MobiSys '03 Abstract|
Awarded Best Paper!
Energy Aware Lossless Data Compression
Kenneth Barr and Krste Asanovic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wireless transmission of a bit can require over 1000 times more energy than a single 32-bit computation. It would therefore seem desirable to perform significant computation to reduce the number of bits transmitted. If the energy required to compress data is less than the energy required to send it, there is a net energy savings and consequently, a longer battery life for portable computers. This paper reports on the energy of lossless data compressors as measured on a StrongARM SA-110 system. We show that with several typical compression tools, there is a net energy increase when compression is applied before transmission. Reasons for this increase are explained, and hardware-aware programming optimizations are demonstrated. When applied to Unix compress, these optimizations improve energy efficiency by 51%. We also explore the fact that, for many usage models, compression and decompression need not be performed by the same algorithm. By choosing the lowest-energy compressor and decompressor on the test platform, rather than using default levels of compression, overall energy to send compressible web data can be reduced 31%. Energy to send harder-to-compress English text can be reduced 57%. Compared with a system using a single optimized application for both compression and decompression, the asymmetric scheme saves 11% or 12% of the total energy depending on the dataset.
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