Wireless scheduling for information freshness and synchrony: Drift-based design and heavy-traffic analysis

Changhee Joo, Atilla Eryilmaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the problem of scheduling in wireless networks with the aim of maintaining up-to-date and synchronized (also called, aligned) information at the receiver across multiple flows. This is in contrast to the more conventional approach of scheduling for optimizing long-term performance metrics such as throughput, fairness, or average delay. Maintaining the age of information at a low and roughly equal level is particularly important for distributed cyber-physical systems, in which the effectiveness of the control decisions depends critically on the freshness and synchrony of information from multiple sources/sensors. In this paper, we first expose the weakness of several popular MaxWeight scheduling solutions that utilize queue-length, delay, and age information as their weights. Then, we develop a novel age-based scheduler that combines age with the interarrival times of incoming packets in its decisions, which yields significant gains in the information freshness at the receiver. We characterize the performance of our strategy through a heavy-traffic analysis that establishes upper and lower bounds on the freshness of system information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8476220
Pages (from-to)2556-2568
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Age of information
  • heavy-traffic analysis
  • information freshness
  • wireless scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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