Delay Performance and Mixing Times in Random-Access Networks
The authors 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, they examine whether the poor delay performance is inherent to the basic operation of these schemes, or caused by the specific kind of activation rules. They derive delay lower bounds for queue-based activation rules, which offer fundamental insight in the cause of the excessive delays.