Age of Information in Relay-Assisted Status Updating Systems

07/05/2021 ∙ by Jixiang Zhang, et al. ∙ 0

In this paper we consider the age of information (AoI) of a status updating system with a relay, where the updates are delivered to destination either from the direct line or the two-hop link via the relay. An updating packet generated at source is sent to receiver and the relay simultaneously. When the direct packet transmission fails, the relay replaces the source and retransmits the packet until it is eventually obtained at the receiver side. Assume that the propagation delay on each link is one time slot, we determine the stationary distribution of the AoI for three cases: (a) relay has no buffer and the packet delivery from relay cannot be preempted by fresher updates from source; (b) relay has no buffer but the packet substitution is allowable; (c) relay has size 1 buffer and the packet in buffer is refreshed when a newer packet is obtained. The idea is invoking a multiple-dimensional state vector which contains the AoI as a part and constituting the multiple-dimensional AoI stochastic process. We find the steady state of each multiple-dimensional AoI process by solving the system of stationary equations. Once the steady-state distribution of larger-dimensional AoI process is known, the stationary AoI distribution is also obtained as it is one of the marginal distributions of that process's steady-state distribution. For all the situations, we derive the explicit expression of AoI distribution, and calculate the mean and the variance of the stationary AoI. All the results are compared numerically, including the AoI performance of the non-relay state updating system. Numerical results show that adding the relay improves the system's timeliness dramatically, and no-buffer-and-preemption setting in relay achieves both minimal average AoI and AoI's variance. Thus, for the system model discussed in this paper, to reduce the AoI at receiver there is no need to add the buffer in relay.

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