Tsumiki: A meta-platform for building your own testbed

Justin Cappos, Yanyan Zhuang, Albert Rafetseder, Ivan Beschastnikh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Network testbeds are essential research tools that have been responsible for valuable network measurements and major advances in distributed systems research. However, no single testbed can satisfy the requirements of every research project, prompting continual efforts to develop new testbeds. The common practice is to re-implement functionality anew for each testbed. This work introduces a set of ready-to-use software components and interfaces called Tsumiki to help researchers to rapidly prototype custom networked testbeds without substantial effort. We derive Tsumiki's design using a set of component and interface design principles, and demonstrate that Tsumiki can be used to implement new, diverse, and useful testbeds. We detail a few such testbeds: A testbed composed of Android devices, a testbed that uses Docker for sandboxing, and a testbed that shares computation and storage resources among Facebook friends. A user study demonstrated that students with no prior experience with networked testbeds were able to use Tsumiki to create a testbed with new functionality and run an experiment on this testbed in under an hour. Furthermore, Tsumiki has been used in production in multiple testbeds, resulting in installations on tens of thousands of devices and use by thousands of researchers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number8382260
    Pages (from-to)2863-2881
    Number of pages19
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


    • Networked testbeds
    • distributed systems

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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