Optimal Sensor Collaboration for Parameter Tracking Using Energy Harvesting Sensors

Shan Zhang, Sijia Liu, Vinod Sharma, Pramod K. Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this paper, we design an optimal sensor collaboration strategy among neighboring nodes while tracking a time-varying parameter using wireless sensor networks in the presence of imperfect communication channels. The sensor network is assumed to be self-powered, where sensors are equipped with energy harvesters that replenish energy from the environment. In order to minimize the mean square estimation error of parameter tracking, we propose an online sensor collaboration policy subject to real-time energy harvesting constraints. The proposed energy allocation strategy is computationally light and only relies on the second-order statistics of the system parameters. For this, we first consider an offline nonconvex optimization problem, which is solved exactly when using semidefinite programming. Based on the offline solution, we design an online power allocation policy that requires minimal online computation and satisfies the dynamics of energy flow at each sensor. We prove that the proposed online policy is asymptotically equivalent to the optimal offline solution and show its convergence rate and robustness. We empirically show that the estimation performance of the proposed online scheme is better than that of the online scheme when channel state information about the dynamical system is available in the low SNR regime. Numerical results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3339-3353
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2018


  • Wireless sensor networks
  • energy harvesting
  • node collaboration
  • parameter tracking
  • semidefinite programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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