Sustainable Computing on the Edge: A System Dynamics Perspective

Brian Ramprasad, Alexandre da Silva Veith, Moshe Gabel, Eyal de Lara

22nd International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (HotMobile), Cyberspace, February 2021



This paper explores the CO2 footprint of IoT applications by using system dynamics modeling to estimate the CO2 emissions over time from a wireless video analytics application. We model the impact of the application design and the mobile infrastructure on the short and long term emissions produced by running the application on both cloud and edge computing infrastructures. Our analysis shows that the base station radio and the wide-area data network are major contributors of CO2 emissions. We find that CO2 emissions can be reduced by 50% by placing edge centers near the base stations, exploiting new features of the 5G mobile network, and scheduling data uploads judiciously. We also analyze the long term effects of application design choices and increased user base on carbon emissions.