Delay performance in random-access networks

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We explore the achievable delay performance in wireless random-access networks. While relatively simple and inherently distributed in nature, suitably designed queue-based random-access schemes provide the striking capability to match the optimal throughput performance of centralized scheduling mechanisms in a wide range of scenarios. The specific type of activation rules for which throughput optimality has been established, may however yield excessive queues and delays. Motivated by that issue, we examine whether the poor delay performance is inherent to the basic operation of these schemes, or caused by the specific kind of activation rules. We derive delay lower bounds for queue-based activation rules, which offer fundamental insight in the cause of the excessive delays. For fixed activation rates, we obtain lower bounds indicating that delays can grow dramatically with the load in certain topologies as well. Keywords: Delay performance; Random-access algorithms; Wireless networks
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-242
Number of pages32
JournalQueueing Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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