May 01, 2020

A Framework for Unsupervised Planning of Cellular Networks Using Statistical Machine Learning

  • Assi C.
  • Bouguila N.
  • Chraiti M.
  • Ghrayeb A.
  • Valenzuela R.

The wireless industry is moving towards developing smart cellular architectures that dynamically adjust the use of the network elements according to the service demand, and automating their operations in order to minimize both capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operation expenditure (OPEX). This involves developing efficient and unsupervised radio access network (RAN) planning, which has a direct impact on the system performance and CAPEX. This intelligent cellular planning aims at providing the base stations (BSs) configurations (e.g., coverage, user associations and antenna radiation pattern) that minimize the number of deployed BSs and meet the requirements in terms of coverage and capacity. The cellular planning optimization problem has been shown to be complex and non-scalable. Moreover, most of the existing cellular planning techniques result in an over or under provisioning architecture. Motivated by the above, we propose in this paper a novel and efficient unsupervised planning process. We make use of statistical machine learning (SML) to solve the problem at hand. The core idea of SML is that the planning parameters are treated as random variables. The parameters that maximize the corresponding joint probability distribution, conditioned on observations of users' positions, are learned or inferred using Gibbs sampling theory and Bayes' theory. To apply this theory to the planning problem, we make significant efforts to properly formulate the problem to be able to incorporate the constraints into the inference process and extract the planning parameters from the inferred model. Through several numerical examples, we compare the performance of the proposed approach to clustering-based and optimization-based existing planning approaches, and demonstrate the efficacy of our approach. We also demonstrate how our approach can leverage existing cellular infrastructures into the new design.

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