Victoria Manfredi, Jim Kurose
We address the problem of adaptive sensor control in dynamic resource-constrained sensor networks. We focus on a meteorological sensing network comprising radars that can perform sector scanning rather than always scanning 360 degrees. We compare three sector scanning strategies. The sit-and-spin strategy always scans 360 degrees. The limited lookahead strategy additionally uses the expected environmental state K decision epochs in the future, as predicted from Kalman filters, in its decision-making. The full lookahead strategy uses all expected future states by casting the problem as a Markov decision process and using reinforcement learning to estimate the optimal scan strategy. We show that the main benefits of using a lookahead strategy are when there are multiple meteorological phenomena in the environment, and when the maximum radius of any phenomenon is sufficiently smaller than the radius of the radars. We also show that there is a trade-off between the average quality with which a phenomenon is scanned and the number of decision epochs before which a phenomenon is rescanned.