • Support for 3GPP compliant pathloss models.
  • Decoupling of SGW/PGW to support inter-SGW mobility and more dynamic and scalable architectures, which may be needed in public safety scenarios.