Optimal Status Update for Age of Information Minimization with an Energy Harvesting Source

Xianwen Wu, Jing Yang, Jingxian Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

246 Scopus citations


In this paper, we consider a scenario where an energy harvesting sensor continuously monitors a system and sends time-stamped status updates to a destination. The destination keeps track of the system status through the received updates. We use the metric Age of Information (AoI), the time that has elapsed since the last received update was generated, to measure the 'freshness' of the status information available at the destination. Our objective is to design optimal online status update policies to minimize the long-term average AoI, subject to the energy causality constraint at the sensor. We consider three scenarios, i.e., the battery size is infinite, finite, and one unit only, respectively. For the infinite battery scenario, we adopt a best-effort uniform status update policy and show that it minimizes the long-term average AoI. For the finite battery scenario, we adopt an energy-aware adaptive status update policy, and prove that it is asymptotically optimal when the battery size goes to infinity. For the last scenario where the battery size is one, we first show that within a broadly defined class of online policies, the optimal policy should have a renewal structure. We then focus on a renewal interval, and prove that the optimal policy should have a threshold structure, i.e., if the AoI in the system is below a threshold when an energy arrival enters an empty battery, the sensor should store the energy first and then update when the AoI reaches the threshold; otherwise, it updates the status immediately. Simulation results corroborate the theoretical bounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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