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  1. This paper studies a remote sensing system where multiple wireless sensors generate possibly noisy information updates of various surveillance fields and delivering these updates to a control center over a wireless network. The control center needs a sufficient number of recently generated information updates to have an accurate estimate of the current system status, which is critical for the control center to make appropriate control decisions. The goal of this work is then to design the optimal policy for scheduling the transmissions of information updates. Through Brownian approximation, we demonstrate that the control center’s ability to make accurate real-time estimates depends on the averages and temporal variances of the delivery processes. We then formulate a constrained optimization problem to find the optimal means and variances. We also develop a simple online scheduling policy that employs the optimal means and variances to achieve the optimal system-wide performance. Simulation results show that our scheduling policy enjoys fast convergence speed and better performance when compared to other state-of-the-art policies.
  2. We consider an ultra-dense wireless network with N channels and M = N devices. Messages with fresh information are generated at each device according to a random process and need to be transmitted to an access point. The value of a message decreases as it ages, so each device searches for an idle channel to transmit the message as soon as it can. However, each channel probing is associated with a fixed cost (energy), so a device needs to adapt its probing rate based on the "age" of the message. At each device, the design of the optimal probing strategy can be formulated as an infinite horizon Markov Decision Process (MDP) where the devices compete with each other to find idle channels. While it is natural to view the system as a Bayesian game, it is often intractable to analyze such a system. Thus, we use the Mean Field Game (MFG) approach to analyze the system in a large-system regime, where the number of devices is very large, to understand the structure of the problem and to find efficient probing strategies. We present an analysis based on the MFG perspective. We begin by characterizing the space of valid policies andmore »use this to show the existence of a Mean Field Nash Equilibrium (MFNE) in a constrained set for any general increasing cost functions with diminishing rewards. Further we provide an algorithm for computing the equilibrium for any given device, and the corresponding age-dependent channel probing policy.« less
  3. The predominant use of wireless access networks is for media streaming applications. However, current access networks treat all packets identically, and lack the agility to determine which clients are most in need of service at a given time. Software reconfigurability of networking devices has seen wide adoption, and this in turn implies that agile control policies can be now instantiated on access networks. Exploiting such reconfigurability requires the design of a system that can enable a configuration, measure the impact on the application performance (Quality of Experience), and adaptively select a new configuration. Effectively, this feedback loop is a Markov Decision Process whose parameters are unknown. The goal of this work is to develop QFlow, a platform that instantiates this feedback loop, and instantiate a variety of control policies over it. We use the popular application of video streaming over YouTube as our use case. Our context is priority queueing, with the action space being that of determining which clients should be assigned to each queue at each decision period. We first develop policies based on model-based and model-free reinforcement learning. We then design an auction-based system under which clients place bids for priority service, as well as a moremore »structured index-based policy. Through experiments, we show how these learning-based policies on QFlow are able to select the right clients for prioritization in a high-load scenario to outperform the best known solutions with over 25% improvement in QoE, and a perfect QoE score of 5 over 85% of the time.« less
  4. The ability of a P2P network to scale its throughput up in proportion to the arrival rate of peers has recently been shown to be crucially dependent on the chunk sharing policy employed. Some policies can result in low frequencies of a particular chunk, known as the missing chunk syndrome, which can dramatically reduce throughput and lead to instability of the system. For instance, commonly used policies that nominally ``boost'' the sharing of infrequent chunks such as the well-known rarest-first algorithm have been shown to be unstable. We take a complementary viewpoint, and instead consider a policy that simply prevents the sharing of the most frequent chunk(s), that we call mode-suppression. We also consider a more general version that suppresses the mode only if the mode frequency is larger than the lowest frequency by a fixed threshold. We prove the stability of mode-suppression using Lyapunov techniques, and use a Kingman bound argument to show that the total download time does not increase with peer arrival rate. We then design versions of mode-suppression that sample a small number of peers at each time, and construct noisy mode estimates by aggregating these samples over time. We show numerically that mode suppression stabilizesmore »and outperforms all other recently proposed chunk sharing algorithms, and via integration into BitTorrent implementation operating over the ns-3 that it ensures stable, low sojourn time operation in a real-world setting.« less
  5. This paper presents a Brownian-approximation framework to optimize the quality of experience (QoE) for real-time video streaming in wireless networks. In real-time video streaming, one major challenge is to tackle the natural tension between the two most critical QoE metrics: playback latency and video interruption. To study this trade-off, we first propose an analytical model that precisely captures all aspects of the playback process of a real-time video stream, including playback latency, video interruptions, and packet dropping. Built on this model, we show that the playback process of a real-time video can be approximated by a two-sided reflected Brownian motion. Through such Brownian approximation, we are able to study the fundamental limits of the two QoE metrics and characterize a necessary and sufficient condition for a set of QoE performance requirements to be feasible. We propose a scheduling policy that satisfies any feasible set of QoE performance requirements and then obtain simple rules on the trade-off between playback latency and the video interrupt rates, in both heavy-traffic and under-loaded regimes. Finally, simulation results verify the accuracy of the proposed approximation and show that the proposed policy outperforms other popular baseline policies.
  6. A significant challenge for future virtual reality (VR) applications is to deliver high quality-of-experience, both in terms of video quality and responsiveness, over wireless networks with limited bandwidth. This paper proposes to address this challenge by leveraging the predictability of user movements in the virtual world. We consider a wireless system where an access point (AP) serves multiple VR users. We show that the VR application process consists of two distinctive phases, whereby during the first (proactive scheduling) phase the controller has uncertain predictions of the demand that will arrive at the second (deadline scheduling) phase. We then develop a predictive scheduling policy for the AP that jointly optimizes the scheduling decisions in both phases. In addition to our theoretical study, we demonstrate the usefulness of our policy by building a prototype system. We show that our policy can be implemented under Furion, a Unity-based VR gaming software, with minor modifications. Experimental results clearly show visible difference between our policy and the default one. We also conduct extensive simulation studies, which show that our policy not only outperforms others, but also maintains excellent performance even when the prediction of future user movements is not accurate.