Leveraging Physical Layer Cooperation For Energy Conservation

IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology - 2013 (to appear)

Authors: Christopher Hunter, Lin Zhong, Ashutosh Sabharwal


Physical layer (PHY) cooperation is a technique for achieving MIMO-like performance improvements on small devices that cannot support antenna arrays. Devices in a network transmit on behalf of their neighbors to act as “virtual MIMO” antennas. Since small devices are typically battery constrained, PHY cooperation immediately leads to the following question related to the energy efficiency (bits-per-joule) of devices – is the performance improvement worth the extra energy costs of transmitting for others? Through an in-depth hardware testbed study, we find that PHY cooperation can improve energy efficiency by as much as 320% or it can reduce energy efficiency by as much as 25% depending upon topology. With this performance gap in mind, we propose the Distributed Energy-Conserving Cooperation (DECC) protocol. DECC tunes the amount of effort each device dedicates to providing cooperative assistance for others so that the energy each device spends on cooperation is commensurate with the personal benefits received by that device. With DECC, users can tune their level of cooperation with completely node-localized decision making. Thus, DECC allows nodes to tap into a large energy efficiency benefit, suffering only a bounded, preset loss when this benefit is not available.


  title={Leveraging Physical Layer Cooperation For Energy Conservation},
  author={Hunter, C. and Zhong, L. and Sabharwal, A.},
  journal={to appear in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology},
Last modified 11 years ago Last modified on Jul 11, 2013, 3:21:16 PM

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