Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents

Visualizing IEEE 802.11 Network Membership


When simulating wireless networks that overlap in space or where network membership changes over time, getting an overview of the membership of each node can be cumbersome. In such simulations, the IEEE 802.11 network membership visualizer can be very helpful.

In this showcase, we demonstrate how to display the SSID of each node, making it easier to understand the network membership and how it changes over time.

INET version: 4.0

About the visualizer

In INET, IEEE 802.11 network membership can be visualized by including a Ieee80211Visualizer module in the simulation. Adding an IntegratedVisualizer is also an option because it also contains a Ieee80211Visualizer. Displaying network membership is disabled by default; it can be enabled by setting the visualizer’s displayAssociations parameter to true.

The Ieee80211Visualizer displays an icon and the SSID above network nodes which are part of a wifi network. The icons are color-coded according to the SSID. The icon, colors, and other visual properties can be configured via parameters of the visualizer.

The visualizer’s nodeFilter parameter selects which nodes’ memberships are visualized. The interfaceFilter parameter selects which interfaces are considered in the visualization. By default, all interfaces of all nodes are considered.

Basic use

The first example simulation demonstrates the visualization with the default visualizer settings. It can be run by choosing the OneNetwork configuration from the ini file. The simulation uses the following network:


The network contains a WirelessHost and an AccessPoint. The access point SSID is left at the default setting, "SSID". At the beginning of the simulation, the host will initiate association with the access point. When the association process goes through, the node becomes part of the wireless network, and this should be indicated by the icon.

The visualization is activated with the visualizer’s displayAssociations parameter:

*.visualizer.*.ieee80211Visualizer.displayAssociations = true

When the simulation is run for a while, the network will look like the following. Note the icons above the host and the access point.


Multiple networks

The following example simulation demonstrates the visualization when multiple networks are present. The simulation can be run by choosing the MultipleNetworks configuration from the ini file.

The network contains two AccessPoint’s with different SSIDs, and three WirelessHost’s configured to associate with each. We will see the icons being color-coded. When the association processes take place, the network will look like the following. Note the different SSIDs (alpha, bravo) and the colors.


Visualizing handover

The following example simulation shows how visualization can help you follow handovers in the network. The simulation can be run by choosing the VisualizingHandover configuration from the ini file. The network contains two AccessPoint’s with different SSIDs, alpha and bravo. There is also a WirelessHost which is configured to move horizontally back and forth between the two access points. Transmission powers are configured so that when a host gets near one access point, it will go out of the range of the other access point. This transition will trigger a handover.

The communication ranges of the access points are visualized as blue circles. The following animation shows what happens when the simulation is run. Note how the indicator above the host changes after each handover.

Sources: omnetpp.ini, Ieee80211VisualizationShowcase.ned

Further information

For more information on IEEE 802.11 visualization, see the Ieee80211Visualizer NED documentation.


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