We study the multi-user scheduling problem for minimizing the Age of Information (AoI) in cellular wireless networks under stationary and non-stationary regimes. We derive fundamental lower bounds for the scheduling problem and design efficient online policies with provable performance guarantees. In the stationary setting, we consider the AoI optimization problem for a set of mobile users travelling around multiple cells. In this setting, we propose a scheduling policy and show that it is $2$-optimal. Next, we propose a new adversarial channel model for studying the scheduling problem in non-stationary environments. For $N$ users, we show that the competitive ratio of any online scheduling policy in this setting is at least $\Omega(N)$. We then propose an online policy and show that it achieves a competitive ratio of $O(N^2)$. Finally, we introduce a relaxed adversarial model with channel state estimations for the immediate future. We propose a heuristic model predictive control policy that exploits this feature and compare its performance through numerical simulations.
In this paper, we consider the average age minimization problem where a central entity schedules M users among the N available users for transmission over unreliable channels. It is well-known that obtaining the optimal policy, in this case, is out of reach. Accordingly, the Whittle's index policy has been suggested in earlier works as a heuristic for this problem. However, the analysis of its performance remained elusive. In the sequel, we overcome these difficulties and provide rigorous results on its asymptotic optimality in the many-users regime. Specifically, we first establish its optimality in the neighborhood of a specific system’s state. Next, we extend our proof to the global case under a recurrence assumption, which we verify numerically. These findings showcase that the Whittle’s index policy has analytically provable optimality in the many-users regime for the AoI minimization problem. Finally, numerical results that showcase its performance and corroborate our theoretical findings are presented.
This paper considers a wireless network with a base station (BS) conducting timely transmission to two clients in a slotted manner via hybrid non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA)/orthogonal multiple access (OMA). Specifically, the BS is able to adaptively switch between NOMA and OMA for the downlink transmission to minimize the information freshness, characterized by Age of Information (AoI), of the network. If the BS chooses OMA, it can only serve one client within a time slot and should decide which client to serve; if the BS chooses NOMA, it can serve both clients simultaneously and should decide the power allocated to each client. To minimize the weighted sum of expected AoI of the network, we formulate a Markov Decision Process (MDP) problem and develop an optimal policy for the BS to decide whether to use NOMA or OMA for each downlink transmission based on the instantaneous AoI of both clients. We prove the existence of optimal stationary and deterministic policy, and perform action elimination to reduce the action space for lower computation complexity. The optimal policy is shown to have a switching-type property with obvious decision switching boundaries. A suboptimal policy with lower computation complexity is also devised, which can achieve near-optimal performance according to our simulation results. The performance of different policies under different system settings is compared and analyzed in numerical results to provide useful insights for practical system designs.
Sensor sources submit updates to a monitor through an unslotted, uncoordinated, unreliable multiple access collision channel. The channel is unreliable; a collision-free transmission is received successfully at the monitor with some transmission success probability. For an infinite-user model in which the sensors collectively transmit updates as a Poisson process and each update has an independent exponential transmission time, a stochastic hybrid system (SHS) approach is used to derive the average age of information (AoI) as a function of the offered load and the transmission success probability. The analysis is then extended to evaluate the individual age of a selected source. When the number of sources and update transmission rate grow large in fixed proportion, the limiting asymptotic individual age is shown to provide an accurate individual age approximation, even for a small number of sources.