New TCCN paper accepted!

Our paper “MAESTRO-X: Distributed Orchestration of Rotary-Wing UAV-Relay Swarms,” co-authored with Ph.D. students Bharath Keshavamurthy (ASU) and Matt Bliss (Purdue Univerisity) has been accepted on the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking! Congratulations Bharath and Matt!

This work details a scalable framework to orchestrate a swarm of rotary-wing UAVs serving as cellular relays to facilitate beyond line-of-sight connectivity and traffic offloading for ground users. First, a Multiscale Adaptive Energy-conscious Scheduling and TRajectory Optimization (MAESTRO) framework is developed for a single UAV. Aiming to minimize the time-averaged latency to serve user requests, subject to an average UAV power constraint, it is shown that the optimization problem can be cast as a semi-Markov decision process, and exhibits a multiscale structure: outer actions on radial wait velocities and terminal service positions minimize the long-term delay-power trade-off, optimized via value iteration; given these outer actions, inner actions on angular wait velocities and service trajectories minimize a short-term delay-energy cost. A novel hierarchical competitive swarm optimization scheme is developed in the inner optimization, to devise high-resolution trajectories via iterative pair-wise updates. Next, MAESTRO is eXtended to UAV swarms (MAESTRO-X) via scalable policy replication: enabled by a decentralized command-and-control network, the optimal single-agent policy is augmented with spread maximization, consensus-driven conflict resolution, adaptive frequency reuse, and piggybacking. Numerical evaluations show that, for user requests of 10 Mbits, generated according to a Poisson arrival process with rate 0.2 req/min/UAV, single-agent MAESTRO offers 3.8x faster service than a high-altitude platform and 29% faster than a static UAV deployment; moreover, for a swarm of 3 UAV-relays, MAESTRO-X delivers data payloads 4.7x faster than a successive convex approximation scheme; and remarkably, a single UAV optimized via MAESTRO outclasses 3 UAVs optimized via a deep-Q network by 38%.

A preprint can be found here: