Understanding Age of Information in Large-Scale Wireless Networks

Howard H. Yang, Chao Xu, Xijun Wang, Daquan Feng, Tony Q.S. Quek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The notion of age-of-information (AoI) is investigated in the context of large-scale wireless networks, in which transmitters need to send a sequence of information packets, which are generated as independent Bernoulli processes, to their intended receivers over a shared spectrum. Due to interference, the rate of packet depletion at any given node is entangled with both the spatial configurations, which determine the path loss, and temporal dynamics, which influence the active states, of the other transmitters, resulting in the queues to interact with each other in both space and time over the entire network. To that end, variants in the packet update frequency affect not just the inter-arrival time but also the departure process, and the impact of such phenomena on the AoI is not well understood. In this paper, we establish a theoretical framework to characterize the AoI performance in the aforementioned setting. Particularly, tractable expressions are derived for both the peak and average AoI under two different transmission protocols, namely the first-come-first-serve (FCFS) and the last-come-first-serve with preemption (LCFS-PR). Additionally, our analysis also accounts for the effects of channel access controls such as ALOHA on the AoI. The accuracy of the analysis is verified via simulations, and based on the theoretical outcomes, we find that: i ) networks operating under LCFS-PR are able to attain smaller values of peak and average AoI than that under FCFS, whereas the gain is more pronounced when the infrastructure is densely deployed, ii ) in sparsely deployed networks, ALOHA with a universally designed channel access probability is not instrumental in reducing the AoI, thus calling for more advanced channel access approaches, and iii ) when the infrastructure is densely rolled out, there exists a non-trivial ALOHA channel access probability that minimizes the peak and average AoI under both FCFS and LCFS-PR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9316915
Pages (from-to)3196-3210
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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