June 12, 2017

User Association and Resource Allocation Optimization in LTE Cellular Networks

  • Chen C.
  • Eitan Altman
  • Nessrine Trabelsi
  • Rachid El Azouzi
  • Roullet L.

As the demand for higher data rates is growing exponentially, homogeneous cellular networks have been facing limitations when handling data traffic. These limitations are related to the available spectrum and the capacity of the network. Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets), composed of Macro Cells (MCs) and Small Cells (SCs), are seen as the key solution to improve spectral efficiency per unit area and to eliminate coverage holes. Due to the large imbalance in transmit power between MCs and SCs in HetNets, intelligent User Association (UA) is required to perform load balancing and to favor some SCs attraction against MCs. As Long Term Evolution (LTE) cellular networks use the same frequency sub-bands, User Equipments (UEs) may experience strong Inter-Cell Interference (ICI), especially at cell edge. Therefore, there is a need to coordinate the Resource Allocation (RA) among the cells and to minimize the ICI. In this paper, we propose a generic algorithm to optimize user Association and resource allocation in LTE networks. Our solution, based on game theory, permits to compute Cell Individual Offset (CIO) and a pattern of power transmission over frequency and time domain for each cell. Simulation results show significant benefits in the average throughput and also cell edge user throughput of 40% and 55% gains respectively. Furthermore, we also obtain a meaningful improvement in energy efficiency.

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