Deep Reinforcement Learning for Minimizing Age-of-Information in UAV-assisted Networks

by   Mohamed A. Abd-Elmagid, et al.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are expected to be a key component of the next-generation wireless systems. Due to their deployment flexibility, UAVs are being considered as an efficient solution for collecting information data from ground nodes and transmitting it wirelessly to the network. In this paper, a UAV-assisted wireless network is studied, in which energy-constrained ground nodes are deployed to observe different physical processes. In this network, a UAV that has a time constraint for its operation due to its limited battery, moves towards the ground nodes to receive status update packets about their observed processes. The flight trajectory of the UAV and scheduling of status update packets are jointly optimized with the objective of achieving the minimum weighted sum for the age-of-information (AoI) values of different processes at the UAV, referred to as weighted sum-AoI. The problem is modeled as a finite-horizon Markov decision process (MDP) with finite state and action spaces. Since the state space is extremely large, a deep reinforcement learning (RL) algorithm is proposed to obtain the optimal policy that minimizes the weighted sum-AoI, referred to as the age-optimal policy. Several simulation scenarios are considered to showcase the convergence of the proposed deep RL algorithm. Moreover, the results also demonstrate that the proposed deep RL approach can significantly improve the achievable sum-AoI per process compared to baseline policies such as the distance-based and random walk policies. The impact of various system design parameters on the optimal achievable sum-AoI per process is also shown through extensive simulations.


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