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SOCIS 2013 Ideas

This webpage highlights project ideas for ns-3's ESA Summer of Code in Space 2013 effort.

SOCIS 2013 Timeline is:

  • June 2013: program starts, mentoring organizations can start applying.
  • 20/06: mentoring organizations application deadline (11pm UTC).
  • 30/06: mentoring organizations are announced, students can start applying.
  • 15/07: students application deadline (11am UTC).
  • 31/07: mentoring organizations deadline for reviewing and ranking students proposals (11pm UTC).
  • 10/08: List of accepted students is published. Coding period starts.
  • November 2013: Deadline for students evaluations submissions (11pm UTC). ESA issues final payments. Coding period ends.

Full timeline is here:

While discussions about ideas can be done earlier, please note that ns-3 will not receive an answer to its SOCIS application before June 20.

About the ns-3 project

ns-3 is a discrete-event network simulator, with a particular emphasis on network research and education.

Users of ns-3 can construct simulations of computer networks using models of traffic generators, protocols such as TCP/IP, and devices and channels such as WiFi, and analyze or visualize the results. Simulation plays a vital role in the research and education process, because of the ability for simulations to obtain reproducible results (particularly for wireless protocol design), scale to large networks, and study systems that have not yet been implemented. A particular emphasis in ns-3 is the high degree of realism in the models (including frameworks for real application and kernel code) and integration of the tool with virtual machine environments and testbeds; we view that researchers need to move more effortlessly between simulation, testbeds, and live experiments, and ns-3 is designed to facilitate that.

ns-3 has been in development since 2005 and has been making quarterly releases since June 2008 (our last release was ns-3.10 in January 2011). ns-3 is replacing the popular ns-2 tool which was developed in the 1997-2000 timeframe but became out of date and unmaintained. The tool is coming into wide use; our web server logged almost 51,000 successful downloads of our released software between January 2011 and January 2012, and we have a users mailing list of about 2392 members now averaging 574 posts per month. The code base has a total of 113 authors and 25 maintainers.

Our SOCIS organizational admin is Tommaso Pecorella and our backup org admin is To be Defined. The project has participated in GSoCs during 2008-10 and 2012-2013. It never partecipated to SOCIS.

Mentors will be paired with students based on the projects that are selected. Mentors from companies are welcome, if the employer will permit the mentor sufficient time to perform the mentoring. Prospective mentors should notify Tommaso Pecorella of interest. Mentors familiar with ns-3 development practices will be preferred, to improve the chances of student code merge.

Getting started

For students interested in applying to ns-3 for SOCIS, go through the following list to get started:

  • Read the official Student Participant Agreement.
  • Read SOCS FAQ. In particular
  • * Double check if you can participate: Eligibility.
  • Look through our ideas list below to see if you find a project that interests you.
  • Review the ns-3 tutorial thoroughly, if you have not already done so.
  • Look through the GSoC Student application template to start preparing your proposal. The actual SOCIS student application form is not yet available, but we assume they'll be quite smilar.
  • Next, proceed to get in touch with the developers on the mailing list and refine your proposal.
  • In parallel, make sure you prepare a patch as per the Patch Requirement Guidelines. Your application to ns-3 will not be considered if you do not fulfill this requirement.

Project Ideas

The following are a list of project proposals from the ns-3 team for ESA Summer of Code in Space 2013. Applicants are however free to propose their own ideas. In addition, please note that these ideas are not limited to SOCIS, anyone is welcome to work on them. Please email the ns-developers list if you have an idea that you'd like to work on. Applicants are encouraged to look over this list, pick one that especially interests them, think about it, and discuss potential approaches on the ns-developers list. Previous experience with the Google Summer of Code programmes suggest that the more you discuss and refine your proposal on the mailing list beforehand, the more stronger a proposal it will develop into, and the higher your chances of being accepted into the programme.

Due to the SOCIS focus, only space-related ideas can be considered.

Each project idea within a particular priority has been tagged with the following properties:

  • Required Experience: Languages, concepts, or packages with which applicants must be familiar.
  • Bonus Experience: Other experience or familiarity which would be greatly helpful to applicants for this project.
  • Interests: Areas of particular relevance to this project, and an indicator of where successful students might apply their experiences coming out of this project.
  • Difficulty: easy, medium or difficult
  • Recommended reading: pointers to documentation, papers, specific bugs, etc.

Note that all of the projects require some experience and comfort with C++. Project ideas for which C++ is noted as a required experience will require more and deeper familiarity with the language. A similar notion applies to computer networking, BSD sockets, etc: Familiarity is strongly preferred, but is not required except where explicitly noted due to the topic being more advanced in that regard.

Guidelines for project ideas

For mentors who're adding project ideas to the list below, please ensure that:

  • The projects are sized such that there can be a code merge by the end of the coding period. The scope of the project should be such that it is very difficult to not have a code merge by the end of the summer.
  • The proposed projects are not too open-ended. That is, if the deliverables or a clear path to the same are not well understood, it is better kept outside GSOC.
  • There should be a clear merge path to one of the main project code repositories (ns-3-dev, ns-3-dce, bake) by the end of the summer, either because the patches directly apply or they directly apply to an ns-3 module that is in the process of merging with ns-3-dev.
  • The projects are related to Space applications and technologies.

Project Ideas

Template Idea

Mentor: Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

  • Wireless comms for objects teletransportation (BEAMMEUP) This project is cool. The BEAMMEUP project is all about ...
    • Required experience: C++.
    • Bonus experience: Wireless networking, object dematerialization.
    • Interests: Wireless networking, long-distance traveling.
    • Difficulty: medium to hard, depending on what the student proposes to implement.
    • Recommended reading

Satellite Mobility Model

Mentors: Tommaso Pecorella

  • ns-3-SatMobility Satellite communicatoins are affected by satellite and user's mobility. In order to simulate a channel, it is of paramount importance to know the satellite(s) mobility (orbits) and user's mobility (mostly statistical properties to simulate the sky's portions seen by the user). The goal of the idea is to provide a framework to easily define a single satellite or a constellation movement pattern and the user's properties according to a predefined scenario (e.g., urban, hills, mountain, etc.). The framework should come with pre-defined well-known satellite constellations, e.g., GALILEO, GPS, Inmarsat, etc.). The model should also provide an easy way to define the satellite footprints (Satellite-fixed and Earth-fixed footprints is a plus). The model should extend the ns-3 mobility model, and should also be able to provide triggers to enable/disable satellite links (e.g., Inter-satellite links).
    • Required Experience: C++
    • Bonus Experience: Satellite constellations
    • Interests: Satellite visibility, satellite networking
    • Difficulty: easy / medium
    • Recommended reading:

Licklider Transmission Protocol (LTP)

Mentors: Tommaso Pecorella

  • ns-3-LTP Licklider Transmission Protocol (LTP) is a point to point protocol for the use in deep space links. It have a number of interesting properties, mainly related to the constraints found in space links, like ultra-high round trip delay and so on. LTP is currenlty under revision as a proposed standard by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), however its principles are well-known to the satellite networking community, RFCs and reference Linux implementations are available. An ns-3 implementation should comply with the already existing IETF specification and with the CCSDS one.

Bundle Protocol (BP)

Mentors: Tommaso Pecorella

  • ns-3-BP Delay Tolerant Networks (DTN) are a class of networks resilient to either ultra-high delays or link disruptions. Common examples are sensor networks, vehicular networks, military networks and Deep Space networks. To provide the end-to-end network services the DTN protocols, also known as bundle protocols, sit above the link or transport layers of the constituent internets, forming a store-and-forward overlay network. Currently BP has been used for specific projects, but its performances on large-scale topologies is still under evaluation. BP is an application protocol, and should be able to use whatever Layer4 protocol is available, ranging from TCP/IP to LTP. An ns-3 implementation should comply with the already existing IETF specification and with the CCSDS one.

GNSS Broadcast Services

Mentors: Luca Ronga Tommaso Pecorella

  • ns3-gnss-broadcast The European Galileo navigation system incorporates broadcasting functionalities that enable a new set of space-related services. The project aims at realizing a detailed network model of the data broadcasting component embedded in the Galileo system. The model should take into account the geographical position of the user, the instantaneous position of Galileo satellites and the relevant propagation parameters for the space-to-user data link available within the Galileo services.