From Networking at ODU-CS

Public: Tmix - Synthetic Traffic Generation Tools and Resources


CRI: CRD: Synthetic Traffic Generation Tools and Resources: A Community Resource for Experimental Networking Research, Michele C. Weigle, NSF - CNS 0709058, 2007-2011, $201,794.

With Kevin Jeffay (UNC), F. D. Smith (UNC), Paul Barford (Wisconsin), and Amin Vahdat (UCSD)
REU supplement, CNS 0830334, May 2008, $6000
REU supplement, CNS 0709058, July 2010, $8175


In order to perform realistic network simulations, one needs a traffic generator that is capable of generating realistic synthetic traffic in a closed-loop fashion that "looks like" traffic found on an actual network. Unfortunately, the networking community suffers from a lack of validated tools and models suitable for synthetic traffic generation. As a result, all too often, networking technology is evaluated using ad hoc workloads with an unknown relationship to traffic seen on real links and hence begs the question of how believable the results of the evaluation are.

This project is a collaborative effort to develop a synthetic traffic generation resource for the experimental networking research community. The resource consists of

  1. synthetic traffic generators for the ns-2, ns-3, and GTNets software simulators, and Linux and BSD-based testbeds,
  2. a repository of datasets to be used by the traffic generators to generate traffic that is statistically equivalent to traffic found on a variety of network links including campus networks, wide-area backbone networks, corporate intranets, wireless networks, etc, and
  3. a set of traffic analysis tools to enable researchers to generate empirical models of traffic on network links of interest and to use these models to drive the synthetic traffic generation process.

We take connection vectors and generate TCP connections starting at the specified time and sending the specified amount of data. Each connection has an initiator (the node that starts the connection) and an acceptor (the node that accepts the connection). These are generally on opposite sides of the network from each other. The typical topology for Tmix in ns is shown below:



  1. Michele C. Weigle, Prashanth Adurthi, Felix Hernandez-Campos, Kevin Jeffay and F. Donelson Smith, "Tmix: A Tool for Generating Realistic Application Workloads in ns-2," Computer Communication Review, Vol. 36, No. 3, July 2006, pp. 67-76. (PDF, BibTeX)
  2. Prashanth Adurthi and Michele C. Weigle, "Realistic TCP Traffic Generation in ns-2 and GTNetS," Tech Report, June 2006. (PDF, BibTeX)
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