Fifth International Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques

Research Article

Co-Simulation of ns-2 and SPHERE for Media Independent Handovers

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.simutools.2012.247742,
        author={Martijn Kuipers and Susana Sargento and Jose Monserat and Jorge Cabrejas and Pedro Chaparro and Hugo Pires and Jo\"{a}o Soares and Pedro Neves and Mario Nunes},
        title={Co-Simulation of ns-2 and SPHERE for Media Independent Handovers},
        proceedings={Fifth International Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques},
        keywords={co-simulation ieee 80221 handovers ns-2 sphere},
  • Martijn Kuipers
    Susana Sargento
    Jose Monserat
    Jorge Cabrejas
    Pedro Chaparro
    Hugo Pires
    João Soares
    Pedro Neves
    Mario Nunes
    Year: 2012
    Co-Simulation of ns-2 and SPHERE for Media Independent Handovers
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.simutools.2012.247742
Martijn Kuipers1,*, Susana Sargento2, Jose Monserat3, Jorge Cabrejas3, Pedro Chaparro3, Hugo Pires2, João Soares2, Pedro Neves2, Mario Nunes4
  • 1: INESC-ID
  • 2: IT-Aveiro
  • 3: iTEAM-UPV
*Contact email:


This paper describes a co-simulation implementation of ns-2 and SPHERE. These simulators complement each other by providing support for a group of layers of the OSI communication model. In particular, the SPHERE simulator is responsible for the simulation of lower layers (link layer and physical layer), while the ns-2 simulator provides support for the simulation of the upper layers (network layer, transport layer and application layer). Each simulator has an action plane within the process of co- simulation. The aim of the co-simulation is to simulate heterogeneous handovers between LTE, WiMAX, WiFi and/or UMTS. In order to allow for media independent handovers, our implementation is based on an extension of the base IEEE 802.21 standard provided by NIST. This extension consists on the support of IEEE 802.21 entities on the network side, and on the integration between the IEEE 802.21 framework and the radio access technologies. In the case of LTE integration, this one needed to be provided through the SPHERE framework. From the same simulator, new events such as "link down" and "link up" needed to be implemented. The paper shows how the IEEE 802.21 was successfully used as bases for the integration of the ns-2 and SPHERE simulators. As expected when using co- simulation for different domains, e.g., network and physical layer, the simulation-time is largely dependent on the lowest layer in the stack.