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J Sign Process Syst (2016) 83:279291

DOI 10.1007/s11265-015-1061-x

Towards 5G: Context Aware Resource Allocation


for Energy Saving
Muhammad Alam1 Du Yang1 Kazi Huq1 Firooz Saghezchi1 Shahid Mumtaz1
Jonathan Rodriguez1

Received: 14 April 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 7 October 2015 / Published online: 19 October 2015
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Abstract With the objective of providing high quality of


service (QoS), 5G system will need to be context-aware
that uses context information in a real-time mode depends
on network, devices, applications, and the environment of
users. In order to continue enjoying the benefits provided
by future technologies such as 5G, we need to find solutions
for reducing energy consumption. One promising solution
is taking advantage of the context information available in
todays networks. In this paper, we take a step towards 5G
by utilizing context information in the scheduling process
as conventional packet scheduling algorithms are mainly
designed for increasing throughput but not for the energy
saving. We investigate a Context Aware Scheduling (CAS)
algorithm which considers the context information of users
along with conventional metrics for scheduling. An information model of context awareness along with a context
aware framework for resource management is also pre-

 Muhammad Alam

alam@av.it.pt
Du Yang
du.yang205@gmail.com
Kazi Huq
kazi.saidul@av.it.pt
Firooz Saghezchi
firooz@av.it.pt
Shahid Mumtaz
smumtaz@av.it.pt
Jonathan Rodriguez
jonathan@av.it.pt
1

Instituto de Telecomunicaco es, University of Averio, Aveiro,


Portugal

sented in this paper. CAS is simulated applying a system


level simulator and the results obtained show that considerable amount of energy is saved by utilizing the context information compare to conventional scheduling algorithms.
Keywords 5G Context information Scheduling
Energy efficiency

1 Introduction
In 5G Era, we need novel methods of abstraction to efficiently generate context-aware information, as well as new
ways to share context information among applications, networks, and devices. In this sense, wireless systems play a
key role as context aware enablers, as well as high capacity backhaul systems. This is provided by the unrelenting
motivation in the capacity increase and latency decrease,
especially in the case of future 5G systems. Alternative
views applied to context lead to different definitions and
different levels of applicability. In case of wireless networks
the context is categorized into two basic categories, UE and
network related context [1]. Contrary to the conventional
scheduling mechanisms, there are a number of context information available related to user equipment (UE) that can be
utilized in resource management based on the motivation
and scenarios e.g. transmit power, battery level, mobility,
traffic type etc. In order to focus on energy saving and QoS
of UE, battery level along with traffic type and channel
condition of the each UE are considered in our proposed
scheduling algorithm.
Energy efficiency (EE) and low carbon strategies have
attracted a lot of concern in the recent years. Driven by the
rapidly increasing demand of high data-rate, the throughput
of todays wireless system has dramatically improved over

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the last few decades. In the recent years, there is a need to


improve both the spectral efficiency as well as the Energy
EE, since the energy consumption has become an important
issue from both economic and environmental aspects; and
future devices will be more power hungry than connectivity.
The EE can be tackled through the exploitation of techniques and mechanisms from application to physical layer.
We utilize the context information in scheduling process
for energy saving in Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTEA). Round Robin (RR), Maximum Carrier to Interference
ratio (Max C/I) and Proportional Fair (PF) scheduling are
the three conventional and most popular scheduling methods. RR allocates equal resources to all users, regardless of
their current channel condition. On the other hand, Max C/I
scheduling aims at maximizing the total cell throughput by
considering CQI values fed back to evolved NodeB eNB
from the UEs. This leads to unfairness, as users that are further away from eNB (or have bad channel conditions) will
not be allocated a fair share of the radio resources. The PF
algorithm, [2], tries to provide fairness by increasing the priority of a mobile user who has a relatively low value of the
C/I ratio.
LTE and LTE-A aim to provide customers a new mobile
experience providing higher data rates that makes user to
use more bandwidth demanding application anywhere anytime e.g. video streaming, interactive gaming etc. However,
these applications are highly energy demanding and drain
out the limited battery of mobile devices which is a major
challenge for modern telecommunication systems. On one
hand, this challenge makes users more reluctant to use the
high bandwidth demanding applications but on the other
hand, it encourages the development of new architectures
and mechanisms that are more power-aware or powerefficient and contribute to the energy savings of modern
mobile devices. Keeping in view the power saving, LTE
uses the idea of Discontinuous Reception (DRX) and Discontinuous Transmission (DTX) which makes the mobile
devices aware of unnecessary and continuously monitoring the control channels and turns the radio to an extended
sleep time and activate on defined time intervals. But these
mechanisms only extend the sleep time to contribute to
energy savings and do not considers the actual battery level
of mobile devices and other important UE related context
information in resource management for energy savings.
There are situations when the UEs battery level is low but
gets no priority in the scheduling process. Therefore, in
this paper, we have tackle this problem by introducing new
metric in the resource management which contribute to the
battery savings of UE while providing the same QoS to UE.
The major contributions of this paper are as follows:

A detailed context architecture and framework for context based scheduling algorithms. The framework can

exploit any context information related to UE and eNB


to achieve the desired goals based on the proposals for
5G.
A detailed design and working of context information
based signaling in LTE-A.
A context base battery priority scheduling algorithm for
the low battery devices in congested scenarios where
UE has limited access to recharging and utilizing high
data rate demanding applications.
Implementation of context information based module in
system level simulator for LTE-A.

Most of the traditional schedulers consider only the throughput but not the energy related information in the scheduling;
therefore, we go beyond the state-of-the-art and develop a
new scheduler which exploits the context information of
UE for energy saving and QoS. The rest of the paper is
organized as follows: in Section 2, we present the related
work, Section 3 covers the scenario, the detail description of problem formulation is provided in Section 4 while
the proposed scheduling algorithm along with the pseudocode and flowchart is presented in Section 5. Section 6
gives details about the context based framework for scheduling, Section 7 details the representation of the context
information followed by the the acquisition of context
information in Section 8. The details of the system level
simulator along with simulations results are presented in
Section 9 and finally, we concluded the paper in the last
section.

2 Related Work
When the mobile devices are powered on unnecessarily for
an extended period of time they consume useful battery,
which is considered one of the main reasons for energy
consumption in both infrastructure and ad hoc networks.
This problem is tackled by the introduction of proper sleep
or idle modes of the mobile devices which is reported in
[3, 4]. Therefore, to take advantage of the sleep or idle
modes for energy saving 3GPP [5] has standardized discontinuous Transmission (DTX) and Discontinuous Reception
(DRX). Similarly, in [6] the study evaluates several different parameter settings for LTEs DRX, and attempts to
discover a reasonable trade-off between VoIP performance
and user terminal battery life. But these mechanisms contribute to energy saving only by extending the UE sleep time
while ignoring the consideration of the context information
in the scheduling process. For instance, to guarantee the
QoS for real-time flows and also to minimize energy consumption of mobile devices a work is presented in [7]. The
scheduling problem is formulated as an integer linear program to minimize the total number of active frames to save

J Sign Process Syst (2016) 83:279291

281

energy consumption. The aftermentioned work adopts the


scheduling process to contribute only to the mobile terminals sleep time thus ignoring the context information e.g.
amount of battery power remaining for application in use
etc. A detailed survey is presented on opportunistic scheduling in [8]. Opportunistic scheduling is considered to take
advantage of the available information such as the channel
quality and other QoS parameters (i.e., throughput, delay,
and jitter) that consents the scheduler to the proper transmission resources for user [8]. An opportunistic scheduling
mechanism for OFDM systems to minimize the overall
transmission power is presented in [9]. Energy efficient and
low complexity scheduling mechanisms for uplink cognitive
cellular networks is presented in [10] along with a comparison of RR and opportunistic scheduling for EE. It is proven
that RR is more energy efficient than opportunistic scheduling while providing the same QoS. Furthermore, existing
schedulers mostly rely on either single parameter e.g. channel quality, throughput etc.[1113], or a combination of
more than one parameters, e.g. traffic type, channel quality
or QoS metrics (jitter, delay) etc. But still these works are
limited and do not go beyond the existing state-of-the-art
work for considering context information n the scheduling
process.
On the other hand, some recent works consider the utilization of the context information in the scheduling process.
To improve the QoS of, a context-aware resource allocation (CARA) scheduling scheme, for cellular wireless
networks, is presented in [14]. This scheduling mechanism

is transaction-based and considers the running applications


foreground/background state as context information. Each
transaction flow is provided a finish time, QoS requirements, and the context information attached. However,
CARA considers the context information which is limited
to the application in use, and contributes only the QoS
improvement.

3 Scenario
The proposed scenario for the context based scheduling is
depicted in Fig. 1. The scenario shows an LTE-A cell having an eNB and several UEs randomly deployed inside the
cell. Each UE gathers its required context information into
a Context list (CX-list) and send to the eNB on the LTE-A
uplink feedback channel. A context based database is maintained at each eNB which is updated each time when the UE
triggers or when there is a change in the UEs dynamic context information e.g. battery level, channel quality etc. Each
UE once associated with a eNB, this particular eNB will
create a temporary profile for this UE which contains UEs
temporary identity as well as key context information associated with the corresponding bearers including prioritized
bit-rate and etc. The context information will be utilized
for eNB downlink and uplink scheduling to guarantee QoS.
The created profile for each UE will be removed once the
UE moves into another cell, switches into idle mode, or
switches off.

Context based
UE profiles

Core Network
MME

UE

Context Information

eNB

UE

CX-list

UE
%
%
UE

UE

%
%
UE

UE
%

Figure 1 Scenario for the investigated context based scheduling.

UE

UE

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J Sign Process Syst (2016) 83:279291

4 Problem Formulation

hkj

In this section, we formulate our problem. We define the


following notations:

jk

k
K
j
J
E
Ptx
N0
F

User index
Total number of active users
Resource block index
Total number of resource blocks
Energy (Joules)
Transmit power per resource block at the eNB
(Watts)
AWGN noise variance
File size (Bits)

Figure 2 Flow chart of the


proposed algorithm.

PcRx

Instantaneous channel impulse response for the k-th


user at j-th RB, including path-loss and shadowing
(Complex value)
If j -th RB assigned to k-th user, then jk = 1;
otherwise jk = 0 (Binary value)
Power consumption at the UE for receiving (Watts)

We target a scenario, where: 1) there are K active users in


a single cell, all connected to one eNB; 2) file download
application is considered for all users, the required file size
is F k (bits) for the k-th user; 3) the remaining battery level
of the k-th user is E k (Joule).

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283

5 Proposed Algorithm

We made the following assumptions:


1) The up-to-date remaining battery level of each user E k
(Joule) is known at the eNB through an error-free delayfree feedback channel.
2) The required download file size F k is known at eNB.
3) The active number of users K is smaller than the
number of RBs in every transmission time interval
(TTI).
4) Scheduling is performed every TTI (1 ms) in a RR
fashion.
5) Equal power allocation over frequency/time is
employed at the eNB. For every resource block, the
transmit power is denoted as Ptx .
The problem is formulated as follows

We investigate a context aware scheduling (CAS) algorithm


which reduces the energy consumption by considering the
context information based on the work presented in [15].
Most of the conventional schedulers, make decisions based
on the throughput/QoS and instantaneous channel condition
as part of a cross-layer scheduling approach. However, new
factors that should be considered to enhance the system performance are the cost of energy per bit and the required
energy (in battery level). In this context, the scheduling metric of a packet scheduler considers the ratio of the transmit
energy to the number of transmitted bits [15] and multiply with the remaining battery level energy. For this reason,
in a system with limited transmit energy, it is more efficient to allocate physical resource blocks (PRBs) to the
users that require the least ratio of the transmit energy to
the number of transmission bits and have low remaining
energy. Thus, in the proposed packet scheduling scheme,
the scheduling metric selects the UEs to be allocated in
an order from lower to higher of the ratio of the transmit energy, Eum , to the number of transmission bits Bum ,
of the PRB m and BLu , battery level of the UE u as
follows:


F k PcRx

k
max

E


 2
 k k

hj  j Ptx
J
k

j log 2 1 +
N0

(1)

Subject to the following constraints


J


jk = LCM(J, K)/K

(u, m) = arg min


u,m

Ek > 0

Eum
Pum T
=
arg
min
BLu
u,m Bum
Bum

(2)

where (u, m) is the scheduling metric which denotes the


index of selected UE u and PRB m respectively; energy is
the multiple of power and time (Pum .T ).

Fk > 0

Decision And implementaon


Engine

Core Network

UE Context Architecture

Schedulling Process

UE
Context based
scheduler

eNB

Context
Reasoner

S-GW

Context Based Priority calculaon


Context

MME

Internet

Context Filter
Context Manager

BS Context
P-GW

Context
Provider

UEs context
Context Provider

Context Informaon

Figure 3 Context architecture and framework for proposed scheduling algorithm.

Conguraon
Prole

Policy Set
Context Manager

Decision Engine
Context
Info
Control
Info

284

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Table 1 LTE QoS classes [17].


QCI Upper bound packet error rate Upper bound delay budget (ms)
102
103
103
106
106
106
103
106
106

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

100
150
50
300
100
300
100
300
300

As presented in [16], Pum =


metric as follows:
arg min
u,m

6 Context Based Scheduling Framework


and Architecture

(Bum )
,
hm
u

we can redefine the

Pum T
(Bum )T

BL
=
arg
min
BLu
u
m
u,m hm
Bum
u Bu

(3)

Let Pum denote the maximum transmit power at the transmitter that can be assigned for the UE u and the PRB m.
Equation 2 can be rewritten as

(u, m) = arg min



u,m

T
m
u
(Bum )

battery level as in Eq. 5. The flowchart of the algorithm is


shown in Fig. 2.


1
Pum

Bum

BLu

(4)

Because, arg min(x) = arg max( x1 ). Finally, the scheduling metric can be expressed as


1
m
u

(u, m) = arg max 
m
m

u,m
BLu
E(Bu )/Bu

An information model of context awareness is presented in


Fig. 3. This model basically illustrates how Context Information (Cx Info) is extracted and processed by various
functional blocks in the context aware architecture. The outcome of this information model is the implementation of
energy saving strategies based on the given context settings.
Following is the brief description of different modules of
our context architecture.
Context Provider is the source of Cx Info. This Cx Info
is obtained directly from the radio environment (e.g. from
terminal measurement or network) without any processing.
For instance, the information can be battery levels of MTs
or signal strength to determine distance between UEs and
eNB. If the mapping to the scheduling framework is considered, the context provider resides in both terminal and
network side. The policy set is the set of strategies that can
be used by radio, in other words it imposes constraints on
the radio functionalities. The context manager is responsible for Cx Info processing to provide refined Cx Info
for the decision engine. It consists of two blocks: Context
Reasoner and Context Filter. The Context Reasoner collects raw Cx Info and generates rules for context filtering
based on the constraints from the policy set. The reasoner
may need to process the Cx Info to generate rules; however it will not alter the information content. The Context
Filter filters the Cx Info based on the rules generated by

SPR

(5)
PCRF
EPS Bearer

The proposed energy efficient scheduler allocates the


PRB m to the UE with larger excess channel gain which
is distant to the required received energy per bit and lower

Radio
bearer

UE

S1
Bearer

eNB

S5/S8
Bearer

S-GW

P-GW(PCEF)

PDN

Temp UE
prole

Example bearer

Table 2 Representation of Battery level.


Index
0
1

Battery level
30 %
< 30 %

Index
0
1
2
3

Battery level
[75 %100 %]
[50 %75 %]
[25 %50 %]
[0 %25 %]

Dataow1(streaming )
Packet ow
(video)

Packet ow
(audio)

Data ow2 (video conference)


Figure 4 QoS information flow.

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285

Figure 5 Mapping of physical


channels and radio resources.

1) Uplink mapping
Slot 1

2) Downlink mapping

Slot 2

Slot 1

...
RB N

RB N

Slot 2

...

PDSCH

PUCCH format 2
(UE1/UE2/...)
UE2
UE1
P
D
C
C
H

PRACH
PUSCH

SIB2

PUCCH format 2
(UE1/UE2/...)
RB1

RB1

3) MAC frame combined context informaon and service data


MAC Header
Sub-H for Sub-H for Sub-H for
Control 1 Control 1
SDU 1

the context reasoner and output the high level operational


Cx Info for the decision engine. The decision engine is the
core of the context awareness framework. It makes decision based on operational Cx Info from the context manager
and the constraints from the policy set. The decision will be
implemented or used as a knowledge build-up. Configuration profiles represent a knowledge database built based on
previous decisions. They can be seen as results of learning
process. For example in a learning process, the implementation of a decision will be evaluated. A good (energy
efficient) decision will be given a higher score. Good decisions with high scores are likely to be repeated in the future
if the context setting permits. The framework is shown in
the Fig. 3. The context related to scheduling is gathered at
the UE and signaled to the eNB. The eNB gathers the information from all the connected UEs and its own information
in UE context provider module. The collected information

...

MAC
control 1

MAC
control 2

MAC
SDU 1

...

is filtered in the context manager and passed to the scheduling process where the context based priority calculation
algorithm calculates the priority of each UE, based on the
context parameters; which are battery level, channel quality
and traffic type. The scheduling is performed in presence of
network policies provided by policy set module. The scheduled decisions are passed to decision and implementation
module.

7 The Representation of Context Information


Context information, such as the received SINR, usually is a
value/vector in continuous domain, which contains infinite
entropy and cannot be processed by todays digital systems.
The common method is to predefine a table, which divides
the original infinite-number of continuous values/vectors

Table 3 LTE-A defined list of control formats.


PUCCH format

Release

Application

No. of UCI bits

No of PUCCH bits

1
1a
1b
2
2a
2b
3

R8
R8
R8
R8
R8
R8
R10

SR
1 bit HARQ-ACK and optional SR
2 bit HARQ-ACK and optional SR
CQI, PMI, RI
CQI, PMI, RI and 1 bit HARQ-ACK
CQI, PMI, RI and 2 bit HARQ-ACK
20 bits HARQ-ACK and Optional SR

1
1 or 2
2 or 3
11
12
13
21

1
1 or 2
2 or 3
20
21
22
48

286

J Sign Process Syst (2016) 83:279291

System Level Simulator

Simulator Mode
Dynamic/Combined
snapshot

Mobility models&
User deployment

Cell Deployment

Context Aware
Module

Look Up table
from the PHY
layer of the
system

Context Information:
BS context
information, UE
context information
Battery level, Channel
quality indicator, Traffic
information, application
in use etc.

RRM
Admission Control,
Link Adaptation,
Channel resources
Maganemnet,
Scheduling, Power
control and Interference
calculations
Context Aware
schedulling (CAS)
(RR, MCI, PF),
HAndover, HARQ.

Computation of
system level
metrics
(Energy Efficiency,
spectrul efficiency
etc.)

Figure 6 Components of system level simulator.

into finite-number of discrete regions. All the values within


one region are represented by the index of this region. For
example, LTE-A standardize a QoS table having 9 elements
shown in Table 1. The index of each element in the table is
called Quality Classification Indicator, which could be represented using 4 bits. Similarly, the SINR values are mapped
into 16 combinations of modulation and coding schemes.

Following the same strategy, we could pre-define a table


to represent the battery level. Two examples are given below
and represented in Table 2. The first one set 30 % of remaining battery as the alarm threshold, which requires 1 bit
to represent these two elements. While the other one provides have four elements, and requires at least 2 bits for
representation. Having a longer table can represent more

Table 4 Simulations parameters.


Parameters

Values

Carrier frequency fc
Bandwidth
Duplex mode
Noise density
Fast fading model
Log-normal shadowing variance (dB)
Number of cells
Number of users
BS transmit power
Received SINR threshold
Average snapshot
Time transmission interval
Number of resource block
Link adaptation
Traffic model
Radio resource management
Turbo decoder
HARQ
AMC P ERt arget
CQI delay

2 GHz
10 MHz
FDD
174 dBm/Hz
Rayleigh fading using Pedestrian B model (6 taps, SISO) Urban
LOS = 4 (dB), NLOS = 8 (dB)
Multiple cell
50
43 dBm
3 dBm
100
1 ms (sub-frame)
50 RB in each slot, 7 symbol, number of subcarriers per RB=12,total subcarrier=600
EESM( Exp Effective SINR Mapping)
Data (File)
CAS, RR
Max Log Map (8 iterations)
Chase combining, Number of process=6,Retransmission interval=6 ms,Max Nb of retransmission=3
10 %
Each TTI, with 2 ms delay

J Sign Process Syst (2016) 83:279291

information, while it also increases the complexity and signaling overhead. Hence, there is a trade-off between the
information accuracy and complexity plus overhead.

287

The quasi-/stable context information is stored in the core


network, and transmitted to eNB via backhaul links. Taking
the QoS information as an example, the process is illustrated in Fig. 4. As an IP-connected network, all services
(voice, data, etc.) in LTE-A are connected to the external
Packet Data Network (PDN) through the Packet Data Network Gateway (P-GW). It is natural to configure the quality
of service at the P-GW. Since the expected service quality
is related to charging, an element called Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF) is embedded in P-GW.
This PCEF is responsible to communicate with other two
network elements in the core network. One is called Policy and Charging Function (PCRF), which provides policy
and charging control rules. The other one is called Subscription Profile Repository (SPR), which contains users

subscription information such as his/her subscribed price


plan.
Having the information of how much a UE is willing
to pay, the P-GW configures QoS for difference services
through a mechanism named Evolved Packet Service (EPS)
bearer. A EPS bearer could be considered as a bi-directional
data pipe as a logical connection between the UE and the
P-GW. It consisted by three other logical bearers, S5/S8
bearer, S1 bearer and radio bearer as shown in Fig. 4. Once
a UE is switched on and connected to the network, a default
EPS bearer will be set-up, and be remained until this UE
switched off. More than one EPS bearer can be set up for
difference services. Each EPS bearer is associated with a
specific QoS, which defines how the data will be transferred using parameters such as error-rate, delay as shown
in Table 1 (but not limited to these). One example of ESP
bearer is also demonstrated in Fig. 4. This bearer defined
a QoS suitable for real-time video transmission, for example QoS having low delay. In this bearer, two service data
flowsone for video streaming from the UE to the network,
and one for video conference from the network to the UE are
supported. Within each data flow, one or more packet flows
(e.g. audio and video) are contained for supporting this service. LTE gives the same QoS to all the packet flows within
a particular EPS bearer.
The eNBs are not suitable candidate for storage these
quasi-/static pre-defined UE context information because:
1) The operators want to reduce the cost of eNBs; 2) eNB
completely lose connection with certain mobile nodes once
it moves out from this eNBs coverage area. However, once
a UE is associated with an eNB, this eNB will create a
temporary profile for this UE, which contains this UEs temporary identity as well as key QoS parameters associated
with the corresponding bearers including priority prioritized
bit-rate and etc. These QoS information will be utilized for
eNB downlink and uplink scheduling. This profile will be
deleted when this UE moves into another cell, switches into
idle mode, or switches off.

Figure 7 Total remaining battery (%) vs simulation time (TTIs).

Figure 8 Average battery consumption vs number of users.

8 The Acquisition of Context Information


Two types of context information, eNB context and UEs
context, are shown in Fig. 4. The eNBs context is measured, update, and stored at each eNB, which is easy to
obtain. UEs context information can be categorized into
two types according to its lifetime: quasi-/stable pre-defined
context information with less or no changes; and unstable measured context information with frequently changes.
For example, UEs price plan and its expected QoS for different applications are pre-defined with low change rate;
while the channel quality and battery level need to be measured with high variation. In this section, we will discuss the
acquisition of these two types of UE context information.
8.1 Quasi-/stable Pre-defined UEs Context Information
Obtained from Core Networks

288

8.2 Unstable Measured UEs Context Information


Obtained from Uplink Feedback Channel
The unstable measured UEs context information, such as
the channel quality and battery level, is obtained from
the UE and signaled via uplink feedback channel. There
are two feedback modes: periodic and aperiodic. Periodic mode is carried on a regular interval according to
the average variable rate of the context information. For
example, the channel quality indicator is influence by the
multi-path fading, and has a faster variable rate than the
Rank Indicator, which is more influenced by shadowing.
Hence CQI feedback is carried out 32 times more frequent than the RI feedback. By contrast, aperiodic node
usually carried out on-demand or for abnormal situation. Aperiodic mode usually has a higher priority than
periodic mode.
The uplink feedback channel could be the Physical
Uplink Share Channel (PUSCH) or the Physical Uplink
Control Channel (PUCCH) depends on the states of UE.
More explicitly
1) If the mobile is in connection mode and has data
waiting for transmission via the PUSCH, the context
information will be multiplex with the data at MAC
layer, and transmitted back to the eNB.
2) If the mobile is in connection mode but has not data for
transmission, context information will be transmitted
via the PUCCH.
3) If the mobile is in idle mode, this mobile needs to
invoke a random access request via Physical Random
Access Channel (PRACH), re-establish the connection
with the eNodeB, and then feedback its context information via PUSCH or PUCCH as described previously.
In addition, for energy saving purpose, it is more appropriate for an idle-mode mobile to report in aperiodic
mode trigger by the change of context information status, for example, the battery level dropped below a certain
threshold.
A simplified mapping of several physical channels
(related to this paper) and radio resources are shown in
Fig. 5. The outermost parts of the uplink band are reserved
for PUCCH. The rest of the uplink bandwidth is mainly
used by the PUSCH. Some resource blocks are reserved
for PRACH. For downlink radio resources, a few symbols (varies from frame to frame) at the beginning of each
subframe are reserved for control information such as Physical Downlink Control Channel (PDCCH). The rest of the
subframe is reserved to downlink data transmission as the
Physical Downlink Shared Channel (PDSCH).

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The PUSCH is allocated to individual mobile in units of


resource blocks within each sub-frame. An uplink scheduler at the eNB will decide allocate which resource blocks
to which UE, and sending the UE a scheduling grant on the
PDCCH. This grants permission for the mobile to transmit
and states all the transmission parameters it should follow,
such as transport block size, the resource block allocation
and the modulation scheme. If one UE has data to transmit, it will initial a scheduling request through PUCCH, and
receive such a scheduling grant. If this UE also has context
information to feedback, it will concatenate its Service Data
Unit (SDU) with context information (denoted as control) as
shown in Fig. 5. The type of the context information, their
length, and their place in the combined packet are included
in the MAC header.
The PUCCH is also shared by all UEs. An individual
mobile transmits the PUCCH using two resource blocks,
which occupies 1 ms and at the opposite sides of the frequency band. To efficiently utilize the limited PUCCH
bandwidth, these two resource blocks are further shared
by several UEs by using different cyclic shift or orthogonal sequence index, which are assigned to this mobile by
eNB. Moreover, LTE-A standard has pre-defined a list of
control formats, which are shown in Table 3. The resource
blocks in the PUCCH are reserved for different control format. The way of reserving which resource blocks for what
type of control format is again decided by the eNB, and
advertised in the System Information Block No.2 (SIB 2)
via PUSCH. As illustrated in the Fig. 5, the two highlighted
resource blocks are reserved for transmitting a combination
of CQI/PMI/RI. UE1 and UE2 both want to transmit these
three types of information. As a result, they will spread these
control information with their own orthogonal sequence,
and occupy these two resource blocks.

9 Simulation Setup and Results


This section presents the simulation results and analyses of
our devised algorithm. Figure 6 demonstrates the component of the simulator we use for our simulation purpose.
The simulation parameters set for proposed scenario to simulate is shown in Table 4. From Fig. 7, it can be observed
that the battery consumption of UEs is reduced by around
10 % compared to the benchmark algorithm RR. It is also
observed that our algorithm effectively saves more energy
as simulation time increases, and reaches optimal results
within 100 TTIs due to the context aware information in the
scheduling. For instance, if we consider battery level as a
context entity inside the context aware module, it demon-

J Sign Process Syst (2016) 83:279291

289

Figure 9 CDF vs energy


consumption.

strates that the lower the battery level the higher the priority
of our scheduling, while also considering other parameters.
Therefore, in our investigated algorithm, low battery level
and minimum energy per bit is assigned higher scheduling priority which eventually leads to reduced battery
consumption.
For the scheduling process, CAS considers the remaining battery of each UE along with channel quality, traffic
demand and adaptive coding which are mostly ignored in
the previous algorithms. As result, CAS saves energy and
the average remaining battery level of the active users are
much higher compared to conventional RR. Figure 8 represents the average remaining battery level compared with
number of users. This figure depicts that CAS, on average,
saves more energy compared to conventional scheduling
algorithms. Figure 9 shows the Cumulative Density Function (CDF) of the UEs energy consumption. With the
proposed method, almost 50 % of the users consume energy
which is a value 0.5 mJ. Using the conventional RR, only
20 % of UEs consume the same amount of energy; the gain

Figure 10 Overall comparison of CAS with conventional RR.

is 2530 %. This gain is achieved due to the context aware


information available at context module for each mobile
user. The context aware module provides the context to the
RRM module to consider the battery level of each user in the
scheduling process and to adapted its power according to the
traffic load in each cell. Thus, the proposed algorithm saves
energy and increase the number of UEs to be scheduled.
A 3-D plot is demonstrated in Fig. 10. In this figure,
we show an overall comparison between the proposed
algorithm and the conventional RR in terms of energy consumption, number of users and simulation frames. Here, we
assume all the context entities (battery level, CQI and traffic) that are defined in the proposed algorithm section. It
can be observed that the proposed approaches saves almost
0.2 mJ of energy in contrast to the benchmark RR algorithm.

10 Conclusion
In this paper, we present a Context Aware Scheduling
(CAS) algorithm for 5G based on LTE-A exploiting the
context information. CAS goes beyond the state-of-theart and exploits the context information of UE for energy
saving and guarantee the requested QoS. Furthermore, we
present an information model for context awareness which
illustrates how context information is extracted and processed by various functional blocks in the context aware
architecture of UE. The presented architecture is not only
used for radio resource management, but can further be
utilized in various context based mechanisms. The paper
also discuss the design of context information based signaling in LTE-A that can be used in the future technologies. A context aware module is implemented in a system

290

level simulator to test the efficiency of the proposed CAS


and to provide a comparison with conventional scheduling. The simulation results show that CAS has the potential
to save energy compared to conventional RR scheduling.
In fact, the battery consumption of the UEs are reduced
by 1015 % by using CAS in contrast to conventional RR
scheduling.

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Retrieved 13 Feb 2015.

Muhammad Alam holds


a PhD. degree in Computer
science from university of
Aveiro. In 2009, he became
a Researcher at Instituto de
Telecomunicaco es Aveiro
(Portugal) and concluded
his Ph.D. in MAP-i Doctoral program Portugal in
2014. He has been involved
in several research projects
such as C2POWER, PEACE,
SmartVision and ICSI. Currently, he is a Post-doctoral
researcher at the Instituto de
Telecomunicaco esPolo de
Aveiro, Portugal, working in the EU funded ICSI project. He is the
author of several Journal and conference research papers. His research
interests include Wireless Communication, Vehicular Communication,
ITS and Context aware systems.

Du Yang received her BEng.


degree from the Beijing
University of Posts and
Telecommunications (China),
in 2005; and her MSc. and
Ph.D. degrees from University of Southampton (UK), in
2006 and 2010 respectively.
She was a recipient of the
Mobile VCE Scholarship.
She worked as a Post-doctoral
researcher at the Instituto de
Telecomunicaco esPolo de
Aveiro, Portugal, working
in the EU funded WHERE2
project. Currently, she is
working as Core Network Engineer at Huawei Technologies, U.K.
Her research interests include MIMO techniques, multi-hop relaying
communication, position information assisted communication, joint
PHY and MAC layer optimization in LTE standard.

J Sign Process Syst (2016) 83:279291


Kazi Huq received the B.Sc.
degree in computer science
and engineering from Ahsanullah University of Science
and Technology, Dhaka,
Bangladesh, in 2003; the
M.Sc. degree in electrical
engineering from Blekinge
Institute
of
Technology,
Blekinge, Sweden, in 2006;
and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the
University of Aveiro, Aveiro,
Portugal, in 2014. Since April
2014, he has been a Senior
Research Engineer with the
Instituto de Telecomunicaco es, Polo de Aveiro, Portugal. He is the
author of several publications, including conferences, journals, and
a book chapter. His research activities include fifth-generation (5G),
energy-efficient wireless communication, radio resource management
for green cellular networks, and coordinated scheduling.

Firooz Saghezchi received


the MSc degree in Electrical
Engineering-Communication
Systems from Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran in
2003 and the BSc degree
in Electrical EngineeringTelecommunications
from
University of Tabriz, Tabriz,
Iran in 2000. He secured a
lecturer position at Electrical
Engineering Department of
Islamic Azad University of
Garmsar, Garmsar, Iran for six
years. Then, he joined 4TELL
Wireless
Communication
Research Group at Instituto de Telecomunicaco es, Aveiro, Portugal
in 2010, where he has been involved in several European research
projects such as HURRICANE, C2POWER and E2SG. He is currently
pursuing his PhD under the umbrella of MAP-tele Doctoral Programme in Telecommunications, a joint degree offered by University
of Minho, University of Aveiro and University of Porto in Portugal.
He has authored several scientific works including book chapters,
journal and conference publications and served as an active reviewer
and TPC member for several high-profile journals and conferences.
His research interests include 5G, energy efficiency, cooperative
communications, game theory, demand response and smart grid.

291
Shahid Mumtaz received
his MSc. degree from the
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden and his
Ph.D. degree from University of Aveiro, Portugal. He
is now a senior research
engineer at the Instituto de
Telecomunicaco esPolo de
Aveiro, Portugal, working
in EU funded projects. He
has been involved in several
EC R&D Projects (5GPPSpeed-5G, CoDIV, FUTON,
C2POWER,
GREENET,
GREEN-T,
ORCALE,
ROMEO, FP6, and FP7) in the field of green communication and next
generation wireless systems. In EC projects, he holds the position of
technical manager, where he oversees the project from a scientific and
technical side, managing all details of each work packages which gives
the maximum impact of the projects results for further development
of commercial solutions. He has been also involved in two Portuguese
funded projects (SmartVision & Mobilia) in the area of networking
coding and development of system level simulator for 5G wireless
system. His research interests include MIMO techniques, multi-hop
relaying communication, cooperative techniques, cognitive radios,
game theory, energy efficient framework for 4G, position information
assisted communication, joint PHY and MAC layer optimization in
LTE standard. He is author of several books, conference, journals and
book chapter publications.

Jonathan Rodriguez received


his Masters degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Ph.D from the University of Surrey (UK), in
1998 and 2004 respectively. In
2005, he became a researcher
at the Instituto de Telecomunicacoes (IT)-Portugal where
he was a member of the Wireless Communications Scientific Area. In 2008, he became
a Senior Researcher where
he established the 4TELL
Research Group (http://www.
av.it.pt/4TELL/) targeting next
generation mobile networks with key interests on green communications, cooperation, security, and electronic circuit design. Since its
inception, the group has steadily grown and now Dr. Rodriguez is
responsible for supervising 36 research staff, including a project portfolio of over 25 research grants. He has served as project coordinator
for major international research projects, that includes Eureka LOOP
and FP7 C2POWER, whilst serving as technical manager for FP7
COGEU and FP7 SALUS. Since 2009, he became an Invited Professor at the University of Aveiro (PT) and Honorary Visiting Researcher
at the University of Bradford (UK). He is author of more than 300
scientific works, that includes 6 books. His professional affiliations
include: Senior Member of the IEEE and Chartered Engineer (CEng)
since 2013, and Fellow of the IET (2015).