On the power of uniform power: capacity of wireless networks with bounded resources

Chen Avin, Zvi Lotker, Yvonne Anne Pignolet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The throughput capacity of arbitrary wireless networks under the physical Signal to Interference Plus Noise Ratio (SINR) model has received much attention in recent years. In this paper, we investigate the question of how much the worst-case performance of uniform and non-uniform power assignments differ under constraints such as a bound on the area where nodes are distributed or restrictions on the maximum power available. We determine the maximum factor by which a non-uniform power assignment can outperform the uniform case in the SINR model. More precisely, we prove that in one-dimensional settings the capacity of a non-uniform assignment exceeds a uniform assignment by at most a factor of O(log Lmax) when the length of the network is Lmax. In two-dimensional settings, the uniform assignment is at most a factor of O(log Pmax) worse than the non-uniform assignment if the maximum power is Pmax. We provide algorithms that reach this capacity in both cases. These bounds are tight in the sense that previous work gave examples of networks where the lack of power control causes a performance loss in the order of these factors. To complement our theoretical results and to evaluate our algorithms with concrete input networks, we carry out simulations on random wireless networks. The results demonstrate that the link sets generated by the algorithms contain around 20–35 % of all links. As a consequence, engineers and researchers may prefer the uniform model due to its simplicity if this degree of performance deterioration is acceptable.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2319-2333
Number of pages15
JournalWireless Networks
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Network capacity
  • Power control
  • SINR
  • Wireless networks

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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