Effective Capacity in Wireless Networks: A Comprehensive Survey

Muhammad Amjad, Leila Musavian, Mubashir Husain Rehmani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Low latency applications, such as multimedia communications, autonomous vehicles, and Tactile Internet are the emerging applications for next-generation wireless networks, such as 5th generation (5G) mobile networks. Existing physical-layer channel models, however, do not explicitly consider quality-of-service (QoS) aware related parameters under specific delay constraints. To investigate the performance of low-latency applications in future networks, a new mathematical framework is needed. Effective capacity (EC), which is a link-layer channel model with QoS-awareness, can be used to investigate the performance of wireless networks under certain statistical delay constraints. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive survey on existing works, that use the EC model in various wireless networks. We summarize the work related to EC for different networks, such as cognitive radio networks (CRNs), cellular networks, relay networks, adhoc networks, and mesh networks. We explore five case studies encompassing EC operation with different design and architectural requirements. We survey various delay-sensitive applications, such as voice and video with their EC analysis under certain delay constraints. We finally present the future research directions with open issues covering EC maximization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8764394
Pages (from-to)3007-3038
Number of pages32
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • channel capacity
  • delay constraints
  • Effective capacity (EC)
  • fading channels
  • quality-of-service
  • real-time applications
  • wireless channel model


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