CRAWDAD tools/analyze/pcap/wifidelity (v. 2008-10-05)

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University of Maryland
University of Maryland
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Wifidelity toolkit - Trace statistics and timing.

The Wifidelity package consists of two tools to identify the completeness and accuracy of 802.11 packet traces. "tracestats" uses 802.11 sequence numbers to quantify completeness, and the "plotscore" script generates a T-Fi plot: an at-a-glance, heatmap visualization of completeness versus load. "tracetiming" uses AP Beacon intervals to quantify packet timestamp accuracy and "plottiming" produces a line plot of timestamp accuracy.

Lastmodified :


Dataname :


File :


Releasedate :


Change :

the initial version.

References :

The WiFidelity web page

Website :

Keyword :

802.11 frames
packet trace
signal strength

License :

This software is released under the GNU GPL.

Build :

- Requirements:

plotscore, plottiming:
gnuplot >= 4.0

tracestats, tracetiming:
Perl with 64 bit support
Perl lib Net::Pcap

- Files:

tracestats - print trace statistics on beacon intervals
tracetiming - print trace timing information on beacon intervals

Wifidelity/ - Pcap interface
Wifidelity/ - Statistics
Wifidelity/ - 802.11 constants
Wifidelity/ - Timing

Output :

- plotscore, plottiming:
.eps file in the same folder as the input data file

Parameters :

The default package can only parse pcap traces. If you would like to add
a parser for another trace type follow the interface in In the future
this procedure will be simplified.

Usage :

see ./tracestats -h
see ./tracetiming -h
./plotscore stats-file "title"
./plottiming timing-file "title" Min us:Max us

Example :

For sample T-Fi plots, please visit the tool homepage ( )

Algorithm :

Packet traces from 802.11 wireless networks are incomplete
both fundamentally, because antennas do not pick up every transmission,
and practically, because the hardware and software of collection may be
under provisioned. One strategy toward improving the completeness of
a trace of wireless network traffic is to deploy several monitors; these are
likely to capture (and miss) different packets. Merging these traces into
a single, coherent view requires inferring access point (AP) and client
behavior; these inferences introduce errors.

The WiFidelity tool implements methods to evaluate the fidelity of merged
and independent wireless network traces. We show that wireless traces
contain sufficient information to measure their completeness and clock
accuracy. Specifically, packet sequence numbers indicate when packets
have been dropped, and AP beacon intervals help determine the accuracy
of packet timestamps. We also show that trace completeness and clock
accuracy can vary based on load. We apply these metrics to evaluate
fidelity in two ways: (1) to visualize the completeness of different 802.11
traces, which we show with several traces available on CRAWDAD and
(2) to estimate the uncertainty in the time measurements made by the
individual monitors.

The files in this directory are a CRAWDAD toolset hosted by IEEE DataPort. 

About CRAWDAD: the Community Resource for Archiving Wireless Data At Dartmouth is a data resource for the research community interested in wireless networks and mobile computing. 

CRAWDAD was founded at Dartmouth College in 2004, led by Tristan Henderson, David Kotz, and Chris McDonald. CRAWDAD toolsets are hosted by IEEE DataPort as of November 2022. 

Note: Please use the tools in an ethical and responsible way with the aim of doing no harm to any person or entity for the benefit of society at large. Please respect the privacy of any human subjects whose wireless-network activity is captured by the tools and comply with all applicable laws, including without limitation such applicable laws pertaining to the protection of personal information, security of data, and data breaches. Please do not apply, adapt or develop algorithms for the extraction of the true identity of users and other information of a personal nature, which might constitute personally identifiable information or protected health information under any such applicable laws. Do not publish or otherwise disclose to any other person or entity any information that constitutes personally identifiable information or protected health information under any such applicable laws derived from the tools through manual or automated techniques. 

Please acknowledge the source of the tools in any publications or presentations reporting use of this tools. 


Aaron Schulman, Dave Levin, Neil Spring, CRAWDAD toolset tools/analyze/pcap/wifidelity (v. 2008‑10‑05), see also, Apr 2008.


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