Improving IEEE 802.11 power saving mechanism

Eun Sun Jung, Nitin H. Vaidya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents an optimization of the power saving mechanism in the Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) in an Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS) of the IEEE 802.11 standard. In the power saving mode specified for DCF, time is divided into so-called beacon intervals. At the start of each beacon interval, each node in the power saving mode periodically wakes up for a duration called the ATIM Window. Nodes are required to be synchronized to ensure that all nodes wake up at the same time. During the ATIM window, the nodes exchange control packets to determine whether they need to stay awake for the rest of the beacon interval. The size of the ATIM window has a significant impact on energy saving and throughput achieved by the nodes. This paper proposes an adaptive mechanism to dynamically choose a suitable ATIM window size. We also allow the nodes to stay awake for only a fraction of the beacon interval following the ATIM window. On the other hand, the IEEE 802.11 DCF mode requires nodes to stay awake either for the entire beacon interval following the ATIM window or not at all. Simulation results show that the proposed approach outperforms the IEEE 802.11 power saving mechanism in terms of throughput and the amount of energy consumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-391
Number of pages17
JournalWireless Networks
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Dynamic ATIM window
  • Medium access control
  • Power saving mode
  • Wireless network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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