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Wireless systems comprised of rechargeable nodes have a significantly prolonged lifetime and are sustainable. A distinct characteristic of these systems is the fact that the nodes can harvest energy throughout the duration in which communication takes place. As such, transmission policies of the nodes need to adapt to these harvested energy arrivals. In this paper, we consider optimization of point-to-point data transmission with an energy harvesting transmitter which has a limited battery capacity, communicating in a wireless fading channel. We consider two objectives: maximizing the throughput by a deadline, and minimizing the transmission completion time of the communication session. We optimize these objectives by controlling the time sequence of transmit powers subject to energy storage capacity and causality constraints. We, first, study optimal offline policies. We introduce a directional water-filling algorithm which provides a simple and concise interpretation of the necessary optimality conditions. We show the optimality of an adaptive directional water-filling algorithm for the throughput maximization problem. We solve the transmission completion time minimization problem by utilizing its equivalence to its throughput maximization counterpart. Next, we consider online policies. We use stochastic dynamic programming to solve for the optimal online policy that maximizes the average number of bits delivered by a deadline under stochastic fading and energy arrival processes with causal channel state feedback. We also propose near-optimal policies with reduced complexity, and numerically study their performances along with the performances of the offline and online optimal policies under various different configurations.
Date of Publication: September 2011