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An Optimal Medium Access Control with Partial Observations for Sensor Networks

Abstract

We consider medium access control (MAC) in multihop sensor networks, where only partial information about the shared medium is available to the transmitter. We model our setting as a queuing problem in which the service rate of a queue is a function of a partially observed Markov chain representing the available bandwidth, and in which the arrivals are controlled based on the partial observations so as to keep the system in a desirable mildly unstable regime. The optimal controller for this problem satisfies a separation property: we first compute a probability measure on the state space of the chain, namely the information state, then use this measure as the new state on which the control decisions are based. We give a formal description of the system considered and of its dynamics, we formalize and solve an optimal control problem, and we show numerical simulations to illustrate with concrete examples properties of the optimal control law. We show how the ergodic behavior of our queuing model is characterized by an invariant measure over all possible information states, and we construct that measure. Our results can be specifically applied for designing efficient and stable algorithms for medium access control in multiple-accessed systems, in particular for sensor networks.

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Correspondence to Răzvan Cristescu.

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Cristescu, R., Servetto, S.D. An Optimal Medium Access Control with Partial Observations for Sensor Networks. J Wireless Com Network 2005, 487028 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1155/WCN.2005.505

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Keywords

  • MAC
  • feedback control
  • controlled Markov chains
  • Markov decision processes
  • dynamic programming
  • stochastic stability