Visual editor and simulator for wireless sensor network systems

VisualSense Modeling of wireless sensor networks requires sophisticated modeling of communication channels, sensor channels, ad-hoc networking protocols, localization strategies, media access control protocols, energy consumption in sensor nodes, etc. This modeling framework is designed to support a component-based construction of such models. It is intended to enable the research community to share models of disjoint aspects of the sensor nets problem and to build models that include sophisticated elements from several aspects.

VisualSense is shipped as a part of Ptolemy II. Under Windows or Mac OS X, to install VisualSense, install the full version of Ptolemy II.

To start VisualSense under Windows, select Vergil - VisualSense from the start menu.

Under Mac OS X, start up a Terminal window and invoke /Applications/Ptolemy/ptII8.0.1/bin/vergil -visualsense

To access the development version of Ptolemy II (which contains VisualSense), see

  • October 28, 2010: VisualSense-8.0.1 is available as part of the Ptolemy II 8.0.1 release.
  • November, 2009 A paper by researchers outside of the Ptolemy group features VisualSense:
    Rosello, V., Portilla, J., Krasteva, Y.E., Riesgo, T."Wireless sensor network modular node modeling and simulation with VisualSense," p 2685 - 2689, 3-5 Nov. 2009 Industrial Electronics, 2009. IECON '09. 35th Annual Conference of IEEE (DOI)
  • April 4, 2008: VisualSense-7.0.1 is available as part of the Ptolemy II 7.0.1 release.
  • February 4, 2007: VisualSense-6.0.2 is available as part of the Ptolemy II 6.0.2 release.

    Viptos 5.1-alpha was released on November 1, 2005. Viptos is an interface between TinyOS and Ptolemy II. TinyOS is an event-driven operating system designed for sensor network nodes that have very limited resources (e.g., 8K bytes of program memory, 512 bytes of RAM). TinyOS, is used, for example, on the Berkeley MICA motes, which are small wireless sensor nodes.
    The Viptos5.1-alpha release is a source only release that works under Linux only. Under Windows, Viptos will not run TinyOS models, though the models are viewable.
    Viptos include the wireless domain that is also shipped with VisualSense.

  • October 6, 2005: VisualSense-5.0.1 is available as part of the Ptolemy II 5.0.1 release.
    This release fixes a few bugs in the 5.0 release.
  • July 21, 2005: VisualSense-5.0 is available as part of the Ptolemy II 5.0 release.
  • August 3, 2004: VisualSense-4.0.1 is available as part of the Ptolemy II 4.0.1 release.
  • The latest version of the VisualSense documentation:

    Philip Baldwin, Sanjeev Kohli, Edward A. Lee, Xiaojun Liu, and Yang Zhao, " VisualSense: Visual Modeling for Wireless and Sensor Network Systems," Technical Memorandum UCB/ERL M05/25, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA, July 15, 2005.