PP-MESS-SIM: A flexible and extensible simulator for evaluating multicomputer networks

Jennifer Rexford, Wu Chang Feng, James Dolter, Kang G. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This paper presents pp-mess-sim, an object-oriented discrete-event simulation environment for evaluating interconnection networks in message-passing systems. The simulator provides a toolbox of various network topologies, communication workloads, routing-switching algorithms, and router models. By carefully defining the boundaries between these modules, pp-mess-sim creates a flexible and extensible environment for evaluating different aspects of network design. The simulator models emerging multicomputer networks that can support multiple routing and switching schemes simultaneously, pp-mess-sim achieves this flexibility by associating routing-switching policies, traffic patterns, and performance metrics with collections of packets, instead of the underlying router model. Besides providing a general framework for evaluating router architectures, pp-mess-sim includes a cycle-level model of the PRC, a programmable router for point-to-point distributed systems. The PRC model captures low-level implementation details, while another high-level model facilitates experimentation with general router design issues. Sample simulation experiments capitalize on this flexibility to compare network architectures under various application workloads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Multicomputers
  • Object-oriented simulation
  • Routers
  • Routing
  • Switching


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