Sixth International Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques

Research Article

Performance of Distributed ns-3 Network Simulator

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.simutools.2013.251729,
        author={Sergei Nikolaev and Peter Barnes and James Brase and Thomas Canales and David Jefferson and Steve Smith and Ron Soltz and Peter Scheibel},
        title={Performance of Distributed ns-3 Network Simulator},
        proceedings={Sixth International Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques},
        keywords={high performance computing mpi network simulation ns-3 parallel architecture performance},
  • Sergei Nikolaev
    Peter Barnes
    James Brase
    Thomas Canales
    David Jefferson
    Steve Smith
    Ron Soltz
    Peter Scheibel
    Year: 2013
    Performance of Distributed ns-3 Network Simulator
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.simutools.2013.251729
Sergei Nikolaev1,*, Peter Barnes1, James Brase1, Thomas Canales1, David Jefferson1, Steve Smith1, Ron Soltz1, Peter Scheibel1
  • 1: LLNL
*Contact email:


This paper presents the results of parallel simulations of mixed networks using the ns-3 simulator. The simulated networks consist of equal number of simple (leaf) nodes and router nodes, which form a small-world network. The active channels in the simulations link pairs of nodes with symmetric source and sink applications. All network traffic is restricted to a single-hop communications. The network partitioning among MPI ranks is accomplished using METIS library.

The performance and scalability of the ns-3 network simulator is examined using a variety of metrics, e.g. memory footprint, packet transmission rate, and runtime statistics. Empirical relations are derived for the memory scaling. Further avenues are identified for improvement of the parallel ns-3 simulator.