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Linkoping

Studies in Science and Technology. Theses


No. 1454

Coverage Planning and Resource Allocation


in Broadband Cellular Access
- Optimization Models and Algorithms
Lei Chen

Department of Science and Technology

Linkoping
University, SE-601 74 Norrkoping,
Sweden

Norrkoping
2010

Coverage Planning and Resource Allocation in Broadband Cellular Access - Optimization Models and Algorithms
c
Lei
Chen, 2010
leich@itn.liu.se
Thesis number: LIU-TEK-LIC-2010:25
ISBN 978-91-7393-279-0
ISSN 0280-7971
Linkoping University
Department of Science and Technology
SE-601 74 Norrkoping
Tel: +46 11 36 34 96
Fax: +46 11 36 32 70
Printed by LiU-Tryck, Linkoping, Sweden, 2010

Abstract
The last two decades have witnessed a booming in the use of cellular communication technologies. Billions of people are now enjoying the benefits of
mobile communications. This thesis deals with planning and optimization of
broadband cellular access network design and operation. The problem types
considered include coverage planning, power optimization, and channel assignment. Mathematical modeling and optimization methods have been used
to approach the problems.
Coverage planning is a classical problem in cellular network deployment. A
minimum-power covering problem with overlap constraints between cell pairs
is considered. The objective is to minimize the total power consumption for
coverage, while maintaining a necessary level of overlap to facilitate handover.
For this coverage planning problem, the thesis develops two integer programming models and compares the models strength in approaching global optimality. In addition, a tabu search algorithm has been developed for solving the
problem in large-scale networks.
For High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) networks, transmission
power is a crucial factor to performance. Minimizing the power allocated for
coverage enables significant power saving that can be used for HSDPA data
transmission, thus enhancing the HSDPA performance. Exploring this potential power saving, a mathematical model targeting cell-edge HSDPA performance has been developed. In determining the optimal coverage pattern for
maximizing power saving, the model also allows for controlling the degree of
soft handover for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Release 99 services. In addition to the mathematical model, heuristic algorithms
based on local search and repeated local search are developed.
For Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), which is used
in Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, inter-cell interference control is a
key performance engineering issue. The aspect is of particular importance
to cell-edge throughput. Frequency reuse schemes for mitigating inter-cell
interference at cell-edge areas have received an increasing amount of research
attention. In the thesis, a generalization of the standard Fractional Frequency
Reuse (FFR) scheme is introduced. The generalization addresses OFDMA
networks with irregular cell layout. Optimization algorithms using local search
have been proposed to find the frequency reuse pattern of generalized FFR that
iii

maximizes the cell-edge area performance.


For the problems considered in the thesis, computational experiments of the
optimization models and algorithms using data sets representing realistic planning scenarios have been carried out. The experimental results demonstrate
the effectiveness of the proposed solution approaches.

iv

Acknowledgement
This thesis is the result of research carried out within the Department of Science and Technology (ITN), Linkoping University.
I would like to thank my supervisor, professor Di Yuan, whose excellent guidance and continuous help play a very important role in my research work. I
would like to say that it has been a fantastic experience to work with such an
excellent researcher, who is always encouraging and willing to help.
I would also like to thank all my colleagues at the Division of Communication
and Transport Systems (KTS), especially my roommate Sara, for providing
me with a very friendly and relaxed environment, and all the other friends in
Sweden for helping me to adapt quickly to the Swedish culture. Those years
of living and study with them will be a very meaningful and unforgettable
experience in my life.
I also want to show gratitude to the financial support from CENIIT, Linkoping
Institute of Technology, Swedish research council (Vetenskapsradet), as well
as Marie Curie project IAPP@Ranplan within the European FP7 research programme.
Finally, I would like to express my thanks to my family for their love and
understanding for me to study far away from them, and to my friends for their
encouragement and support all the time.

Norrkoping, December 2010


Lei Chen

vi

Abbreviations
1G

First Generation

2G

Second Generation

3G

Third Generation

3GPP

3rd Generation Partnership Project

4G

Fourth Generation

AMC

Adaptive Modulation and Coding

AMPS

Advanced Mobile Phone Service

BS

Base Station

CAPEX

Capital Expenditure

CDMA

Code Division Multiple Access

CoMP

Coordinated Multi-Pointing Transmission/Reception

D-AMPS

Digital AMPS

DC-HSPA

Dual-carrier High Speed Packet Access

DCA

Dynamic Channel Allocation

DCH

Dedicated Channel

E-DCH

Enhanced Dedicated Channel

EDGE

Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution

EUL

Enhanced Uplink

FAP

Frequency Assignment Problem

FDMA

Frequency Division Multiple Access

FFR

Fractional Frequency Reuse


vii

FH

Frequency Hopping

GPRS

General Packet Radio Service

GSM

Global System for Mobile Communications

HARQ

Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request

HS-DSCH

High Speed Downlink Shared Channel

HSCSD

High-Speed Circuit Switched Data

HSDPA

High Speed Downlink Packet Access

HSUPA

High Speed Uplink Packet Access

ITU

International Telecommunications Union

LS

Local Search

LTE

Long Term Evolution

LTE-A

LTE Advanced

MI-FAP

Minimum Interference Frequency Planning Problem

MIMO

Multiple Input and Multiple Output

Min-GBR

Minimum Guaranteed Bit Rate

NMT

Nordic Mobile Telephone

NP-hard

Non-deterministic Polynomial-time hard

OFDMA

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access

OPEX

Operational Expenditure

OR

Operational Research

PC

Power Control

PDC

Personal Digital Cellular

PF

Proportional Fair

QAM

Quadrature Amplitude Modulation

QoS

Quality of Service

RAN

Radio Access Network


viii

RB

Resource Block

RNC

Radio Network Controller

RRM

Radio Resource Management

SAE

System Architecture Evolution

SC-FDMA

Single Carrier Frequency Division Multiple Access

SFR

Soft Frequency Reuse

SHO

Soft Handover

SINR

Signal-to-Interference-plus-Noise Ratio

SIR

Signal Interference Ratio

TACS

Total Access Communication System

TD-SCDMA

Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access

TDMA

Time Division Multiple Access

TS

Tabu Search

UE

User Equipment

UMTS

Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems

WCDMA

Wideband Code Division Multiple Access

WiMAX

Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

ix

Part I

Introduction and Overview

INTRODUCTION

1 Evolution of Cellular Networks


The concept of cellular communications was introduced by Bell Laboratories in 1947 to increase the communication capacity of mobile phones. In
the 1970s, commercial mobile communications based on cellular technology
began to appear all over the world. Systems deployed in this period are referred to as the first generation (1G) cellular networks. NTT launched the first
commercial cellular network in the metropolitan area of Tokyo in 1979. Soon
after, commercial cellular systems became available in Europe and America.
Representative systems include the nordic mobile telephone system (NMT) in
Scandinavia, the total access communication system (TACS) in UK, and the
advanced mobile phone service system (AMPS) in America. Being analogbased, 1G networks suffered from many limitations such as low frequency
utilization, limited service, poor communication quality, high equipment cost,
and low security.
To overcome the limitations and meet the demand of mobile communications,
the second generation (2G) cellular systems were developed. 2G cellular systems adopted digital transmission that is fundamentally different from the 1G
cellular technology. Besides frequency division multiple access (FDMA) ,
which is also used in 1G networks, 2G networks use more advanced access
technologies such as time division multiple access (TDMA) and code division
multiple access (CDMA) , as well as hierarchical cell structure.
Representative 2G standards include the global system for mobile communications (GSM), interim standard 136 (IS-136, aka Digital AMPS, or D-AMPS),
IS-95 (aka CDMAone), and the personal digital cellular (PDC) system. Both
GSM and D-AMPS were based on TDMA. GSM was firstly introduced in Europe to provide a single and unified 2G standard in European countries. Later,
GSM was implemented in many countries in the rest of the world. D-AMPS
evolved from AMPS and was used in America, Israel and some of the Asian
countries. IS-95 systems were based on CDMA, which allowed users to simultaneously access the same frequency band using different codes. As the
only commercial CDMA standard of that time, IS-95 had been mostly implemented in North America and Asia. PDC was a TDMA-based standard and
was available in Japan only.
The primary service in 2G networks was voice communication. To meet the
emerging demand for data communication, a number of upgrades were introduced to 2G systems as low-cost, intermediate solutions for data services,
3

INTRODUCTION
while developing the third generation (3G) systems. The intermediate steps in
the transition from 2G to 3G were called 2.5G and 2.75G. One such step was
high-speed circuit switched data (HSCSD) for GSM. HSCSD was easy to implement and required low cost in deployment. However, since it was still based
on circuit switching, it suffered from inefficient frequency utilization. Another technology was the general packet radio service (GPRS) . Using packet
switching, GPRS had better frequency utilization in handling best-effort data
communication. GPRS utilizes dynamically free TDMA channels in GSM systems, and can provide a speed of up to 114 kbps. Later, with the introduction
of 8PSK encoding, GPRS evolved to enhanced data rate for GSM evolution
(EDGE) , aka enhanced GPRS. EDGE increased the data rate to 384kbps and
was backward-compatible. At the same time, within the CDMA family of standards, IS-95 evolved to the CDMA2000 1 times radio transmission technology
(CDMA2000 1xRTT), which supported a data rate of 153kpbs.
Soon after the commercialization of 2G networks, development of 3G cellular communication systems started. The goal of 3G was to provide high
data rate and multimedia data services for mobile Internet. Three major families of specifications, namely CDMA2000, wideband CDMA (WCDMA), and
time division synchronous CDMA (TD-SCDMA) were accepted as 3G standards by the international telecommunications union (ITU). CDMA2000 was
developed from IS-95 and mostly used in North America and South Korea.
WCDMA, aka universal mobile telecommunication systems (UMTS) was developed from GSM, with efforts in Europe and Japan. Since GSM dominated
the 2G commercial markets, the evolution path GSM-GPRS-EDGE-WCDMA
was very natural. At present, WCDMA is the most widely implemented 3G
technology. TD-SCDMA was Chinas 3G standard, proposed by Datang Telecom and was mostly used in China.
Since the first release by 3rd generation partnership project (3GPP), referred
to as release 99 (R99), WCDMA has evolved rapidly. In 2002, Release 5
(R5) was finalized to include high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA). In
2005, Release 6 (R6) became available, supporting high speed data services
on the uplink by introducing enhanced uplink (EUL), aka high speed uplink
packet access (HSUPA). In 2007, Release 7 (R7) introduced evolved highspeed packet access, aka HSPA+, to support higher order modulation, e.g.,
64QAM and multiple input and multiple output (MIMO) technology. In Release 8 (R8), which was finalized in 2008, developments of two standards were
specified, HSPA+ and long term evolution (LTE). HSPA+ was enhanced by a
dual-carrier HSPA (DC-HSPA) which doubled the throughput by combining
4

INTRODUCTION
two WCDMA radio channels. HSPA+ was a backward-compatible standard,
allowing operators that have heavily invested in WCDMA to offer new features to their subscribers with legacy UMTS terminals. At the same time,
the first release of LTE was specified in R8. LTE represented a new evolution path. The LTE standards adopted orthogonal frequency division multiple
access (OFDMA) for downlink and single carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA) for uplink, to provide higher peak data rate and flexible bandwidth usage. Additional
features, such as femto-cell, were introduced in Release 9 (R9) in 2009.
The ultimate goal of LTE is to pave the way for the fourth generation (4G)
systems. Peak data rate of LTE targets 100 Mbps at downlink and 50 Mbps
at uplink with a 20 MHz bandwidth and 21 MIMO antenna. In comparison
to R6, average user throughput of LTE is expected to be 3-4 times higher at
downlink, and 2-3 times higher at uplink. In LTE, spectrum utilization is scalable over blocks of 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz. Blocks smaller than 5 MHz are
also supported. As LTE is not supposed to be backward-compatible, it enjoys
the freedom of implementing the latest transmission technologies. Besides the
new air interface, advanced antenna solutions such as MIMO, beam-forming
are also utilized. A flat all IP core network, namely system architecture evolution (SAE) , is designed to replace the GPRS core network and to support
high throughput with low latency in the radio access network (RAN). Despite
the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, trials of LTE networks have not been
interrupted. The first commercial LTE service was provided by TeliaSonera in
Stockholm and Oslo in 2009. The network delivers a downlink speed between
20 Mbps and 80 Mbps.
To meet the future demand of mobile broadband, the research on LTE-advanced
(LTE-A), which represents a 4G standard, is also underway. LTE-A specifications will be part of Release 10 (R10). LTE-A will include more advanced
technologies like clustering SC-FDMA, relaying, coordinated multi-pointing
transmission/reception (CoMP), higher order MIMO transmission, etc., to take
the peak data rate up to 1 Gbps for low mobility scenarios.
The above discussion applies to the development of standards in 3GPP. Besides LTE, worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) , specified in IEEE 802.16 series of standards, is also evolving towards fulfilling
the requirement of 4G systems. An illustration of the evolution of cellular networks is given in Fig. 1. More detailed discussions can be found in
[1, 15, 26, 27, 28, 42, 58].
5

INTRODUCTION

1Gbps

LTE-Advanced(R10),
4G
WiMax,

Th
ro
ug
hp
ut

326Mbps

2Mbps

HSDPA(R5),
HSUPA(R6),
HSPA+(R7,R8,),
LTE(R8,),

UMTS R99, WCDMA FDD/TDD,


CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA,

3.5/3.75/3.9G

3G

1Mbps
GPRS, EDGE,
CDMA 1xRTT,

2.5/2.75G

9.6kbps
GSM,IS-95,
D-AMPS,

speech

1979

AMPS,NMT,

2G

1G
1991

1999

2000

2002

2010

Figure 1: Evolution of cellular technology.

2 Cellular Network Planning and Optimization


Network planning and optimization play a key role in reducing the capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) for deploying and
expanding cellular systems. Typically, radio network planning begins with a
definition and dimensioning stage, which includes traffic estimation, service
definition, coverage and capacity requirements, etc. It is traditionally considered as a static process. Some of the main tasks are site selection for base
station location, location area and routing area planning, and radio resource
management (RRM) strategies. Besides fulfilling the initial requirements such
as coverage and capacity, radio resource has to be acquired in a way that the
cost is minimized. Optimization is a long-term process before and after the
launch of a network. The process applies various methods to maximize the
system performance by optimally configuring the network and utilizing its resources. Traditionally, a large amount of manual tuning has been used in the
optimization process. Nowadays, advanced optimization tools have been developed to automatically optimize the parameters for maximizing system performance, making the optimization process much more efficient.
6

INTRODUCTION
Analog-based 1G cellular networks did not pose much requirement to planning and optimization. Having low capacity requirement, the key problem is
to provide a satisfied degree of coverage. With the success of 2G networks
and the increasing amount of voice and data demand, cellular systems have
become more and more complex. New radio access technologies also introduce new challenges to the planning and optimization processes. In the following, we outline some representative planning and optimization problems
in cellular networks. More detailed discussions can be found in, for example,
[40, 47, 48, 51].

2.1

Base Station Location

A very fundamental planning task in cellular networks is the base station (BS)
location. To deal with the increasing user demand, more and more base stations are needed to provide satisfactory services. A resulting optimization
problem is to determine how many and where base stations should be located
in order to meet coverage and capacity requirements. An illustration of the
problem is shown in Fig. 2. In the figure, the red spots require BS installed
while the blue spots do not.

Figure 2: An illustration of base station location.


In general, the base station location problem is NP-hard [7, 46] in problem
complexity. For 2G networks, to a large extend, the task can be regarded as a
type of set covering problem, the performance is mainly coverage-driven and
mostly depends on the propagation model. In this case, BSs are located among
the candidate locations so that signal strength is high enough for the areas to
7

INTRODUCTION
be covered. For 3G networks with WCDMA, this is however not enough as the
single-to-interference ratio (SIR) needs to be taken into account. Besides the
location of BS, coverage itself is heavily influenced by the traffic distribution.
Thus, BS location in UMTS networks has to consider power control which in
its turn is tightly connected to traffic distribution. In the past years, BS location
has been extensively studied for both 2G and 3G networks [5, 6, 20, 35, 46,
59, 61, 64]. Both mathematical modeling and heuristic algorithms have been
proposed for problem solution.
2.2

Frequency Planning

Along with BS location, another vital issue in 2G GSM networks is to deal


with the frequency assignment problem (FAP) . To avoid interference in GSM
networks, neighboring cells should use different frequencies, see Fig. 3 for an
illustration.

Figure 3: An illustration of frequency assignment.


Due to the high site density and the scarcity of the spectrum resource, frequency allocation has to be carefully planned so that high spectral efficiency
and low interference can be achieved. Many optimization methods and algorithms have been proposed for FAP in GSM networks [3, 4, 10, 17, 18, 21,
25, 37, 50]. Planning strategies for more advanced frequency use, such as frequency hopping (FH) [2, 52] and dynamic channel allocation (DCA) [55, 56],
have also been proposed.
In WCDMA networks, the frequency reuse factor is one, so FAP is not present.
For the new radio interface OFDMA adopted in LTE networks, frequency op8

INTRODUCTION
timization becomes again a key issue. LTE is designed to scale well in the
spectrum availability. The spectrum is divided into a large number of subcarriers which are orthogonal to each other. This enables a higher flexibility in
respect to resource allocation. With OFDMA, intra-cell interference does not
exist because of the orthogonality, but inter-cell interference may become the
performance-limiting factor, especially for cell-edge users with poor radio signal condition. Sub-carrier allocation has to be done carefully to mitigate intercell interference. To this end, fractional frequency reuse (FFR) [19, 43, 60] and
soft frequency reuse (SFR) [31] schemes have been proposed. With the evolution from 3G to 4G networks, inter-cell interference mitigation is attracting
more and more research attention.

2.3

Radio Resource Management (RRM)

RRM is fundamental in cellular networks. Many optimization problems involving allocation strategies of various types of resource appear in RRM. The
aforementioned FAP can be regarded as part of RRM, since frequency is a
highly valuable resource in cellular networks. Another key resource type is
transmission power. Transmission power plays an important role in interference management, energy consumption, as well as service quality. Thus power
control (PC) mechanisms have been considered. PC can be located at user
equipment (UE), BS, or radio network controller (RNC). It is a key component in IS-95 CDMA systems because of the near-far effect. GSM networks
also has PC mechanism, although the need for PC is not as high as IS-95.
For 3G and 4G systems, more advanced PC mechanisms have been explored.
Rather than considering a fixed SIR as in 2G systems, the achievable SIR
varies, and is usually jointly controlled and optimized in the PC mechanism
in 3G systems. Furthermore, PC algorithms also need to closely cooperate
with other RRM procedures (e.g. scheduling) to maximize the network performance. Due to the rapid growth of cellular networks, extensive research has
been done on PC algorithms with fixed SIR and variable SIR, opportunistic
PC, PC based on game theory, joint PC and beamforming, joint PC and BS
location, etc. A survey can be found in [14].
In addition to PC, scheduling is an important component of RRM since packet
switching became supported in cellular networks. Scheduling means usually
to allocate resource among users along the time dimension, to maximize target metrics (e.g. throughput, quality of service (QoS), fairness, etc). Typical
9

INTRODUCTION
scheduling strategies include round robin (RR), maximum throughput, proportional fair (PF), minimum guaranteed bit rate scheduling (min-GBR), minimum bit rate scheduling with proportional fairness (min-GBR+PF), as well as
maximum delay scheduling. For UMTS R99, which is based on a dedicated
channel (DCH), scheduling is done at RNC. HSDPA introduces a high speed
downlink shared channel (HS-DSCH). Instead of placing the packet scheduler
at RNC, HSDPA utilizes a fast scheduler at Node B, giving Node B the ability to rapidly adapt to the channel conditions of the users. Similar to HSDPA,
HSUPA introduces an enhanced DCH (E-DCH) for uplink which also supports
fast scheduling. At present, HSPA is the most widely used cellular technology
for mobile broadband, and a vast amount of literature has been devoted to its
scheduling algorithms and RRM strategies [8, 9, 12, 23, 24, 29, 30, 33, 36, 53,
63].
With OFDMA, the flexibility in radio resource allocation grows. The downlink resource grid in LTE consists of resource blocks (RBs), each consists of
12 sub-carriers and 7 OFDM symbols. Depending on the available bandwidth,
up to 100 RBs (with a bandwidth of 20 MHz) can be allocated. Power is
jointly allocated with RBs. Moreover, information can be transmitted and
combined by multiple antennas, which add one more dimension of freedom.
Thus resource allocation in LTE involves several dimensions. Because of the
flexibility, the performance of scheduling algorithms is crucial in OFDMAbased networks. Numerous articles investigated resource allocation strategies
for OFDMA [13, 22, 32, 34, 45, 57, 62, 67, 68], and more specifically for LTE
[11, 16, 38, 39, 41, 44, 49, 54, 65, 66].
Additional functionalities, such as admission control and load control, are also
needed in RRM. It is worth mentioning the RRM components are not independent of each other, and the overall performance is a joint effect of the various
RRM functionalities.

3 The Present Thesis


This thesis consists of three research papers in coverage planning in cellular
networks, power optimization in HSPA networks, and sub-carrier allocation
in LTE networks, respectively. The objectives and contributions of the thesis
work along with a summary of future research are give below.
10

INTRODUCTION
3.1

Objectives

The main objective of the thesis is to investigate some optimization problems


arising in coverage planning and resource allocation of cellular networks. Two
types of resource parameters are considered. The first is the transmission
power that determines coverage, where coverage is defined in terms of receiving sufficiently well the signal announcing network presence. The second
resource parameter is the frequency band to be allocated in LTE networks.
The planning objectives in the optimization problems range from the power
consumption for coverage, the power requirement for achieving performance
threshold for HSDPA service, to LTE network capacity in terms of cell-edge
throughput.
For the planning problems, the research targets developing optimization models and time-efficient methods that are capable of delivering high-quality solutions. The research is also aimed to use realistic planning scenarios to demonstrate the benefit of the optimization approaches.

3.2

Thesis Summary and Contribution

Three papers are included in this thesis. Paper I deals with a coverage planning
problem with overlap constraint for cellular networks. Paper II develops optimization approaches for enhancing HSDPA performance for networks with
co-existing HSDPA and R99 services. Paper III generalizes FFR and develops optimization algorithms for its application in large scale OFDMA-based
networks with irregular cell structures.
The papers are co-authored with Di Yuan. The author of this thesis has contributed to the papers by major involvement in the research planning, the modeling and simulation work, the analysis of the results, along with taking a significant part in authoring the papers.

Paper I: Solving a minimum-power covering problem with overlap constraint for cellular network design
This paper deals with coverage planning in cellular network design. Given
the locations of BSs, the problem amounts to determining cell coverage at
minimum cost in terms of power usage. Minimum-power coverage tends to
11

INTRODUCTION
make cell size as small as possible; such a solution may have negative impact
on handover performance. To tackle this issue, the objective is to perform
power minimization with the requirement of having sufficient overlap between
cells.
Two integer linear models are presented. The strength of their respective continuous relaxations as well as the numerical performance of the two models
are thoroughly investigated. For large-scale networks, a tabu search (TS) algorithm is developed. The algorithm is able to obtain close-to-optimal results
within short computation time. Simulation results are reported for both synthesized networks and networks originating from real planning scenarios.
The paper has been published in European Journal of Operational Research.

Paper II: Coverage planning for optimizing HSDPA performance and


controlling R99 soft handover
This paper deals with a coverage planning problem for the currently common
network deployment scenario of having co-existing HSDPA and R99 services.
By utilizing the power saving resulted from power minimization in coverage
planning, the throughput of HSDPA can be improved. The focus is to bring
up the HSDPA performance at cell edge, for which improved data throughput
is more perceived in comparison to cell center. At the same time, the level of
soft handover (SHO) for R99 is taken into account in determining the coverage
pattern.
An integer linear model is developed for the problem. The model can be used
to find global optimum for small-sized networks. For large-scale planning scenarios, a heuristic algorithm is developed. The algorithm is based on local
search and repeated local search. Performance benchmarking on small test
networks shows that the algorithm gives close-to-optimality results. In addition, simulation results from the model and the use of the heuristic algorithm
demonstrate significant power saving and HSDPA performance improvement
in comparison to the reference solution.
The paper has been accepted for publication in Telecommunication Systems.
Parts of the paper have been published in the following conferences:
L. Chen and D. Yuan. Automated planning of CPICH power for enhancing HSDPA performance at cell edges with preserved control of
12

INTRODUCTION
R99 soft handover. In Proc. of IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 08), pages 2936-2940, 2008.
L. Chen and D. Yuan. Achieving higher HSDPA performance and preserving R99 soft handover control by large scale optimization in CPICH
coverage planning. In Proc. of IEEE Wireless Telecommunications Symposium (WTS 09), 2009.

Paper III: Generalizing and optimizing fractional frequency reuse in broadband cellular radio access networks
This paper deals with inter-cell interference mitigation in OFDMA-based networks. With OFDMA, inter-cell interference is the main performance-limiting
factor for cell-edge users due to their high level of sensitivity to interference.
FFR is one of the schemes used for inter-cell interference mitigation by frequency separation. Standard FFR uses a fixed number of sub-bands and a
fixed reuse factor. This works well for a regular, hexagonal cell layout. However, for networks with irregular cell patterns, standard FFR can not be directly
applied, and the performance is far from being optimal.
In the paper, the standard FFR is generalized to enable a high flexibility in the
total number of OFDMA sub-bands and the number of sub-bands allocated
in the cells edge areas. Two power assignment strategies are considered in
sub-band allocation. Solution algorithms using local search are developed to
optimize the sub-band allocation for generalized FFR. Performance evaluations are conducted for large-scale networks with realistic radio propagation
conditions. The results demonstrate the applicability and benefit of applying
and optimizing generalized FFR in performance engineering of OFDMA networks.
Parts of the paper have been published in the following conferences:
L. Chen and D. Yuan. Soft frequency reuse in large networks with irregular cell pattern: how much gain to expect? In Proc. of the IEEE
20th International Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
Symposium (PIMRC 09), pages 1467-1471, 2009.
L. Chen and D. Yuan. Generalized frequency reuse schemes for OFDMA
networks: optimization and comparison. In Proc. of IEEE Vehicular
Technology Conference (VTC 10-Spring), 2010.
13

INTRODUCTION
L. Chen and D. Yuan. Generalizing FFR by flexible sub-band allocation
in OFDMA networks with irregular cell layout. In Proc. of IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC 10) Workshops, 2010.
3.3

Future Research

Cellular network planning and optimization form a complex engineering process, involving many resource types, network elements, and decision variables.
The constant evolution of radio access technologies offers new opportunities
to efficient radio resource utilization, and at the same time poses challenges to
the planning and optimization process. To master the complexity, the planning
and optimization algorithms have to become more advanced, efficient, and
automatic. The latter means that the optimization process should become an
integrated part of the network, and the work of manual tuning must be reduced
as much as possible.
The work presented in the thesis contributes to dealing with some planning and
optimization problems in cellular networks. The development of optimization
tools integrating the models and algorithms for the problems will be a natural
follow-up to the thesis work. There are several additional potential lines for future research. First, there are many problems that are beyond the scope of the
thesis, but highly relevant to the research field. One example is modeling and
solving the problem of optimally locating BSs of OFDMA networks. Second,
network optimization problems accounting for recent technological advances
such as MIMO, relay stations, and heterogeneous radio networks, warrant thorough research. Third, approaches that effectively integrate optimization and
system-level simulation give rise to a very interesting topic for automated network planning. Fourth, within the network self-optimization paradigm, the
development and implementation of distributed algorithms for resource allocation in broadband mobile access open up new research horizons.

14

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