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Facebook or Fakebook? The effects of simulated mobile applications on simulated mobile networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Iain Siraj Parris, Fehmi Ben Abdesslem, Tristan Henderson

School/Research organisations


The credibility of mobile ad hoc network simulations depends on accurate characterisations of user behaviour, e.g., mobility and application usage. If simulated nodes communicate at different rates to real nodes, or move in an unrealistic fashion, this may have a large impact on the network protocols being simulated and tested.
Many future mobile network protocols, however, may also depend on future mobile applications. Different applications may be used at different rates or in
different manners. But how can we determine realistic user behaviour for such applications that do not yet exist? One common solution is again simulation, but
this time simulation of these future applications.
This paper examines differences in user behaviour between a real and simulated
mobile social networking application through a user study (n=80). We show that there are distinct differences in privacy behaviour between the real and simulated
groups. We then simulate a mobile opportunistic network application using two real-world traces to demonstrate the impact of using real and simulated applications. We find large differences between using real and synthetic models of privacy behaviour, but smaller differences between models derived from the real and simulated applications.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Early online date1 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Research areas

  • Simulation, Social networks, Opportunistic networks, Privacy, Social-network routing

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