Energy harvesting wireless networks: A new frontier for communication and information theory

Aylin Yener
Pennsylvania State University

Wireless communication networks composed of devices that can harvest energy from nature will lead to the green future of wireless, as energy harvesting offers the possibility of perpetual network operation without adverse effects on the environment. By developing effective and robust communication techniques to be used under energy harvesting conditions, some of the communication devices in a heterogeneous network can even be taken off the grid. Energy harvesting brings new considerations to system level design of wireless communication networks, leading to new insights. These include randomness and intermittency of available energy, as well as additional system issues to be concerned about such as energy storage capacity and processing complexity. The goal of this talk is to furnish the audience with fundamental design principles of energy harvesting wireless communication networks which is an emerging area. The focus will be on identifying optimum transmission scheduling policies in various settings, and the ensuing algorithmic solutions. Time permitting we will also go into the information theory of energy harvesting communications, which brings in new challenges taking into account energy availability and storage at the channel use level.

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