Timely Synchronization with Sporadic Status Changes

Chenghao Deng, Jing Yang, Changyong Pan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper, we consider a status updating system where the transmitter sends status updates of the signal it monitors to the destination through a rate-limited link. We consider the scenario where the status of the monitored signal only changes at discrete time points. The objective is to let the destination be synchronized with the source in a timely manner once a status change happens. What complicates the problem is that the transmission takes multiple time slots due to the link-rate constraint. Thus, the transmitter has to decide to switch or to skip a new update when the status of the monitored signal changes and it has not completed the transmission of the previous one yet. We adopt a metric called 'Age of Synchronization' (AoS) to measure the 'dissatisfaction' of the destination when it is desynchronized with the source. Then, the objective of this paper is to minimize the time-average AoS by designing optimal transmission policies for the transmitter. We formulate the problem as a Markov decision process (MDP) and prove the multi-threshold structure of the optimal policy. Based on that, we propose a low computational-complexity algorithm for the MDP value iteration. We then evaluate the performance of the multi-threshold policy through simulations and compare it with two baseline policies and the AoI-optimal policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728150895
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Event2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: Jun 7 2020Jun 11 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


Conference2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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