Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents

Step 6. Using a different metric for automatic routing table configuration


When setting up routes, the configurator uses the shortest path algorithm. By default, paths are optimized for hop count. However, there are other cost functions available, like data rate, error rate, etc. This step consists of two parts:

  • Part A demonstrates using data rate as metric.

  • Part B demonstrates instructing the configurator to ignore a link when setting up routes, by manually specifying a high link cost.

Part A: Using the data rate as metric

When setting up routes, the configurator first builds a graph representing the network topology. A vertex in the graph represents a network node along with all of its interfaces. An edge represents a wired or wireless connection between two network interfaces. When building the network topology, wireless nodes are considered to be connected to all other wireless nodes in the same wireless network.

After the graph is built, the configurator assigns weights to vertices and edges according to the configured metric. Vertices that represent network nodes with IP forwarding turned off have infinite weight; all others have 0. Finally, the shortest path algorithm is used to determine the routes based on the assigned weights.

The available metrics are the following:

  • hopCount: routes are optimized for hop count. All edges have a cost of 1. This is the default metric.

  • dataRate: routes prefer connections with higher bandwidth. Edge costs are inversely proportional to the data rate of the connection.

  • delay: routes are optimized for lower delay. Edge costs are proportional to the delay of the connection.

  • errorRate: routes are optimized for smaller error rate. Edge costs are proportional to the error rate of the connection. This is mostly useful for wireless networks because the error rate of wired connections is usually negligible.


The configuration for this step extends Step 4, thus, it uses the ConfiguratorA network. The configuration in omnetpp.ini is the following:

[Config Step6A]
extends = Step4
description = "Setting different metric for automatic routing table configuration - using dataRate metric"

*.configurator.config = xmldoc("step6a.xml")

*.visualizer.routingTableVisualizer.destinationFilter = "host1"

Below is the XML configuration in step6a.xml:

	<interface hosts='**' address='10.x.x.x' netmask='255.x.x.x'/>
	<autoroute sourceHosts='**' metric='dataRate'/>

The XML configuration contains the default rule for IP address assignment, and an <autoroute> element that configures the metric to be used. The <autoroute> element specifies parameters for automatic static routing table configuration. If no <autoroute> element is specified, the configurator assumes a default that affects all routing tables in the network, and computes shortest paths to all interfaces according to the hop count metric. The <autoroute> element can contain the following attributes: - sourceHosts: Selector attribute that selects which hosts’ routing tables should be modified. The default value is "**". - destinationInterfaces: Parameter attribute that selects destination interfaces for which the shortest paths will be calculated. The default value is "**". - metric: Parameter attribute that sets the metric to be used when calculating shortest paths. The default value is "hopCount".

There are sub-elements available in <autoroute>, which will be discussed in Part B.

Here the <autoroute> element specifies that routes should be added to the routing table of each host and the metric should be dataRate. The configurator assigns weights to the graph’s edges that are inversely proportional to the data rate of the network links. This way route generation will favor routes with higher data rates.

Note that router0 and router2 are connected with a 10 Mbit/s ethernet cable, while router1 connects to the other routers with 100 Mbit/s ethernet cables. Since routes are optimized for data rate, packets from router0 to router2 will go via router1 because this path has higher bandwidth.



The following image shows the backward routes towards host1. The resulting routes are similar to the ones in Step 5B. The difference is that routes going backward, from hosts 6–8 to hosts 0–2, go through router1. No traffic is routed between router0 and router2 at all (as opposed to Step 4 and 5.)

The routing table of router0 is as follows:

Node ConfiguratorA.router0
-- Routing table --
Destination      Netmask          Gateway          Iface            Metric  *                eth1 (      0  *                eth0 (       0        eth1 (      0

The first two rules describe reaching router1 and hosts 0–2 directly. The last rule specifies that traffic to any other destination should be routed towards router1.

The routing table of router2 is similar:

Node ConfiguratorA.router2
-- Routing table --
Destination      Netmask          Gateway          Iface            Metric  *                eth0 (      0  *                eth1 (      0        eth0 (      0

The following video shows host1 pinging host7 and host0 pinging host6. Routes towards host1 are visualized. The packets don’t use the link between router0 and router2.

One can easily check that no routes go through the link between router0 and router2 by setting the destination filter to "*" in the visualizer. This indicates all routes in the network:


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