Parallel Simulation of ATM Networks: Case Study and Lessons Learned

C. L. Williamson, B. Unger and Z. Xiao. TeleSim technical report, April 1998.

Abstract: This paper summarizes our experiences in developing and using a cell-level ATM network simulator called ATM-TN. The ATM-TN simulator was developed as part of TeleSim, a collaborative research project aimed at developing high performance parallel simulation tools for the design and analysis of broadband ATM networks. The ATM-TN simulator provides the fundamental platform for ongoing research in two areas: parallel simulation performance (e.g., optimistic synchronization, partitioning, dynamic load balancing) and ATM network performance (e.g., traffic modeling, ATM switch design, ABR traffic control).

Our experiences with the simulator to date have been largely positive. On the parallel simulation front, we have found that ATM network simulation is a promising application domain for parallel simulation techniques, though there are significant technical challenges to overcome regarding event granularity, simulation partitioning, scheduling, and load balancing. On the network performance front, we have found that detailed cell-level traffic source models, validated against empirical measurements, are invaluable inputs to ATM simulation experiments, such as those studying the statistical multiplexing behaviour of traffic in high speed networks.

Keywords: Broadband networks, parallel simulation, ATM, telecommunication networks