Guided-Processing Outperforms Duty-Cycling for Energy-Efficient Systems

Long N. Le, Douglas L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energy efficiency is highly desirable for sensing systems in the Internet of Things. A common approach to achieve low-power systems is duty cycling, where components in a system are turned OFF periodically to meet an energy budget. However, this paper shows that such an approach is not necessarily optimal in energy efficiency, and proposes guided processing as a fundamentally better alternative. The proposed approach offers: 1) explicit modeling of performance uncertainties in system internals; 2) a realistic resource consumption model; and 3) a key insight into the superiority of guided processing over duty cycling. Generalization from the cascade structure to the more general graph-based one is also presented. Once applied to optimize a large-scale audio sensing system with a practical detection application, empirical results show that the proposed approach significantly improves the detection performance (up to 1.7 times and 4 times reduction in false alarm and miss rate, respectively) for the same energy consumption, when compared with the duty-cycling approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7924310
Pages (from-to)2414-2426
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Guided-processing
  • IoT
  • duty-cycling
  • energy-efficient systems
  • resource-aware optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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