User Documentation

Using the WifiNetDevice

The modularity provided by the implementation makes low-level configuration of the WifiNetDevice powerful but complex. For this reason, we provide some helper classes to perform common operations in a simple matter, and leverage the ns-3 attribute system to allow users to control the parameterization of the underlying models.

Users who use the low-level ns-3 API and who wish to add a WifiNetDevice to their node must create an instance of a WifiNetDevice, plus a number of constituent objects, and bind them together appropriately (the WifiNetDevice is very modular in this regard, for future extensibility). At the low-level API, this can be done with about 20 lines of code (see ns3::WifiHelper::Install, and ns3::YansWifiPhyHelper::Create). They also must create, at some point, a Channel, which also contains a number of constituent objects (see ns3::YansWifiChannelHelper::Create).

However, a few helpers are available for users to add these devices and channels with only a few lines of code, if they are willing to use defaults, and the helpers provide additional API to allow the passing of attribute values to change default values. Commonly used attribute values are listed in the Attributes section. The scripts in examples/wireless can be browsed to see how this is done. Next, we describe the common steps to create a WifiNetDevice from the bottom layer (Channel) up to the device layer (WifiNetDevice).

To create a WifiNetDevice, users need to follow these steps:

  • Decide on which physical layer framework, the SpectrumWifiPhy or YansWifiPhy, to use. This will affect which Channel and Phy type to use.
  • Configure the Channel: Channel takes care of getting signal from one device to other devices on the same Wi-Fi channel. The main configurations of WifiChannel are propagation loss model and propagation delay model.
  • Configure the WifiPhy: WifiPhy takes care of actually sending and receiving wireless signal from Channel. Here, WifiPhy decides whether each frame will be successfully decoded or not depending on the received signal strength and noise. Thus, the main configuration of WifiPhy is the error rate model, which is the one that actually calculates the probability of successfully decoding the frame based on the signal.
  • Configure WifiMac: this step is more related to the architecture and device level. The users configure the wifi architecture (i.e. ad-hoc or ap-sta) and whether QoS (802.11e), HT (802.11n) and/or VHT (802.11ac) and/or HE (802.11ax) features are supported or not.
  • Create WifiDevice: at this step, users configure the desired wifi standard (e.g. 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11a, 802.11n, 802.11ac or 802.11ax) and rate control algorithm.
  • Configure mobility: finally, a mobility model is (usually) required before WifiNetDevice can be used; even if the devices are stationary, their relative positions are needed for propagation loss calculations.

The following sample code illustrates a typical configuration using mostly default values in the simulator, and infrastructure mode:

NodeContainer wifiStaNode;
wifiStaNode.Create (10);   // Create 10 station node objects
NodeContainer wifiApNode;
wifiApNode.Create (1);   // Create 1 access point node object

// Create a channel helper and phy helper, and then create the channel
YansWifiChannelHelper channel = YansWifiChannelHelper::Default ();
YansWifiPhyHelper phy = YansWifiPhyHelper::Default ();
phy.SetChannel (channel.Create ());

// Create a WifiMacHelper, which is reused across STA and AP configurations
WifiMacHelper mac;

// Create a WifiHelper, which will use the above helpers to create
// and install Wifi devices.  Configure a Wifi standard to use, which
// will align various parameters in the Phy and Mac to standard defaults.
WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211n_5GHZ);
// Declare NetDeviceContainers to hold the container returned by the helper
NetDeviceContainer wifiStaDevices;
NetDeviceContainer wifiApDevice;

// Perform the installation
mac.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac");
wifiStaDevices = wifi.Install (phy, mac, wifiStaNodes);
mac.SetType ("ns3::ApWifiMac");
wifiApDevice = wifi.Install (phy, mac, wifiApNode);

At this point, the 11 nodes have Wi-Fi devices configured, attached to a common channel. The rest of this section describes how additional configuration may be performed.

YansWifiChannelHelper

The YansWifiChannelHelper has an unusual name. Readers may wonder why it is named this way. The reference is to the yans simulator from which this model is taken. The helper can be used to create a YansWifiChannel with a default PropagationLoss and PropagationDelay model.

Users will typically type code such as:

YansWifiChannelHelper wifiChannelHelper = YansWifiChannelHelper::Default ();
Ptr<Channel> wifiChannel = wifiChannelHelper.Create ();

to get the defaults. Specifically, the default is a channel model with a propagation delay equal to a constant, the speed of light (ns3::ConstantSpeedPropagationDelayModel), and a propagation loss based on a default log distance model (ns3::LogDistancePropagationLossModel), using a default exponent of 3. Please note that the default log distance model is configured with a reference loss of 46.6777 dB at reference distance of 1m. The reference loss of 46.6777 dB was calculated using Friis propagation loss model at 5.15 GHz. The reference loss must be changed if 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n (at 2.4 GHz) or 802.11ax (at 2.4 GHz) are used since they operate at 2.4 Ghz.

Note the distinction above in creating a helper object vs. an actual simulation object. In ns-3, helper objects (used at the helper API only) are created on the stack (they could also be created with operator new and later deleted). However, the actual ns-3 objects typically inherit from class ns3::Object and are assigned to a smart pointer. See the chapter in the ns-3 manual for a discussion of the ns-3 object model, if you are not familiar with it.

The following two methods are useful when configuring YansWifiChannelHelper:

  • YansWifiChannelHelper::AddPropagationLoss adds a PropagationLossModel; if one or more PropagationLossModels already exist, the new model is chained to the end
  • YansWifiChannelHelper::SetPropagationDelay sets a PropagationDelayModel (not chainable)

YansWifiPhyHelper

Physical devices (base class ns3::WifiPhy) connect to ns3::YansWifiChannel models in ns-3. We need to create WifiPhy objects appropriate for the YansWifiChannel; here the YansWifiPhyHelper will do the work.

The YansWifiPhyHelper class configures an object factory to create instances of a YansWifiPhy and adds some other objects to it, including possibly a supplemental ErrorRateModel and a pointer to a MobilityModel. The user code is typically:

YansWifiPhyHelper wifiPhyHelper;
wifiPhyHelper.SetChannel (wifiChannel);

The default YansWifiPhyHelper is configured with TableBasedErrorRateModel (ns3::TableBasedErrorRateModel). You can change the error rate model by calling the YansWifiPhyHelper::SetErrorRateModel method.

Optionally, if pcap tracing is needed, a user may use the following command to enable pcap tracing:

YansWifiPhyHelper::SetPcapDataLinkType (enum SupportedPcapDataLinkTypes dlt)

ns-3 supports RadioTap and Prism tracing extensions for 802.11.

Note that we haven’t actually created any WifiPhy objects yet; we’ve just prepared the YansWifiPhyHelper by telling it which channel it is connected to. The Phy objects are created in the next step.

In order to enable 802.11n/ac/ax MIMO, the number of antennas as well as the number of supported spatial streams need to be configured. For example, this code enables MIMO with 2 antennas and 2 spatial streams:

wifiPhyHelper.Set ("Antennas", UintegerValue (2));
wifiPhyHelper.Set ("MaxSupportedTxSpatialStreams", UintegerValue (2));
wifiPhyHelper.Set ("MaxSupportedRxSpatialStreams", UintegerValue (2));

It is also possible to configure less streams than the number of antennas in order to benefit from diversity gain, and to define different MIMO capabilities for downlink and uplink. For example, this code configures a node with 3 antennas that supports 2 spatial streams in downstream and 1 spatial stream in upstream:

wifiPhyHelper.Set ("Antennas", UintegerValue (3));
wifiPhyHelper.Set ("MaxSupportedTxSpatialStreams", UintegerValue (2));
wifiPhyHelper.Set ("MaxSupportedRxSpatialStreams", UintegerValue (1));

802.11n PHY layer can support both 20 (default) or 40 MHz channel width, and 802.11ac/ax PHY layer can use either 20, 40, 80 (default) or 160 MHz channel width. See below for further documentation on setting the frequency, channel width, and channel number.

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211ac);
wifi.SetRemoteStationManager ("ns3::ConstantRateWifiManager",
                              "DataMode", StringValue ("VhtMcs9"),
                              "ControlMode", StringValue ("VhtMcs0"));

//Install PHY and MAC
Ssid ssid = Ssid ("ns3-wifi");
WifiMacHelper mac;

mac.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac",
             "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
             "ActiveProbing", BooleanValue (false));

NetDeviceContainer staDevice;
staDevice = wifi.Install (phy, mac, wifiStaNode);

mac.SetType ("ns3::ApWifiMac",
             "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid));

NetDeviceContainer apDevice;
apDevice = wifi.Install (phy, mac, wifiApNode);

Channel, frequency, and channel width configuration

There are a few ns3::WifiPhy parameters that are related, and cannot be set completely independently, concerning the frequency and channel width that the device is tuned to. These are:

  • WifiPhyStandard: For example, 802.11b, 802.11n, etc.
  • Frequency
  • ChannelWidth
  • ChannelNumber

It is possible to set the above to incompatible combinations (e.g. channel number 1 with 40 MHz channel width on frequency 4915 MHz). In addition, the latter three values above are attributes; it is possible to set them in a number of ways:

  • by setting global configuration default; e.g.
Config::SetDefault ("ns3::WifiPhy::ChannelNumber", UintegerValue (3));
  • by setting an attribute value in the helper; e.g.
YansWifiPhyHelper wifiPhyHelper = YansWifiPhyHelper::Default ();
wifiPhyHelper.Set ("ChannelNumber", UintegerValue (3));
  • by setting the WifiHelper::SetStandard (enum WifiStandard) method; and
  • by performing post-installation configuration of the option, either via a Ptr to the WifiPhy object, or through the Config namespace; e.g.:
Config::Set ("/NodeList/0/DeviceList/*/$ns3::WifiNetDevice/Phy/$ns3::WifiPhy/ChannelNumber",
             UintegerValue (3));

This section provides guidance on how to configure these settings in a coherent manner, and what happens if non-standard values are chosen.

WifiHelper::SetStandard()

WifiHelper::SetStandard () is a method to set various parameters in the Mac and Phy to standard values and some reasonable defaults. For example, SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211a) will set the WifiPhy to Channel 36 in the 5 GHz band, among other settings appropriate for 802.11a.

The following values for WifiStandard are defined in src/wifi/model/wifi-standards.h:

WIFI_STANDARD_80211a,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211b,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211g,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211p,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211n_2_4GHZ,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211n_5GHZ,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211ac,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211ax_2_4GHZ,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211ax_5GHZ,
WIFI_STANDARD_80211ax_6GHZ

By default, the WifiHelper (the typical use case for WifiPhy creation) will configure the WIFI_STANDARD_80211a standard by default. Other values for standards should be passed explicitly to the WifiHelper object.

If user has not already separately configured Frequency or ChannelNumber when SetStandard is called, the user obtains default values, in addition (e.g. channel 1 for 802.11b/g, or channel 36 for a/n), in addition to an appropriate ChannelWidth value for the standard (typically, 20 MHz, but 80 MHz for 802.11ac/ax).

WifiPhy attribute interactions

Users should keep in mind that the two attributes that matter most within the model code are WifiPhy::Frequency and WifiPhy::ChannelWidth; these are the ones directly used to set transmission parameters. WifiPhy::ChannelNumber and WifiHelper::SetStandard () are convenience shorthands for setting frequency and channel width. The ns3::WifiPhy contains code to keep these values aligned and to generate runtime errors in some cases if users set these attributes to incompatible values.

The pair (WifiPhyStandard, ChannelNumber) is an alias for a pair of (Frequency/ChannelWidth) items. Valid combinations are stored in a map within WifiPhy that is populated with well-known values but that can be dynamically extended at runtime.

WifiPhy::Frequency

The WifiPhy channel center frequency is set by the attribute Frequency in the class WifiPhy. It is expressed in units of MHz. By default, this attribute is set to the value 0 to indicate that no value is configured.

Note that this is a change in definition from ns-3.25 and earlier releases, where this attribute referred to the start of the overall frequency band on which the channel resides, not the specific channel center frequency.

WifiPhy::ChannelWidth

The WifiPhy channel width is set by the attribute ChannelWidth in the class WifiPhy. It is expressed in units of MHz. By default, this attribute is set to the value 20. Allowable values are 5, 10, 20, 22, 40, 80, or 160 (MHz).

WifiPhy::ChannelNumber

Several channel numbers are defined and well-known in practice. However, valid channel numbers vary by geographical region around the world, and there is some overlap between the different standards.

In ns-3, the class WifiPhy contains an attribute ChannelNumber that is, by default, set to the value 0. The value 0 indicates that no channel number has been set by the user.

In ns-3, a ChannelNumber may be defined or unknown. These terms are not found in the code; they are just used to describe behavior herein.

If a ChannelNumber is defined, it means that WifiPhy has stored a map of ChannelNumber to the center frequency and channel width commonly known for that channel in practice. For example:

  • Channel 1, when IEEE 802.11b is configured, corresponds to a channel width of 22 MHz and a center frequency of 2412 MHz.
  • Channel 36, when IEEE 802.11n is configured at 5 GHz, corresponds to a channel width of 20 MHz and a center frequency of 5180 MHz.

The following channel numbers are well-defined for 2.4 GHz standards:

  • channels 1-14 with ChannelWidth of 22 MHz for 802.11b
  • channels 1-14 with ChannelWidth of 20 MHz for 802.11n-2.4GHz and 802.11g

The following channel numbers are well-defined for 5 GHz standards:

ChannelWidth ChannelNumber
20 MHz 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, 144, 149, 153, 161, 165, 169
40 MHz 38, 46, 54, 62, 102, 110, 118, 126, 134, 142, 151, 159
80 MHz 42, 58, 106, 122, 138, 155
160 MHz 50, 114
10 MHz (802.11p) 172, 174, 176, 178, 180, 182, 184
5 MHz (802.11p) 171, 173, 175, 177, 179, 181, 183

The following channel numbers are well-defined for 6 GHz standards (802.11ax only):

ChannelWidth ChannelNumber
20 MHz 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, 37, 41, 45, 49, 53, 57, 61, 65, 69, 73, 77, 81, 85, 89, 93, 97, 101, 105, 109, 113, 117, 121, 125, 129, 133, 137, 141, 145, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165, 169, 173, 177, 181, 185, 189, 193, 197, 201, 205, 209, 213, 217, 221, 225, 229, 233
40 MHz 3, 11, 19, 27, 35, 43, 51, 59, 67, 75, 83, 91, 99, 107, 115, 123, 131, 139, 147, 155, 163, 171, 179, 187, 195, 203, 211, 219, 227
80 MHz 7, 23, 39, 55, 71, 87, 103, 119, 135, 151, 167, 183, 199, 215
160 MHz 15, 47, 79, 111, 143, 175, 207

The channel number may be set either before or after creation of the WifiPhy object.

If an unknown channel number (other than zero) is configured, the simulator will exit with an error; for instance, such as:

Ptr<WifiPhy> wifiPhy = ...;
wifiPhy->SetAttribute ("ChannelNumber", UintegerValue (1321));

The known channel numbers are defined in the implementation file src/wifi/model/wifi-phy.cc. Of course, this file may be edited by users to extend to additional channel numbers. Below, we describe how new channel numbers may be defined dynamically at run-time.

If a known channel number is configured against an incorrect value of the WifiPhyStandard, the simulator will exit with an error; for instance, such as:

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211n_5GHZ);
...
Ptr<WifiPhy> wifiPhy = ...;
wifiPhy->SetAttribute ("ChannelNumber", UintegerValue (14));

In the above, while channel number 14 is well-defined in practice for 802.11b only, it is for 2.4 GHz band, not 5 GHz band.

Defining a new channel number

Users may define their own channel number so that they can later refer to the channel by number.

The method is WifiPhy::DefineChannelNumber () and it takes the following arguments:

  • uint16_t channelNumber
  • enum WifiPhyStandard standard
  • uint32_t frequency
  • uint32_t channelWidth

The pair of (channelNumber, standard) are used as an index to a map that returns a Frequency and ChannelWidth. By calling this method, one can dynamically add members to the map. For instance, let’s suppose that you previously configured WIFI_PHY_STANDARD_80211a, and wanted to define a new channel number ‘34’ of width 20 MHz and at center frequency 5160 MHz.

If you try to simply configure ChannelNumber to the value 34, it will fail, since 34 is undefined. However, you can use DefineChannelNumber as follows:

Ptr<WifiPhy> wifiPhy = ...;
wifiPhy->DefineChannelNumber (34, WIFI_PHY_STANDARD_80211a, 5160, 20);

and then later you can refer to channel number 34 in your program, which will configure a center operating frequency of 5160 MHz and a width of 20 MHz.

The steps can be repeated to explicitly configure the same channel for multiple standards:

wifiPhy->DefineChannelNumber (34, WIFI_PHY_STANDARD_80211a, 5160, 20);
wifiPhy->DefineChannelNumber (34, WIFI_PHY_STANDARD_80211n_5GHZ, 5160, 20);

or for a wildcard, unspecified standard:

wifiPhy->DefineChannelNumber (34, WIFI_PHY_STANDARD_UNSPECIFIED, 5160, 20);

Order of operation issues

Depending on the default values used and the order of operation in setting the values for the standard, channel width, frequency, and channel number, different configurations can be obtained. Below are some common use cases.

  • (accepting the standard defaults): If a user has not already separately configured frequency or channel number when WifiHelper::SetStandard () is called, the user gets default values (e.g. channel 1 for 802.11b/g/n, channel 36 for a/n with 20 MHz channel widths and channel 42 for ac/ax with 80 MHz channel widths)
  • (overwriting the standard channel): If the user has previously configured (e.g. via SetDefault) either frequency or channel number when SetStandard is called, and the frequency or channel number are appropriate for the standard being configured, they are not overwritten
  • (changing the standard channel after Install): The user may also call WifiHelper::SetStandard () after Install () and either configure the frequency to something different, or configure the channel number to something different. Note that if the channel number is undefined for the standard that was previously set, an error will occur.
  • (changing to non-standard frequency): If the user configures a frequency outside the standardized frequency range for the current WifiPhyStandard, this is OK. This allows users to experiment with wifi on e.g. whitespace frequencies but still use SetStandard to set all of the other configuration details.
  • (interaction between channel number and frequency): If the user sets Frequency to a different value than the currently configured ChannelNumber (or if ChannelNumber is zero), then the ChannelNumber is set to a new channel number if known, or to zero if unknown.
    • example: ChannelNumber previously set to 36, user sets Frequency to 5200, then ChannelNumber gets automatically set to 40
    • example: ChannelNumber set to 36, user later sets Frequency to 5185, ChannelNumber gets reset to 0

In summary, ChannelNumber and Frequency follow each other. ChannelNumber sets both Frequency and ChannelWidth if the channel number has been defined for the standard. Setting ChannelWidth has no effect on Frequency or ChannelNumber. Setting Frequency will set ChannelNumber to either the defined value for that Wi-Fi standard, or to the value 0 if undefined.

SpectrumWifiPhyHelper

The API for this helper closely tracks the API of the YansWifiPhyHelper, with the exception that a channel of type ns3::SpectrumChannel instead of type ns3::YansWifiChannel must be used with it.

WifiMacHelper

The next step is to configure the MAC model. We use WifiMacHelper to accomplish this. WifiMacHelper takes care of both the MAC low model and MAC high model, and configures an object factory to create instances of a ns3::WifiMac. It is used to configure MAC parameters like type of MAC, and to select whether 802.11/WMM-style QoS and/or 802.11n-style High Throughput (HT) and/or 802.11ac-style Very High Throughput (VHT) support and/or 802.11ax-style High Efficiency (HE) support are/is required.

By default, it creates an ad-hoc MAC instance that does not have 802.11e/WMM-style QoS nor 802.11n-style High Throughput (HT) nor 802.11ac-style Very High Throughput (VHT) nor 802.11ax-style High Efficiency (HE) support enabled.

For example the following user code configures a non-QoS and non-HT/non-VHT/non-HE MAC that will be a non-AP STA in an infrastructure network where the AP has SSID ns-3-ssid:

WifiMacHelper wifiMacHelper;
Ssid ssid = Ssid ("ns-3-ssid");
wifiMacHelper.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac",
                      "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
                      "ActiveProbing", BooleanValue (false));

The following code shows how to create an AP with QoS enabled:

WifiMacHelper wifiMacHelper;
wifiMacHelper.SetType ("ns3::ApWifiMac",
                       "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
                       "QosSupported", BooleanValue (true),
                       "BeaconGeneration", BooleanValue (true),
                       "BeaconInterval", TimeValue (Seconds (2.5)));

To create ad-hoc MAC instances, simply use ns3::AdhocWifiMac instead of ns3::StaWifiMac or ns3::ApWifiMac.

In infrastructure mode without QoS enabled, it is also possible to enable PCF support. The following code shows how to create a CF-pollable station:

WifiMacHelper wifiMacHelper;
wifiMacHelper.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac",
                       "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
                       "PcfSupported", BooleanValue (true));

PCF also supports an option to change the maximum duration of the contention-free period (which must be a multiple of 1024 microseconds). The following code shows how to create an AP with a custom PCF configuration:

WifiMacHelper wifiMacHelper;
wifiMacHelper.SetType ("ns3::ApWifiMac",
                       "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
                       "PcfSupported", BooleanValue (true),
                       "CfpMaxDuration", TimeValue (MicroSeconds (20480)));

With QoS-enabled MAC models it is possible to work with traffic belonging to four different Access Categories (ACs): AC_VO for voice traffic, AC_VI for video traffic, AC_BE for best-effort traffic and AC_BK for background traffic.

When selecting 802.11n as the desired wifi standard, both 802.11e/WMM-style QoS and 802.11n-style High Throughput (HT) support gets enabled. Similarly when selecting 802.11ac as the desired wifi standard, 802.11e/WMM-style QoS, 802.11n-style High Throughput (HT) and 802.11ac-style Very High Throughput (VHT) support gets enabled. And when selecting 802.11ax as the desired wifi standard, 802.11e/WMM-style QoS, 802.11n-style High Throughput (HT), 802.11ac-style Very High Throughput (VHT) and 802.11ax-style High Efficiency (HE) support gets enabled.

For MAC instances that have QoS support enabled, the ns3::WifiMacHelper can be also used to set:

  • block ack threshold (number of packets for which block ack mechanism should be used);
  • block ack inactivity timeout.

For example the following user code configures a MAC that will be a non-AP STA with QoS enabled and a block ack threshold for AC_BE set to 2 packets, in an infrastructure network where the AP has SSID ns-3-ssid:

WifiMacHelper wifiMacHelper;
Ssid ssid = Ssid ("ns-3-ssid");
wifiMacHelper.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac",
                      "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
                      "QosSupported", BooleanValue (true),
                      "BE_BlockAckThreshold", UintegerValue (2),
                      "ActiveProbing", BooleanValue (false));

For MAC instances that have 802.11n-style High Throughput (HT) and/or 802.11ac-style Very High Throughput (VHT) and/or 802.11ax-style High Efficiency (HE) support enabled, the ns3::WifiMacHelper can be also used to set:

  • MSDU aggregation parameters for a particular Access Category (AC) in order to use 802.11n/ac A-MSDU feature;
  • MPDU aggregation parameters for a particular Access Category (AC) in order to use 802.11n/ac A-MPDU feature.

By default, MSDU aggregation feature is disabled for all ACs and MPDU aggregation is enabled for AC_VI and AC_BE, with a maximum aggregation size of 65535 bytes.

For example the following user code configures a MAC that will be a non-AP STA with HT and QoS enabled, MPDU aggregation enabled for AC_VO with a maximum aggregation size of 65535 bytes, and MSDU aggregation enabled for AC_BE with a maximum aggregation size of 7935 bytes, in an infrastructure network where the AP has SSID ns-3-ssid:

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211n_5GHZ);

WifiMacHelper wifiMacHelper;
Ssid ssid = Ssid ("ns-3-ssid");
wifiMacHelper.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac",
                      "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
                      "VO_MaxAmpduSize", UintegerValue (65535),
                      "BE_MaxAmsduSize", UintegerValue (7935),
                      "ActiveProbing", BooleanValue (false));

Selection of the Access Category (AC)

Since ns-3.26, the QosTag is no longer used to assign a user priority to an MSDU. Instead, the selection of the Access Category (AC) for an MSDU is based on the value of the DS field in the IP header of the packet (ToS field in case of IPv4, Traffic Class field in case of IPv6). Details on how to set the ToS field of IPv4 packets are given in the ToS (Type of Service) section of the documentation. In summary, users can create an address of type ns3::InetSocketAddress with the desired type of service value and pass it to the application helpers:

InetSocketAddress destAddress (ipv4Address, udpPort);
destAddress.SetTos (tos);
OnOffHelper onoff ("ns3::UdpSocketFactory", destAddress);

Mapping the values of the DS field onto user priorities is performed similarly to the Linux mac80211 subsystem. Basically, the ns3::WifiNetDevice::SelectQueue() method sets the user priority (UP) of an MSDU to the three most significant bits of the DS field. The Access Category is then determined based on the user priority according to the following table:

UP Access Category
7 AC_VO
6 AC_VO
5 AC_VI
4 AC_VI
3 AC_BE
0 AC_BE
2 AC_BK
1 AC_BK

TOS and DSCP values map onto user priorities and access categories according to the following table.

DiffServ PHB TOS (binary) UP Access Category
EF 101110xx 5 AC_VI
AF11 001010xx 1 AC_BK
AF21 010010xx 2 AC_BK
AF31 011010xx 3 AC_BE
AF41 100010xx 4 AC_VI
AF12 001100xx 1 AC_BK
AF22 010100xx 2 AC_BK
AF32 011100xx 3 AC_BE
AF42 100100xx 4 AC_VI
AF13 001110xx 1 AC_BK
AF23 010110xx 2 AC_BK
AF33 011110xx 3 AC_BE
AF43 100110xx 4 AC_VI
CS0 000000xx 0 AC_BE
CS1 001000xx 1 AC_BK
CS2 010000xx 2 AC_BK
CS3 011000xx 3 AC_BE
CS4 100000xx 4 AC_VI
CS5 101000xx 5 AC_VI
CS6 110000xx 6 AC_VO
CS7 111000xx 7 AC_VO

So, for example,:

destAddress.SetTos (0xc0);

will map to CS6, User Priority 6, and Access Category AC_VO. Also, the ns3-wifi-ac-mapping test suite (defined in src/test/ns3wifi/wifi-ac-mapping-test-suite.cc) can provide additional useful information.

Note that ns3::WifiNetDevice::SelectQueue() also sets the packet priority to the user priority, thus overwriting the value determined by the socket priority (users can read Use of Send() vs. SendTo() for details on how to set the packet priority). Also, given that the Traffic Control layer calls ns3::WifiNetDevice::SelectQueue() before enqueuing the packet into a queue disc, it turns out that queuing disciplines (such as PfifoFastQueueDisc) that classifies packets based on their priority will use the user priority instead of the socket priority.

WifiHelper

We’re now ready to create WifiNetDevices. First, let’s create a WifiHelper with default settings:

WifiHelper wifiHelper;

What does this do? It sets the default wifi standard to 802.11a and sets the RemoteStationManager to ns3::ArfWifiManager. You can change the RemoteStationManager by calling the WifiHelper::SetRemoteStationManager method. To change the wifi standard, call the WifiHelper::SetStandard method with the desired standard.

Now, let’s use the wifiPhyHelper and wifiMacHelper created above to install WifiNetDevices on a set of nodes in a NodeContainer “c”:

NetDeviceContainer wifiContainer = WifiHelper::Install (wifiPhyHelper, wifiMacHelper, c);

This creates the WifiNetDevice which includes also a WifiRemoteStationManager, a WifiMac, and a WifiPhy (connected to the matching Channel).

The WifiHelper::SetStandard method sets various default timing parameters as defined in the selected standard version, overwriting values that may exist or have been previously configured. In order to change parameters that are overwritten by WifiHelper::SetStandard, this should be done post-install using Config::Set:

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211n_2_4GHZ);
wifi.SetRemoteStationManager ("ns3::ConstantRateWifiManager", "DataMode", StringValue("HtMcs7"), "ControlMode", StringValue("HtMcs0"));

//Install PHY and MAC
Ssid ssid = Ssid ("ns3-wifi");

WifiMacHelper mac;
mac.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac",
"Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
"ActiveProbing", BooleanValue (false));

NetDeviceContainer staDevice;
staDevice = wifi.Install (phy, mac, wifiStaNode);

mac.SetType ("ns3::ApWifiMac",
"Ssid", SsidValue (ssid));

NetDeviceContainer apDevice;
apDevice = wifi.Install (phy, mac, wifiApNode);

//Once install is done, we overwrite the standard timing values
Config::Set ("/NodeList/*/DeviceList/*/$ns3::WifiNetDevice/Phy/Slot", TimeValue (MicroSeconds (slot)));
Config::Set ("/NodeList/*/DeviceList/*/$ns3::WifiNetDevice/Phy/Sifs", TimeValue (MicroSeconds (sifs)));
Config::Set ("/NodeList/*/DeviceList/*/$ns3::WifiNetDevice/Phy/Pifs", TimeValue (MicroSeconds (pifs)));

The WifiHelper can be used to set the attributes of the default ack policy selector (ConstantWifiAckPolicySelector) or to select a different (user provided) ack policy selector, for each of the available Access Categories. As an example, the following code can be used to set the BaThreshold attribute of the default ack policy selector associated with BE AC to 0.5:

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetAckPolicySelectorForAc (AC_BE, "ns3::ConstantWifiAckPolicySelector",
                                "BaThreshold", DoubleValue (0.5));

The WifiHelper is also used to configure OBSS PD spatial reuse for 802.11ax. The following lines configure a WifiHelper to support OBSS PD spatial reuse using the ConstantObssPdAlgorithm with a threshold set to -72 dBm:

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetObssPdAlgorithm ("ns3::ConstantObssPdAlgorithm",
                         "ObssPdLevel", DoubleValue (-72.0));

There are many other ns-3 attributes that can be set on the above helpers to deviate from the default behavior; the example scripts show how to do some of this reconfiguration.

HT configuration

HT is an acronym for High Throughput, a term synonymous with the IEEE 802.11n standard. Once the ns3::WifiHelper::Install has been called and the user sets the standard to a variant that supports HT capabilities (802.11n, 802.11ac, or 802.11ax), an HT configuration object will automatically be created for the device. The configuration object is used to store and manage HT-specific attributes.

802.11n/ac PHY layer can use either long (800 ns) or short (400 ns) OFDM guard intervals. To configure this parameter for a given device, the following lines of code could be used (in this example, it enables the support of a short guard interval for the first station):

Ptr<NetDevice> nd = wifiStaDevices.Get (0);
Ptr<WifiNetDevice> wnd = nd->GetObject<WifiNetDevice> ();
Ptr<HtConfiguration> htConfiguration = wnd->GetHtConfiguration ();
htConfiguration->SetShortGuardIntervalSupported (true);

It is also possible to configure HT-specific attributes using Config::Set. The following line of code enables the support of a short guard interval for all stations:

Config::Set (“/NodeList//DeviceList//$ns3::WifiNetDevice/HtConfiguration/ShortGuardIntervalSupported”, BooleanValue (true));

VHT configuration

IEEE 802.11ac devices are also known as supporting Very High Throughput (VHT). Once the ns3::WifiHelper::Install has been called and either the 802.11ac or 802.11ax 5 GHz standards are configured, a VHT configuration object will be automatically created to manage VHT-specific attributes.

As of ns-3.29, however, there are no VHT-specific configuration items to manage; therefore, this object is a placeholder for future growth.

HE configuration

IEEE 802.11ax is also known as High Efficiency (HE). Once the ns3::WifiHelper::Install has been called and IEEE 802.11ax configured as the standard, an HE configuration object will automatically be created to manage HE-specific attributes for 802.11ax devices.

802.11ax PHY layer can use either 3200 ns, 1600 ns or 800 ns OFDM guard intervals. To configure this parameter, the following lines of code could be used (in this example, it enables the support of 1600 ns guard interval), such as in this example code snippet:

Ptr<NetDevice> nd = wifiStaDevices.Get (0);
Ptr<WifiNetDevice> wnd = nd->GetObject<WifiNetDevice> ();
Ptr<HeConfiguration> heConfiguration = wnd->GetHeConfiguration ();
heConfiguration->SetGuardInterval (NanoSeconds (1600));

802.11ax allows extended compressed Block ACKs containing a 256-bits bitmap, making possible transmissions of A-MPDUs containing up to 256 MPDUs,
depending on the negotiated buffer size. In order to configure the buffer size of an 802.11ax device, the following line of code could be used::

heConfiguration->SetMpduBufferSize (256);

For transmitting large MPDUs, it might also be needed to increase the maximum aggregation size (see above).

Mobility configuration

Finally, a mobility model must be configured on each node with Wi-Fi device. Mobility model is used for calculating propagation loss and propagation delay. Two examples are provided in the next section. Users are referred to the chapter on Mobility module for detailed information.

Example configuration

We provide two typical examples of how a user might configure a Wi-Fi network – one example with an ad-hoc network and one example with an infrastructure network. The two examples were modified from the two examples in the examples/wireless folder (wifi-simple-adhoc.cc and wifi-simple-infra.cc). Users are encouraged to see examples in the examples/wireless folder.

AdHoc WifiNetDevice configuration

In this example, we create two ad-hoc nodes equipped with 802.11a Wi-Fi devices. We use the ns3::ConstantSpeedPropagationDelayModel as the propagation delay model and ns3::LogDistancePropagationLossModel with the exponent of 3.0 as the propagation loss model. Both devices are configured with ConstantRateWifiManager at the fixed rate of 12Mbps. Finally, we manually place them by using the ns3::ListPositionAllocator:

std::string phyMode ("OfdmRate12Mbps");

NodeContainer c;
c.Create (2);

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211a);

YansWifiPhyHelper wifiPhy =  YansWifiPhyHelper::Default ();
// ns-3 supports RadioTap and Prism tracing extensions for 802.11
wifiPhy.SetPcapDataLinkType (WifiPhyHelper::DLT_IEEE802_11_RADIO);

YansWifiChannelHelper wifiChannel;
wifiChannel.SetPropagationDelay ("ns3::ConstantSpeedPropagationDelayModel");
wifiChannel.AddPropagationLoss ("ns3::LogDistancePropagationLossModel",
                                "Exponent", DoubleValue (3.0));
wifiPhy.SetChannel (wifiChannel.Create ());

// Add a non-QoS upper mac, and disable rate control (i.e. ConstantRateWifiManager)
WifiMacHelper wifiMac;
wifi.SetRemoteStationManager ("ns3::ConstantRateWifiManager",
                              "DataMode",StringValue (phyMode),
                              "ControlMode",StringValue (phyMode));
// Set it to adhoc mode
wifiMac.SetType ("ns3::AdhocWifiMac");
NetDeviceContainer devices = wifi.Install (wifiPhy, wifiMac, c);

// Configure mobility
MobilityHelper mobility;
Ptr<ListPositionAllocator> positionAlloc = CreateObject<ListPositionAllocator> ();
positionAlloc->Add (Vector (0.0, 0.0, 0.0));
positionAlloc->Add (Vector (5.0, 0.0, 0.0));
mobility.SetPositionAllocator (positionAlloc);
mobility.SetMobilityModel ("ns3::ConstantPositionMobilityModel");
mobility.Install (c);

// other set up (e.g. InternetStack, Application)

Infrastructure (access point and clients) WifiNetDevice configuration

This is a typical example of how a user might configure an access point and a set of clients. In this example, we create one access point and two clients. Each node is equipped with 802.11b Wi-Fi device:

std::string phyMode ("DsssRate1Mbps");

NodeContainer ap;
ap.Create (1);
NodeContainer sta;
sta.Create (2);

WifiHelper wifi;
wifi.SetStandard (WIFI_STANDARD_80211b);

YansWifiPhyHelper wifiPhy =  YansWifiPhyHelper::Default ();
// ns-3 supports RadioTap and Prism tracing extensions for 802.11
wifiPhy.SetPcapDataLinkType (WifiPhyHelper::DLT_IEEE802_11_RADIO);

YansWifiChannelHelper wifiChannel;
// reference loss must be changed since 802.11b is operating at 2.4GHz
wifiChannel.SetPropagationDelay ("ns3::ConstantSpeedPropagationDelayModel");
wifiChannel.AddPropagationLoss ("ns3::LogDistancePropagationLossModel",
                                "Exponent", DoubleValue (3.0),
                                "ReferenceLoss", DoubleValue (40.0459));
wifiPhy.SetChannel (wifiChannel.Create ());

// Add a non-QoS upper mac, and disable rate control
WifiMacHelper wifiMac;
wifi.SetRemoteStationManager ("ns3::ConstantRateWifiManager",
                              "DataMode",StringValue (phyMode),
                              "ControlMode",StringValue (phyMode));

// Setup the rest of the upper mac
Ssid ssid = Ssid ("wifi-default");
// setup ap.
wifiMac.SetType ("ns3::ApWifiMac",
                 "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid));
NetDeviceContainer apDevice = wifi.Install (wifiPhy, wifiMac, ap);
NetDeviceContainer devices = apDevice;

// setup sta.
wifiMac.SetType ("ns3::StaWifiMac",
                 "Ssid", SsidValue (ssid),
                 "ActiveProbing", BooleanValue (false));
NetDeviceContainer staDevice = wifi.Install (wifiPhy, wifiMac, sta);
devices.Add (staDevice);

// Configure mobility
MobilityHelper mobility;
Ptr<ListPositionAllocator> positionAlloc = CreateObject<ListPositionAllocator> ();
positionAlloc->Add (Vector (0.0, 0.0, 0.0));
positionAlloc->Add (Vector (5.0, 0.0, 0.0));
positionAlloc->Add (Vector (0.0, 5.0, 0.0));
mobility.SetPositionAllocator (positionAlloc);
mobility.SetMobilityModel ("ns3::ConstantPositionMobilityModel");
mobility.Install (ap);
mobility.Install (sta);

// other set up (e.g. InternetStack, Application)