Building a Lightweight Testbed Using Devices in Personal Area Networks

Qiaozhi Xu, Junxing Zhang

Various networking applications and systems must be tested before the final deployment. Many of the tests are performed on network testbeds such as Emulab, PlanetLab, etc. These testbeds are large in scale and organize devices in relatively fixed ways. It is difficult for them to incorporate the latest personalized devices, such as smart watches, smart glasses and other emerging gadgets, so they tend to fall short in supporting personalized experiments using devices around users. Moreover, these testbeds commonly impose restrictions on users in terms of when and where to carry out experiments making them clumsy or inconvenient to use. The paper proposes to build a testbed utilizing users' devices in their own personal area networks (PANs). We have designed and implemented a prototype, which we call PANBED. Our experiments show that PANBED allows users to set up different scenes to test applications using a home router, PCs, mobile phones and other equipment. PANBED is light weighted with a size less than 16 KB and it has little impact to the other functions of the PAN. The experiment results also prove the realism, effectiveness, flexibility and convenience of PANBED.