Waiting but Not Aging: Optimizing Information Freshness under the Pull Model

Fengjiao Li, Yu Sang, Zhongdong Liu, Bin Li, Huasen Wu, Bo Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Age-of-Information is an important metric for investigating the timeliness performance in information-update systems. In this paper, we study the AoI minimization problem under a new Pull model with replication schemes, where a user proactively sends a replicated request to multiple servers to 'pull' the information of interest. Interestingly, we find that under this new Pull model, replication schemes capture a novel tradeoff between different values of the AoI across the servers (due to the random updating processes) and different response times across the servers, which can be exploited to minimize the expected AoI at the user's side. Specifically, assuming Poisson updating process for the servers and exponentially distributed response time, we derive a closed-form formula for computing the expected AoI and obtain the optimal number of responses to wait for to minimize the expected AoI. Then, we extend our analysis to the setting where the user aims to maximize the AoI-based utility, which represents the user's satisfaction level with respect to freshness of the received information. Furthermore, we consider a more realistic scenario where the user has no prior knowledge of the system. In this case, we reformulate the utility maximization problem as a stochastic Multi-Armed Bandit problem with side observations and leverage a special linear structure of side observations to design learning algorithms with improved performance guarantees. Finally, we conduct extensive simulations to elucidate our theoretical results and compare the performance of different algorithms. Our findings reveal that under the Pull model, waiting does not necessarily lead to aging; waiting for more than one response can often significantly reduce the AoI and improve the AoI-based utility in most scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9288957
Pages (from-to)465-478
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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