Due to the ever increasing complexity of wireless network design, wireless network simulation engines have become a necessary tool for wireless network engineers. A signal-strength prediction system lies at the foundation of every wireless simulator, making signal-strength prediction for microcells and picocells an important research topic in the radio field. Efficient and accurate methods are needed for use in current wireless network design and future wireless network research.
This paper describes a system, PREDICT, designed for use in wireless radio signal prediction research. PREDICT tracks the expansion of a transmitter's wavefront by modeling the wavefront as an ever expanding sphere centered upon the transmitter. The sphere's expansion is tracked by discretizing the sphere's surface with a triangulation and then propagating each triangular wavefront through the environment. In the propagation prediction of these triangular wave fronts, PREDICT supports reflection, transmission and diffraction based upon the geometric optics (GO) model of electromagnetic waves. Signal prediction is performed through a special summation of the predicted multi-path at a receiver.
PREDICT's algorithms have been specifically designed for use in radio signal prediction. The current environments supported by PREDICT are urban with flat or varied terrain and a single floor of a building, where all obstacles in the environment have vertical or horizontal walls. The system design is flexible, allowing PREDICT to be expanded for use in many different environments. Modularity allows for easy modification to the GO model or implementation of alternate radio modeling methods (one can easily modify PREDICT, or use the results generated by PREDICT, with one's own radio wave modeling methods). PREDICT is publicaly available for any non-commercial use.