On-demand power management for ad hoc networks

Rong Zheng, Robin Kravets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Battery power is an important resource in ad hoc networks. It has been observed that in ad hoc networks, energy consumption does not reflect the communication activities in the network. Many existing energy conservation protocols based on electing a routing backbone for global connectivity are oblivious to traffic characteristics. In this paper, we propose an extensible on-demand power management framework for ad hoc networks that adapts to traffic load. Nodes maintain soft-state timers that determine power management transitions. By monitoring routing control messages and data transmission, these timers are set and refreshed on-demand. Nodes that are not involved in data delivery may go to sleep as supported by the MAC protocol. This soft state is aggregated across multiple flows and its maintenance requires no additional out-of-band messages. We implement a prototype of our framework in the ns-2 simulator that uses the IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol. Simulation studies using our scheme with the Dynamic Source Routing protocol show a reduction in energy consumption near 50% when compared to a network without power management under both long-lived CBR traffic and on-off traffic loads, with comparable throughput and latency. Preliminary results also show that it outperforms existing routing backbone election approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-68
Number of pages18
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Ad hoc networks
  • Energy conservation
  • On demand
  • Power management
  • Soft state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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