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Network simulation is an important tool for testing and evaluating wireless sensor network applications. Parallel simulation strategies improve the scalability of these tools. However, achieving high performance depends on reducing the synchronization overhead among simulation processes. In this paper we present an optimistic simulation algorithm with support for backtracking and re-execution. The algorithm reduces the number of synchronization cycles to the number of transmissions in the network under test. We implement SnapSim, an extension to the popular Avrora simulator, based on this algorithm. The experimental results show that our prototype system improves the performance of Avrora by 2 to 10 times for typical network-centric sensor network applications, and up to three orders of magnitude for applications that use the radio infrequently.