Source-channel coding under energy, delay, and buffer constraints

Oner Orhan, Deniz Gunduz, Elza Erkip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Source and channel coding for an energy-limited wireless sensor node is investigated. The sensor node observes independent Gaussian source samples with variances changing over time slots. The channel is modeled as a flat fading channel, whose gain remains constant during each time slot, and changes from one time slot to the next. The compressed samples are stored in a finite data buffer, and need to be delivered to the destination in at most $d$ time slots. The objective is to minimize the average squared-error distortion between the source samples and their reconstructions. First, a battery operated system, in which the sensor node has a finite amount of energy at the beginning of transmission, is investigated. Then, the impact of energy harvesting, and the energy cost of processing and sampling are considered. The optimal compression and transmission policy is formulated as the solution of a convex optimization problem, and the properties of the optimal policies are identified. For the strict delay case, $d=1$, a two-dimensional $(2D) $ waterfilling interpretation is provided. Numerical results are presented to illustrate the structure of the optimal policy, and to analyze the effect of the delay constraints, data buffer size, energy harvesting, and processing and sampling costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7061510
Pages (from-to)3836-3849
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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