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USENIX 2002 Annual Conference - Technical Program Abstract

Application-specific network management for energy-aware streaming of popular multimedia format

Surendar Chandra, University of Georgia; Amin Vahdat, Duke University


The typical duration of multimedia streams makes wireless network interface (WNIC) energy consumption a particularly acute problem for mobile clients. In this work, we explore ways to transmit data packets in a predictable fashion; allowing the clients to transition the WNIC to a lower power consuming sleep state. First, we show the limitations of IEEE 802.11 power saving mode for isochronous multimedia streams. Without an understanding of the stream requirements, they do not offer any energy savings for multimedia streams over 56 kbps. The potential energy savings is also affected by multiple clients sharing the same access point. On the other hand, an application-specific server side traffic shaping mechanism can offer good energy saving for all the stream formats without any data loss. We show that the mechanism can save up to 83% of the energy required for receiving data. The technique offers similar savings for multiple clients sharing the same wireless access point. For high fidelity streams, media players react to these added delays by lowering the stream fidelity. We propose that future media players should offer configurable settings for recognizing such energy-aware packet delay mechanisms.
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Last changed: 16 May 2002 ml
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