Cooperative Lossy Communications in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Networks

This paper analyzes the robustness and timeliness for cooperative lossy communications in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) networks. The analytical framework consists of two steps: 1) calculating the outage probability, and 2) characterizing the Age-of-Information (AoI) for a given outage probability. Initially, we determine the outage probability based on the Shannons lossy source-channel separation theorem. Numerical results indicate that joint decoding reduces the outage probability, and the system can achieve higher diversity order for less stringent distortion requirement. Then, we derive a closed-form expression of the lower bound on the average AoI for the communication system where outage events are constrained to an acceptable level. Moreover, we conduct a series of simulations for verifying the lower bound on the average AoI and evaluating the impact of UAV locations on the average AoI. It is demonstrated that the lower bound is tight when the server utilization ratio is either relatively busy or idle. For the case with a relatively large outage probability, we propose an intermittent transmission scheme to refine the AoI performance without extra energy consumption. The effectiveness of the intermittent transmission scheme for reducing the average AoI is verified by both the simulations and the lower bound analysis.