mca 16(8): e1

Research Article

CIDRarchy: CIDR-based ns-3 Routing Protocol for Large Scale Network Simulation

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.24-8-2015.2261082,
        author={Pedro Silva and Jaime Dias and Manuel Ricardo},
        title={CIDRarchy: CIDR-based ns-3 Routing Protocol for Large Scale Network Simulation},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Mobile Communications and Applications},
        keywords={ns-3, cidr, routing, forwarding},
  • Pedro Silva
    Jaime Dias
    Manuel Ricardo
    Year: 2017
    CIDRarchy: CIDR-based ns-3 Routing Protocol for Large Scale Network Simulation
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.24-8-2015.2261082
Pedro Silva,*, Jaime Dias1, Manuel Ricardo1
  • 1: INESC TEC, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto
*Contact email:


ns-3 is the successor of ns-2, the most popular network simulator. Network simulators such as ns-3 play an important role on understanding, designing, and building Internet systems. But simulations are only as good as their models, and the simulation of large scale Internet systems using accurate and complex models is a challenging task. ns-3 simulates realistically the network stack but the scale and complexity of the Internet topology is, from our point of view, limited by the IP forwarding operations. This work proposes CIDRarchy, an IPv4 routing protocol for ns-3 that uses CIDR as the base to create an hierarchical Internet-like network topology that enables (1) IP forwarding with constant time complexity and automatic IPv4 address assignment, and (2) the implementation of an ns-3 helper to ease network topology creation. We implemented CIDRarchy, evaluated its performance, and obtained simulation time reduction over existing ns-3 routing protocols implementations that can reach over one order of magnitude.