Performance analysis of power management policies in wireless networks

Rong Zheng, Jennifer C. Hou, Lui Sha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has long been recognized that energy conservation usually comes at the cost of degraded performance such as longer delay and lower throughput in stand-alone systems and communication networks. However, there have been very few research efforts in quantifying such trade-offs. In this paper, we develop analytical models to characterize the relationships among energy, delay and throughput for different power management policies in wireless communication. Based on the decision when to put nodes to low-power states, we divide power management policies into two categories, i.e., 1) time-out driven and 2) polling-based. M/G/1/K queues with multiple vacations and an attention span are used to model time-out driven policies while transient analysis is applied to derive the state transition probability in polling-based systems. We find that For time-out driven power management policies, the "optimal" policy exhibits a threshold structure, i.e., when the traffic load is below certain threshold, a node should switch to the low-power state whenever possible and always remain active otherwise. From our analysis, contrary to general beliefs, polling-based policies such as the IEEE 802.11 PSM are not energy efficient for light traffic load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1638656
Pages (from-to)1351-1361
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • M/G/1/K with multiple vacations and attention span
  • Power management
  • Transient analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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