Opportunistic file transfer over a fading channel under energy and delay constraints

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We consider transmission control (rate and power) strategies for transferring a fixed-size file (finite number of bits) over fading channels under constraints on both transmit energy and transmission delay. The goal is to maximize the probability of successfully transferring the entire file over a time-varying wireless channel modeled as a finite-state Markov process. We study two implementations regarding the delay constraints: an average delay constraint and a strict delay constraint. We also investigate the performance degradation caused by the imperfect (delayed or erroneous) channel knowledge. The resulting optimal policies are shown to be a function of the channel-state information (CSI), the residual battery energy, and the number of residual information bits in the transmit buffer. It is observed that the probability of successful file transfer increases significantly when the CSI is exploited opportunistically. When the perfect instantaneous CSI is available at the transmitter, the faster channel variations increase the success probability under delay constraints. In addition, when considering the power expenditure in the pilot for channel estimation, the optimal policy shows that the transmitter should use the pilot only if there is sufficient energy left for packet transfer; otherwise, a channel-independent policy should be used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-644
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Delay constraint
  • Energy constraint
  • Fading channels
  • Markov decision process
  • Packet scheduling
  • Power control

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