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Self-Learning Power Control in Wireless Sensor Networks

Chincoli, Michele; Liotta, Antonio


Michele Chincoli

Antonio Liotta


Current trends in interconnecting myriad smart objects to monetize on Internet of Things applications have led to high-density communications in wireless sensor networks. This aggravates the already over-congested unlicensed radio bands, calling for new mechanisms to improve spectrum management and energy efficiency, such as transmission power control. Existing protocols are based on simplistic heuristics that often approach interference problems (i.e., packet loss, delay and energy waste) by increasing power, leading to detrimental results. The scope of this work is to investigate how machine learning may be used to bring wireless nodes to the lowest possible transmission power level and, in turn, to respect the quality requirements of the overall network. Lowering transmission power has benefits in terms of both energy consumption and interference. We propose a protocol of transmission power control through a reinforcement learning process that we have set in a multi-agent system. The agents are independent learners using the same exploration strategy and reward structure, leading to an overall cooperative network. The simulation results show that the system converges to an equilibrium where each node transmits at the minimum power while respecting high packet reception ratio constraints. Consequently, the system benefits from low energy consumption and packet delay.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 21, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2018
Publication Date Jan 27, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 30, 2019
Journal Sensors
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Article Number 375
Keywords wireless sensor network; transmission power control; Q-learning; reinforcement learning; game theory; multi-agent; energy efficiency; quality of service
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jul 29, 2019


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