Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning for Relay Selection and Power Optimization in Two-Hop Cooperative Relay Network
Cooperative communication is an effective approach to improve spectrum utilization. In order to reduce outage probability of communication system, most studies propose various schemes for relay selection and power allocation, which are based on the assumption of channel state information (CSI). However, it is difficult to get an accurate CSI in practice. In this paper, we study the outage probability minimizing problem subjected to a total transmission power constraint in a two-hop cooperative
... elay network. We use reinforcement learning (RL) methods to learn strategies for relay selection and power allocation, which do not need any prior knowledge of CSI but simply rely on the interaction with communication environment. It is noted that conventional RL methods, including most deep reinforcement learning (DRL) methods, cannot perform well when the search space is too large. Therefore, we first propose a DRL framework with an outage-based reward function, which is then used as a baseline. Then, we further propose a hierarchical reinforcement learning (HRL) framework and training algorithm. A key difference from other RL-based methods in existing literatures is that, our proposed HRL approach decomposes relay selection and power allocation into two hierarchical optimization objectives, which are trained in different levels. With the simplification of search space, the HRL approach can solve the problem of sparse reward, while the conventional RL method fails. Simulation results reveal that compared with traditional DRL method, the HRL training algorithm can reach convergence 30 training iterations earlier and reduce the outage probability by 5% in two-hop relay network with the same outage threshold.