Optimization vs. reinforcement learning for wirelessly powered sensor networks [Journal Paper]

NESL Technical Report #: 2018-6-0


Abstract: We consider a sensing application where the sensor nodes are wirelessly powered by an energy beacon. We focus on the problem of jointly optimizing the energy allocation of the energy beacon to different sensors and the data transmission powers of the sensors in order to minimize the field reconstruction error at the sink. In contrast to the standard ideal linear energy harvesting (EH) model, we consider practical non-linear EH models. We investigate this problem under two different frameworks: i) an optimization approach where the energy beacon knows the utility function of the nodes, channel state information and the energy harvesting characteristics of the devices; hence optimal power allocation strategies can be designed using an optimization problem and ii) a learning approach where the energy beacon decides on its strategies adaptively with battery level information and feedback on the utility function. Our results illustrate that deep reinforcement learning approach can obtain the same error levels with the optimization approach and provides a promising alternative to the optimization framework.

Date: 2018-08-03

Public Document?: Yes

NESL Document?: Yes

Document category: Journal Paper

Primary Research Area: Wireless Communications