Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Donald R. Brown, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Donald R. Brown, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Kaveh Pahlavan, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Andrew Klein, Committee Member




Freshness of information has become of high importance with the emergence of many real- time applications like monitoring systems and communication networks. The main idea behind all of these scenarios is the same, there exists at least a monitor of some process to which the monitor does not have direct access. Rather, the monitor indirectly receives updates over time from a source that can observe the process directly. The common main goal in these scenarios is to guarantee that the updates at the monitor side are as fresh as possible. However, due to the contention among the nodes in the network over limited channel resources, it takes some random time for the updates before they are received by the monitor. These applications have motivated a line of research studying the Age of Information (AoI) as a new performance metric that captures timeliness of information. The first part of this dissertation focuses on the AoI problem in general multi-source multi-hop status update networks with slotted transmissions. Fundamental lower bounds on the instantaneous peak and average AoI are derived under general interference constraints. Explicit algorithms are developed that generate scheduling policies for status update dissem- ination throughout the network for the class of minimum-length periodic schedules under global interference constraints. Next, we study AoI in multi-access channels, where a number of sources share the same server with exponentially distributed service times to communicate to a monitor. Two cases depending on the status update arrival rates at the sources are considered: (i) random arrivals based on the Poisson point process, and (ii) active arrivals where each source can generate an update at any point in time. For each case, closed-form expressions are derived for the average AoI as a function of the system parameters. Next, the effect of energy harvesting on the age is considered in a single-source single- monitor status update system that has a server with a finite battery capacity. Depending on the server’s ability to harvest energy while a packet is in service, and allowing or blocking the newly-arriving packets to preempt a packet in service, average AoI expressions are derived. The results show that preemption of the packets in service is sub-optimal when the energy arrival rate is lower than the status update arrival rate. Finally, the age of channel state information (CSI) is studied in fully-connected wire- less networks with time-slotted transmissions and time-varying channels. A framework is developed that accounts for the amount of data and overhead in each packet and the CSI disseminated in the packet. Lower bounds on the peak and average AoI are derived and a greedy protocol that schedules the status updates based on minimizing the instantaneous average AoI is developed. Achievable average AoI is derived for the class of randomized CSI dissemination schedules.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Age of Information, Multi-Hop Networks, Schedule Design, Explicit Contention, Graph Theory, Interference Models