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  1. In this paper, we study a sampling and transmission scheduling problem for multi-source remote estimation, where a scheduler determines when to take samples from multiple continuous-time Gauss-Markov processes and send the samples over multiple channels to remote estimators. The sample transmission times are i.i.d. across samples and channels. The objective of the scheduler is to minimize the weighted sum of the time-average expected estimation errors of these Gauss-Markov sources. This problem is a continuous-time Restless Multi-armed Bandit (RMAB) problem with a continuous state space. We prove that the bandits are indexable and derive an exact expression of the Whittle index. To the extent of our knowledge, this is the first Whittle index policy for multi-source signal-aware remote estimation of Gauss-Markov processes. We further investigate signal-agnostic remote estimation and develop a Whittle index policy for multi-source Age of Information (AoI) minimization over parallel channels with i.i.d. random transmission times. Our results unite two theoretical frameworks for remote estimation and AoI minimization: threshold-based sampling and Whittle index-based scheduling. In the single-source, single-channel scenario, we demonstrate that the optimal solution to the sampling and scheduling problem can be equivalently expressed as both a threshold-based sampling strategy and a Whittle index-based scheduling policy. Notably, the Whittle index is equal to zero if and only if two conditions are satisfied: (i) the channel is idle, and (ii) the estimation error is precisely equal to the threshold in the threshold-based sampling strategy. Moreover, the methodology employed to derive threshold-based sampling strategies in the single-source, single-channel scenario plays a crucial role in establishing indexability and evaluating the Whittle index in the more intricate multi-source, multi-channel scenario. Our numerical results show that the proposed policy achieves high performance gain over the existing policies when some of the Gauss-Markov processes are highly unstable. 
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  2. In this study, we investigate a context-aware status updating system consisting of multiple sensor-estimator pairs. A centralized monitor pulls status updates from multiple sensors that are monitoring several safety-critical situations (e.g., carbon monoxide density in forest fire detection, machine safety in industrial automation, and road safety). Based on the received sensor updates, multiple estimators determine the current safety-critical situations. Due to transmission errors and limited communication resources, the sensor updates may not be timely, resulting in the possibility of misunderstanding the current situation. In particular, if a dangerous situation is misinterpreted as safe, the safety risk is high. In this paper, we introduce a novel framework that quantifies the penalty due to the unawareness of a potentially dangerous situation. This situation-unaware penalty function depends on two key factors: the Age of Information (AoI) and the observed signal value. For optimal estimators, we provide an information-theoretic bound of the penalty function that evaluates the fundamental performance limit of the system. To minimize the penalty, we study a pull-based multi-sensor, multi-channel transmission scheduling problem. Our analysis reveals that for optimal estimators, it is always beneficial to keep the channels busy. Due to communication resource constraints, the scheduling problem can be modelled as a Restless Multi-armed Bandit (RMAB) problem. By utilizing relaxation and Lagrangian decomposition of the RMAB, we provide a low-complexity scheduling algorithm which is asymptotically optimal. Our results hold for both reliable and unreliable channels. Numerical evidence shows that our scheduling policy can achieve up to 100 times performance gain over periodic updating and up to 10 times over randomized policy. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 30, 2024