Workshop on ns-3

Research Article

ns-3 Based Framework for Simulating Communication Based Train Control (CBTC)

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1145/2915371.2915378,
        author={Abdulhalim Dandoush and Alina Tuholukova and Sara Alouf and Giovanni Neglia and Sebastien Simoens and Pascal Derouet and Pierre Dersin},
        title={ns-3 Based Framework for Simulating Communication Based Train Control (CBTC)},
        proceedings={Workshop on ns-3},
        keywords={Communication Based Train Control Signaling System ns- 3 Video Streaming Generator Directional Antennas Performance Evaluation},
  • Abdulhalim Dandoush
    Alina Tuholukova
    Sara Alouf
    Giovanni Neglia
    Sebastien Simoens
    Pascal Derouet
    Pierre Dersin
    Year: 2016
    ns-3 Based Framework for Simulating Communication Based Train Control (CBTC)
    DOI: 10.1145/2915371.2915378
Abdulhalim Dandoush1, Alina Tuholukova2, Sara Alouf2, Giovanni Neglia2, Sebastien Simoens3, Pascal Derouet3, Pierre Dersin3
  • 1: Inria, Sophia Antipolis, France and ESME Sudria, Paris Sud, France
  • 2: Inria, Sophia Antipolis, France
  • 3: Alstom Transport, France


In a Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC), a central zone controller server (ZC) exchanges signaling messages with on-board carborne controllers (CC) inside the trains through a wireless technology. The ZC calculates and sends periodically to each train its Limit of Movement Authority (LMA), i.e. how far the train can proceed. A CC triggers an emergency break (EB) if no message is received within a certain time interval to avoid collision. Clearly, it is not desired to have an EB due to signaling messages losses (called spurious EB) and not to real risks for the trains. Quantifying the rate of spurious EBs and predicting correctly CBTC system performance are hard tasks with important industrial relevance. This work aims at filling this gap using simulation to better predict CBTC system performance and avoid extra provisioning before deployment. A typical CBTC system implementation for metro by Alstom Transport is considered. New ns-3 modules (CBTC protocol, Video traffic generator, multi-channel scanning mechanism, 3D antennas patterns) are developed and a piece of existing code is enhanced. The simulation is also used to investigate the dimension of the radio access networks in a realistic environment (specific modems and access point antennas, radio frequencies, train and track models), another aspect also ignored in the previous literature. Last, our approach can be useful to validate some analytical works.