Mobile crowdsensing for data freshness: A deep reinforcement learning approach

Zipeng Dai, Hao Wang, Chi Harold Liu, Rui Han, Jian Tang, Guoren Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


Data collection by mobile crowdsensing (MCS) is emerging as data sources for smart city applications, however how to ensure data freshness has sparse research exposure but quite important in practice. In this paper, we consider to use a group of mobile agents (MAs) like UAVs and driverless cars which are equipped with multiple antennas to move around in the task area to collect data from deployed sensor nodes (SNs). Our goal is to minimize the age of information (AoI) of all SNs and energy consumption of MAs during movement and data upload. To this end, we propose a centralized deep reinforcement learning (DRL)-based solution called "DRL-freshMCS"for controlling MA trajectory planning and SN scheduling. We further utilize implicit quantile networks to maintain the accurate value estimation and steady policies for MAs. Then, we design an exploration and exploitation mechanism by dynamic distributed prioritized experience replay. We also derive the theoretical lower bound for episodic AoI. Extensive simulation results show that DRL-freshMCS significantly reduces the episodic AoI per remaining energy, compared to five baselines when varying different number of antennas and data upload thresholds, and number of SNs. We also visualize their trajectories and AoI update process for clear illustrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2021 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780738112817
StatePublished - May 10 2021
Event40th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2021 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: May 10 2021May 13 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


Conference40th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2021


  • Data freshness
  • Deep reinforcement learning
  • Mobile crowdsensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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