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OMNeTA: A Hybrid Simulator for a Realistic Evaluation of Heterogeneous Networks

OMNeTA: A Hybrid Simulator for a Realistic Evaluation of Heterogeneous Networks

Markus Jung

OMNeTA is a hybrid simulation tool combining the strengths of both OMNeT++/MiXiM and Avrora to enable simulations of heterogeneous networking scenarios, which is especially important considering the design and evaluation of protocols for the Internet of Everything.

Download OMNeTA (2015-11-26, experimental)
2015-11-26: Avrora makefile build fixed

OMNeTA is in an very early stage of development. Both the configuration interface as well as several internals are expected to be changed/improved in future releases for both easier use and enhanced simulation performance.

OMNeTA consists of two parts: A modified version of Avrora (which has been also improved with regards to mote support and other aspects in the last years) and a modified version of MiXiM, which includes facilities for integration with Avrora.


  • OMNeTA has been developed and tested for Linux. In theory, everything should be run at other operating systems, or at least be portable at minimum effort. This will be improved when the architecture has stabilized.
  • Because of Avrora constraints, at moment all sensor nodes must run at the same clock speed. This is true for MICAz and IRIS motes. To include also TelosB/TMoteSky nodes, one has to hack their clock speed both in Avrora as well as in the sensor node operating system. This is subject to change in future releases, modifications to the core of Avrora are already planned.
  • OMNeTA is quite slow right now. Work in progress. There is a soft limit of about 8000 seconds simulation time, afterwards some assertions fail due to rounding errors. This will be adressed in a future release dropping floating point arithmetics completely.
  • During development, sometimes deadlocks have been observed in very busy networks of 32 sensor nodes at a simulation system with 16/32 cores. This issue might be fixed now, but we are still investigating the problem - which did not appear on systems with a lower amount of CPU cores.
  • While sensor nodes in Avrora can communicate across OMNeT++/MiXiM, procotol implementations in OMNeT++ are required to enable simulation models to interact with the sensor nodes. There exist implementations for IEEE 802.15.4 and 6LoWPAN which still need to be integrated. This also requires a yet not available adaption layer to translate between the internal, Avrora compatible data format and the high level OMNeT++/MiXiM packet level representations.

There is not much more documentation yet, sadly. Please have a look at the avroraLink example it sets up a sample network of two MICAz motes running a simple TinyOS example application. You need to adjust the paths in the configuration file and also compile Avrora first. Then you should be able to run the example as other OMNeT++ simulation

One final note: At the time of this work, INET-3.0 has been released, which also supersedes MiXiM. We have yet to investigate which changes are required to adopt OMNeTA to INET-3.0