Enabling Accurate Cross-Layer PHY/MAC/NET Simulation Studies of Vehicular Communication Networks
Journal article, 2011

Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications is required for numerous applications that aim at improving traffic safety and efficiency. In this setting, however, gauging system performance through field trials can be very expensive especially when the number of studied vehicles is high. Therefore, many existing studies have been conducted using either network or physical layer simulators; both approaches are problematic. Network simulators typically abstract physical layer details (coding, modulation, radio channels, receiver algorithms, etc.) while physical layer ones do not consider overall network characteristics (topology, network traffic types, and so on). In particular, network simulators view a transmitted frame as an indivisible unit, which leads to several limitations. First, the impact of the vehicular radio channel is typically not reflected in its appropriate context. Further, interference due to frame collisions is not modeled accurately ( if at all) and, finally, the benefits of advanced signal processing techniques, such as interference cancellation, are difficult to assess. To overcome these shortcomings we have integrated a detailed physical layer simulator into the popular NS-3 network simulator. This approach aims to bridge the gap between the physical and network layer perspectives, allow for more accurate channel and physical layer models, and enable studies on cross-layer optimization. In this paper, we exemplify our approach by integrating an IEEE 802.11a and p physical layer simulator with NS-3. Further, we validate the augmented NS-3 simulator against an actual IEEE 802.11 wireless testbed and illustrate the additional value of this integration.


vehicle-to-infrastructure communication



Cross layer

physical layer simulation

network layer simulation



Erik Ström

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Stylianos Papanastasiou

Chalmers, Signals and Systems, Communication and Antenna Systems, Communication Systems

Hannes Hartenstein

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Erik Ström

Chalmers, Signals and Systems, Communication and Antenna Systems, Communication Systems

Proceedings of the IEEE

0018-9219 (ISSN)

Vol. 99 7 1311-1326 5713803

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



More information

Latest update

4/9/2018 1