Paper at ISIT 2018

R. Devassy, G. Durisi, G. C. Ferrante, O. Simeone, and E. Uysal-Biyikoglu, “Delay and peak-age violation probability in short-packet transmission,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Inf. Theory (ISIT), Vail, CO, U.S.A., Jun. 2018. [arXiv]

Abstract: This paper investigates the distribution of delay and peak age of information in a communication system where packets, generated according to an independent and identically distributed Bernoulli process, are placed in a single-server queue with first-come first-served discipline and transmitted over an additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel. When a packet is correctly decoded, the sender receives an instantaneous error-free positive acknowledgment, upon which it removes the packet from the buffer. In the case of negative acknowledgment, the packet is retransmitted. By leveraging finite-blocklength results for the AWGN channel, we characterize the delay violation and the peak-age violation probability without resorting to approximations based on large deviation theory as in previous literature. Our analysis reveals that there exists an optimum blocklength that minimizes the delay violation and the peak-age violation probabilities. We also show that one can find two blocklength values that result in very similar average delay and average peak age but significantly different delay violation and peak-age violation probabilities, respectively. This highlights the importance of focusing on violation probabilities rather than on averages.