Optimal communication scheduling and remote estimation over an additive noise channel

Xiaobin Gao, Emrah Akyol, Tamer Başar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers a sequential sensor scheduling and remote estimation problem with one sensor and one estimator. The sensor makes sequential observations about the state of an underlying memoryless stochastic process, and makes a decision as to whether or not to send this measurement to the estimator. The sensor and the estimator have the common objective of minimizing expected distortion in the estimation of the state of the process, over a finite time horizon. The sensor is either charged a cost for each transmission or constrained on transmission times. As opposed to the prior work where communication between the sensor and the estimator was assumed to be perfect (noiseless), in this work an additive noise channel with fixed power constraint is considered; hence, the sensor has to encode its message before transmission. Under some technical assumptions, we obtain the optimal encoding and estimation policies within the piecewise affine class in conjunction with the optimal transmission schedule. The impact of the presence of a noisy channel is analyzed numerically based on dynamic programming. This analysis yields some rather surprising results such as a phase-transition phenomenon in the number of used transmission opportunities, which was not encountered in the noiseless communication setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Estimation theory
  • Sensor networks
  • Stochastic control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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