On The Optimality of The Whittle's Index Policy For Minimizing The Age of Information

by   Ali Maatouk, et al.

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.



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