Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Bononi L., Conti M., Donatiello L. A distributed mechanism for power saving in IEEE 802.11 Wireless LANs. In: Mobile Networks & Applications, vol. 6 pp. 211 - 222. 2001.
The finite battery power of mobile computers represents one of the greatest limitations to the utility of portable computers. Furthermore, portable computers often need to perform power consuming activities, such as transmitting and receiving data by means of a random-access, wireless channel. The amount of power consumed to transfer the data on the wireless channel is negatively affected by the channel congestion level, and significantly depends on the MAC protocol adopted. This paper illustrates the design and the performance evaluation of a new mechanism that, by controlling the accesses to the shared transmission channel of a wireless LAN, leads each station to an optimal Power Consumption level. Specifically, we considered the Standard IEEE 802.11 Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) access scheme for WLANs. For this protocol we analytically derived the optimal average Power Consumption levels required for a frame transmission. By exploiting these analytical results, we define a Power Save, Distributed Contention Control (PS-DCC) mechanism that can be adopted to enhance the performance of the Standard IEEE 802.11 DCF protocol from a power saving standpoint. The performance of an IEEE 802.11 network enhanced with the PS-DCC mechanism has been investigated by simulation. Results show that the enhanced protocol closely approximates the optimal power consumption level, and provides a channel utilization close to the theoretical upper bound for the IEEE 802.11 protocol capacity. In addition, even in low load situations, the enhanced protocol does not introduce additional overheads with respect to the standard protocol.
Subject power saving
wireless networks
IEEE 802.11
analytical modelling
C.2 Computer communication networks

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