Communication-efficient decentralized sequential detection
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The problem of decentralized sequential detection is studied in this thesis, where local sensors are memoryless, receive independent observations, and no feedback from the fusion center. In addition to traditional criteria of detection delay and error probability, we introduce a new constraint: the number of communications between local sensors and the fusion center. This metric is able to reflect both the cost of establishing communication links as well as overall energy consumption over time. A new formulation for communication-efficient decentralized sequential detection is proposed where the overall detection delay is minimized with constraints on both error probabilities and the communication cost. Two types of problems are investigated based on the communication-efficient formulation: decentralized hypothesis testing and decentralized change detection. In the former case, an asymptotically person-by-person optimum detection framework is developed, where the fusion center performs a sequential probability ratio test based on dependent observations. The proposed algorithm utilizes not only reported statistics from local sensors, but also the reporting times. The asymptotically relative efficiency of proposed algorithm with respect to the centralized strategy is expressed in closed form. When the probabilities of false alarm and missed detection are close to one another, a reduced-complexity algorithm is proposed based on a Poisson arrival approximation. In addition, decentralized change detection with a communication cost constraint is also investigated. A person-by-person optimum change detection algorithm is proposed, where transmissions of sensing reports are modeled as a Poisson process. The optimum threshold value is obtained through dynamic programming. An alternative method with a simpler fusion rule is also proposed, where the threshold values in the algorithm are determined by a combination of sequential detection analysis and constrained optimization. In both decentralized hypothesis testing and change detection problems, tradeoffs in parameter choices are investigated through Monte Carlo simulations.