CReTS framework

CReTS (ContRol, nEtwork and Traffic Simulator) is a framework composed of network simulator ns-3, traffic simulator SUMO and Matlab. ns-3 provides packet reception ratios and delays to the controller implemented in Matlab. Different network congestion levels can be simulated by adjusting the number of communicating vehicles using SUMO and the corresponding control performance is evaluated.


1. Traci4Matlab

Traci4Maltab is an Application Programming Interface (API) developed in Matlab that allows the communication between SUMO (Simulation of Urban Mobility) and an application developed in Matlab. Traci4Matlab implements the Traci (Traffic control interface) which is built over the TCP/IP stack, so the application is developed in Matlab where Matlab acts as a client and SUMO as server. Traci4Matlab can access and modify any variable from SUMO (server). It also helps to control SUMO objects such as the traffic lights, vehicles, road intersection, etc.

Traci4Matlab Installation


  • Windows 7X64 or higher
  • Matlab R2017a or higher
  • Sumo 0.19.0 or higher


Traci4Matlab can be downloaded from Mathworks website from the following link. To have SUMO working with Traci4Matlab properly, download the version of 2017. It can be downloaded from here.

Installation steps

After the installation of SUMO on windows, follow the next steps:

  • Step 1: Creation of SUMO HOME environment Variable: Set up the SUMO environment variable with the value corresponding to SUMO installation root directory. If SUMO version is SUMO-0.23.0 and it is installed in C:\ then SUMO_HOME environment variable will be C:\SUMO-0.23.0. To do this on windows: Right click on Windows start button &rarr Right Click on ‘Computer’ –> Click on Properties Options as shown in figure 1 –> It opens the new windows as in Figure 2 –> Click on the Advanced System setting on the left –> This opens a new windows as shown in Figure 3 –> Click on the Environment Variable. –> In the system variable, click on the “New” and confgure the variable according to SUMO installation &rarr It opens new window, fill the details as shown in figure 4 –> Now, Look into the same field for “path” variable and add the path of bin directory of SUMO as mentioned in figure 5. Don’t forgot to miss the semicolon as mentioned in figure 6. If every things went well, creation of SUMO HOME environment Variable is done. Follow the sequence of screenshot of image.
Figure 1 Access to System Properties
Figure 2 Advanced System Properties
Figure 3 Environment Variable creation
Figure 4 Create New environment Variable Path
Figure 5 Edit Path to add SUMO bin directory path
  • Step 2: Set path in Matlab for Traci4Matlab: After download Traci4Matlab and unzip the file and save it over the Matlab Path. Normally it is found in Documents\MATLAB. It can be easily verified from the system where Matlab is installed. To set the path of traci4Matlab follow the steps mentioned below-
Figure 6 Setting in Matlab

Open Matlab –> In the HOME section, search for the option “Set Path” –> Select the button “Add with Subfolders” and select Traci4Matlab folder(unzip one) and finally click save and close. Now after this, setting of Matlab for Traci4Matlab has been done and we have to run the file to set up the connection. Connection set up details is discussed in later portion of this documents.

2. ns-3

Create a Virtual Machine

  1. First step is to install Oracle VM Virtual Box.
  2. Download the Ubuntu 14.04 software (32 or 64 bit depending on your PC).
  3. Make a Virtual Machine with;
    • Sufficient RAM, ±10 GB
    • A hard drive space around 40 GB.
  4. Go into the settings of the machine and increase the video memory up to around 100 MB and assign more processor cores for improving the performance of Ubuntu.
  5. Leave the network settings as default, this will ensure your internet connection will be available within Ubuntu and enables the installing of git and ns-3.
  6. Choose the downloaded Ubuntu .iso file as the start-up disc and launch the Virtual Machine. Make sure Virtualization Technology is enabled in the BIOS settings of your PC.

Prepare installation of ns-3 Since the default installations of gcc and g++ on Ubuntu are outdated, this will result in an error for installing and building the ns-3 software. Therefore, we install the compilers gcc and g++ version 5 (or higher).

  1. Open the terminal in Ubuntu and give the following commands to add the repository for the packages of the compilers:
    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install gcc-5 g++-5
  2. To make the newly installed versions the default compilers, give the commands:
    $ sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-5 90 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-5
  3. Install Git to clone the ns-3 files:
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install git

The system is now ready to install ns-3.

Installation of ns-3 Continue in the terminal of Ubuntu to install ns-3.

  1. Make a folder to install ns-3, e.g. “repos”, and navigate to that folder:
    $ cd
    $ mkdir repos
    $ cd repos
  2. Clone the ns-3 installation files:
    $ git clone
  3. Move into the ns-3-allinone directory and download ns-3, version 3.26:
    $ cd ns-3-allinone $ ./ -n ns-3.26
  4. The system is now ready to build the ns-3 distribution:
    $ ./
  5. Once the project is built, continue with the configuration of Waf, inside the ns-3.26 directory:
    $ cd ns-3.26
    $ CXXFLAGS="-O3" ./waf configure
  6. Lastly, enable examples and tests to test and and verify the installation:
    $ ./waf configure --enable-examples --enable tests
    $ ./waf build
    $ ./

The last command should ultimately produce output like:

PASS: TestSuite histogram
PASS: TestSuite ns3-wifi-interference
PASS: TestSuite ns3-tcp-cwnd
PASS: TestSuite ns3-tcp-interoperability
PASS: TestSuite sample

Extended installation steps can be found here.

3. MATLAB-ns3 Interface

Virtual Network Creation between Windows and a guest OS (Ubuntu 14.04) running on Virtual Machine.

  1. For making two way connection between windows and a guest OS (Ubuntu 14.04), settings have to be made in both OS and in Virtual Box.
  2. Settings in Windows:
    • Go to the windows firewall section, through the control panel.
    • Click on advanced settings. In the page that pops up,
    • Click on inbound rules (left column), then on new rule (right column). Choose custom rule, set the rule to allow all programs, and any protocol. For the scope, add in the first box (local IP addresses), and in the second box (remote IP) Click next, select allow the connection, next, check all profiles, next, give it a name and save. These settings will assign a static IP to windows for TCP communication and will instruct the firewall to not block any data arriving from the afore-mentioned remote IP.
  3. Settings in Virtual Box:
    • File -> Preferences -> Network -> Host-Only Networks -> Edit Host-Only Network -> pv4 address:, Ipv4 Network Mask: -> Uncheck “Enable Server” option under the DHCP tab -> OK
  4. Setting in Ubuntu:
    • Devices Tab -> Network -> Network Settings
    • Under the Adapter 1 tab, choose the options as shown in the following figure:
Figure 7 Setting in Virtual Box

Also, changes will have to be made in the /etc/network/interfaces file. First of all, a static IP will have to be assigned to Ubuntu for the connection. Open up the below mentioned file using the following command

sudoedit /etc/network/interfaces

Edit the file so that it contains the following information:

Therefore, we are assigning the static IP: to the virtual machine OS. Also, navigate to the /etc/network folder and open up the NetworkManager.conf file. It should look like this:

Make sure that the [ifupdown] managed flag is set to false as shown above. Once all this is done, run the ifconfig command in Ubuntu terminal to see if the new static IP is listed or not. Also, try to ping one OS from the other to ensure that a connection has been made.

To summarize, we have created a Host only network to connect the host machine with the virtual operating system. Host-only networking provides a network connection between the virtual machine and the host computer, using a virtual Ethernet adapter that is visible to the host operating system. This approach can be useful if you need to set up an isolated virtual network. If you use host-only networking, your virtual machine and the host virtual adapter are connected to private Ethernet network.

4. Steps to integrate TCP/IP sockets API with NS3 code directory

In order to make use of the Sockets API for establishing communication between the Matlab and NS3, the API libraries need to be inserted into the NS3 source code directory, where NS3 will play the role of a TCP server. In order to proceed, the socket function have first been arranged into appropriate classes. The TCPAcceptor class is responsible for creating a socket on the server, binding a local address to the socket, listening for incoming connection and accepting any connection from Matlab. The TCPStream class is responsible for exchange of data between the two simulators, once a connection is established. In order to use these class, place the following files in the ./ns3/ns-allinone-3.23/ns-3.23/src/core/model directory.

  1. TCPStream.h
  3. TCPAcceptor.h

The aformentioned files can be downloaded from here.

The “src” directory is the one that contains all the source code for NS3. After this step, the source filenames in the above list will have to added to the list of sources files in the src/core directory “wscript” file. There is no need to add header files. See the below mentioned screenshot of wscript file. Add in the same way as mentioned.

Also, create a new folder in the ./ns3/ns-allinone-3.23/ns-3.23/scratch directory named as TCPCodes, and place the above files in the folder along with the “” file which is the main script. Once this is done, build the NS3 modules using “./waf build” command to complete the inclusion of the new codes in the /src/core/model directory. Once this is done, it is possible to use sockets API in NS3 and connection can be established.

5. SUMO-MATLAB-NS3 Interface Simulation Steps

Once all the pre-setting has been done, now to run the complete interface of SUMO-Matlab-NS3, few setting needs to be done in SUMO and Matlab. Here we will run Hello.sumocfg as an example. For different application, changes have to be done accordingly.

SUMO settings Navigate to C:\sumo-0.23.0\docs\tutorial\hello\data** and open **hello.sumocfg file. Change the file as mentioned below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <configuration xmlns:xsi="" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=""> <input> <net-file value=""/> <route-files value="hello.rou.xml"/> </input> <time> <begin value="0"/> <end value="60"/> <step-length value="0.1"/> </time> <gui_only> <gui-settings-file value="hello.settings.xml"/> </gui_only> <traci_server> <remote-port value ="8873"/> </traci_server> </configuration>

The last part in the previous XML code (i.e. <traci_server> <remote-port value ="8873"/> </traci_server>) is added to the current hello.sumocfg file. This part is to create a connection to Matlab. Also for the current scenario, we have considered 3 car in the straight road with single lane. So hello.rou file need to be change as given below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <routes xmlns:xsi="" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=""> <vType accel="1.0" decel="5.0" id="Car" length="5.0" minGap="2.0" maxSpeed="50.0" sigma="0" /> <route id="route0" edges="1to2 out" /> <vehicle depart="0" id="veh0" route="route0" departPos="random" departSpeed="random" type="Car" /> <vehicle depart="0" id="veh1" route="route0" departPos="random" departSpeed="random" type="Car" /> <vehicle depart="0" id="veh2" route="route0" departPos="random" departSpeed="random" type="Car" /> </routes>

Once this is done, SUMO is ready to make a connection with Matlab.

Relevant Publications

[1] Amr Ibrahim, Chetan Belagal Math, Dip Goswami, Twan Basten, and Hong Li. “Co-simulation framework for control, communication and traffic for vehicle platoons.” In 2018 21st Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), pp. 352-356. IEEE, 2018.

[2] Amr Ibrahim, Mladen Čičić, Dip Goswami, Twan Basten, and Karl Henrik Johansson. “Control of Platooned Vehicles in Presence of Traffic Shock Waves.” In 2019 IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), pp. 1727-1734. IEEE, 2019.


The version that is tested for this framewrok can be downloaded from here.


Amr Ibrahim
Sajith Muhammed
Gaurav Pathak
Chetan Belagal Math