Queueing Systems

, 63:131 | Cite as

Flow-level performance and capacity of wireless networks with user mobility

  • Thomas Bonald
  • Sem Borst
  • Nidhi Hegde
  • Matthieu Jonckheere
  • Alexandre Proutiere
Open Access


The performance evaluation of wireless networks is severely complicated by the specific features of radio communication, such as highly variable channel conditions, interference issues, and possible hand-offs among base stations. The latter elements have no natural counterparts in wireline scenarios, and create a need for novel performance models that account for the impact of these characteristics on the service rates of users.

Motivated by the above issues, we review several models for characterizing the capacity and evaluating the flow-level performance of wireless networks carrying elastic data transfers. We first examine the flow-level performance and stability of a wide family of so-called α-fair channel-aware scheduling strategies. We establish that these disciplines provide maximum stability, and describe how the special case of the Proportional Fair policy gives rise to a Processor-Sharing model with a state-dependent service rate. Next we turn attention to a network of several base stations with inter-cell interference. We derive both necessary and sufficient stability conditions and construct lower and upper bounds for the flow-level performance measures. Lastly we investigate the impact of user mobility that occurs on a slow timescale and causes possible hand-offs of active sessions. We show that the mobility tends to increase the capacity region, both in the case of globally optimal scheduling and local α-fair scheduling. It is additionally demonstrated that the capacity and user throughput improve with lower values of the fairness index α.

Channel-aware scheduling Flow-level performance Processor sharing Proportional fair allocation Stability Transfer delay User mobility Wireless networks 

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000)

60K25 68M20 90B15 90B18 90B22 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Bonald
    • 1
  • Sem Borst
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nidhi Hegde
    • 1
  • Matthieu Jonckheere
    • 3
  • Alexandre Proutiere
    • 4
  1. 1.Orange LabsParisFrance
  2. 2.Bell Labs, Alcatel-LucentMurray HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics & Computer ScienceEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Microsoft ResearchCambridgeEngland

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