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Release Notes for Diffusion 3.2.0

1. Compiling Diffusion

Starting with Diffusion 3.1, we use autoconf/automake to configure

There are several options that can be used with configure (for a
complete list, please type ./configure --help). Relevant command line
options for configure are:

--with-ethernet  // Enables wired Ethernet support in diffusion
--with-wins2     // Enables support for the Sensoria WINSNG 2.0 radios
--host=sh4-linux // Enables support for using the sh4 cross compiler
		 // It assumes that the sh4 cross-compiler provided by
		 // Sensoria is already installed and on the user's path.
		 // The configure script will default to gcc/g++ if
		 // sh4-linux-gcc and sh4-linux-g++ cannot be found.

		 // Enables the user to specify where the binaries will
		 // be installed (default is the test directory inside
		 // the distribution)

So, compiling diffusion for the Sensoria nodes, should be as simple as:

bash# ./configure --with-wins2 --host=sh4-linux
bash# make
bash# make install

On the other hand, compiling for wired Ethernet on an x86 machine is:

bash$ ./configure --with-ethernet
bash$ make
bash$ make install

Please remember to remove the config.cache file when compiling for a
different environment, as the file is not always deleted and may
contain misleading information for the configure script.

We tested compiling diffusion on Red Hat Linux versions 7.2, 7.3, 8.0,
and 9.0. It also compiles and runs on other versions of Unix.

2. Before Running Diffusion (Sensoria Hardware)

In order to use diffusion on the Sensoria nodes, you will have to have
streamd running on your system.  We assume streamd will export the
device files /dev/rf/0/flink and /dev/rf/1/flink. Diffusion will not
start if these files are not present.

Starting with Sensoria software version 2.0, streamd is started
automatically when nodes boot, so there is no need to start it
manually for the two radios.

In addition, diffusion expects the radios to be configured as
base/remotes and clusters to be configured before it starts. Use
/dev/rf/*/command to manually configure each radio with the desired
topology (or use clusterd to set up a cluster automatically if a
specific topology is not important).

3. Setting up Node Ids

Diffusion uses a random ID for the each node. This behavior can be
overridden by setting the 'node_addr' environment variable to the
desired ID. Under bash, this can be done with:

bash$ export node_addr=2

When diffusion is compiled to run on emsim (with the --with-emsim
configure flag), it can get its node id directly from emsim's
environment variables. Gear will also be able to get node location
from emsim automatically.

4. Configuration File (Wired Ethernet Environment)

Note that in the wired case, the file 'config.txt' (or an alternate
configuration file, specified with the -f flag) should be present and
contain a list of all directly connected nodes, one node in each
line. If connected nodes are running on a port other than the default
diffusion port (done by using the '-p' flag), this must be indicated
in the configuration file as well. When diffusion initializes, it will
display the list of connected nodes. Also, the configuration file can
include the link quality to each neighbor.  It's an integer from 0 to
100 and will indicate the probability of a message sent by your node
to reach this neighbor. A sample configuration file is: - 3400 - 100 - 30 - 85

In this case, we have three neighbors (, and, to which the probability of a packet getting lost is 0,
70% and 15% respectively. Note that the first neighbor ( is
running on the port 3400 (instead of the default diffusion port, 2000).
Since the link quality is an integer from 0 to 100, and the port number
has to be above 1024, diffusion can correctly guess the second argument's
meaning if there are just 2 arguments in a config line.

5. Running Diffusion

To run diffusion, simply start the 'filter_core' main process followed
by the applications/filters desired.  Please allow a few seconds for
the filter_core to initialize before starting applications and
filters. Be sure to at least start the two_phase_pull filter (where
the two-phase pull and one-phase push algorithms are implemented). For
debugging, the log filter can be used to print all messages arriving
at the node.

To test if things are working, start filter_core, two_phase_pull and
ping_sender in a node. Then start filter_core, two_phase_pull and
ping_receiver in another node. ping_receiver should receive
ping_sender's messages after a few seconds. For example:

bash$ filter_core &
bash$ two_phase_pull &
bash$ ping_receiver

To increase the amount of debug messages, you can use the '-d
debug_level' flag. A debug_level 10 will generate a lot of output. The
default value is 1.

Please note that if filter_core is run with the '-p port' flag, all
other applications will also need it (i.e. two_phase_pull -p port,
agent1 -p port, etc...).

Also, for using the GEAR protocol, you will need to start gear as
well, So, the list of processes to start is:

bash$ filter_core &
bash$ two_phase_pull &
bash$ gear &

bash$ your_application &

Fabio Silva
Information Sciences Institute
University of Southern California