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Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800

www.elsevier.com/locate/comcom

Code reservation schemes at the forward link in WCDMA


A.N. Rouskas*, D.N. Skoutas, G.T. Kormentzas, D.D. Vergados
Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean, Karlovassi, Samos 83200, Greece
Received 7 February 2003; revised 27 January 2004; accepted 30 January 2004

Abstract
We examine resource reservation schemes for the management of orthogonal variable spreading factor (OVSF) codes at the forward link
of 3G mobile communications systems employing WCDMA. Like in every multi-service network, calls with different rate requirements will
perceive very dissimilar system performance at the forward link in 3G systems if no measures are taken and the channelization code tree is
treated as a common pool of resources. Assuming that the traffic level for each class is known in advance, we introduce complete sharing
(CS), complete partitioning (CP) and hybrid partitioning (HP) policies to manage the code tree. At the resource reservation level, we develop
an efficient method to partition the available codes based on the offered traffic load of each class of calls and the size of the tree. The resulting
partition is optimal in the sense that the maximum blocking probability of the different rate classes is minimized. At the call level, we use a
real-time scheme to assign free codes to incoming requests, and evaluate its performance in terms of blocking probability per traffic class and
utilization of codes in conjunction with the partitioning method used. It turns out that code blocking, which is encountered on this type of
systems, further deteriorates the unfairness conditions at the forward link. Our simulation results show that fair access to codes by different
rate calls is assured more by CP and less by HP schemes, at the expense of slightly lower code utilization at medium to high loads, compared
to the CS scheme. Also, hybrid schemes absorb small traffic deviations more efficiently than CP, which is generally optimized for certain
traffic mixes.
q 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Orthogonal variable spreading factor codes; Code reservation; WCDMA; Third generation systems

1. Introduction forward link, the whole set of channelization codes are used
to separate data transmissions from all users of one cell.
High data rate and variable data rate services ranging WCDMA supports multiple rate transmission using
from 144 to 384 kbps for wide and up to 2 Mbps for low single orthogonal channelization codes with variable
spreading factors (SFs), the so-called orthogonal variable
coverage and mobility are anticipated in 3G mobile
spreading factor (OVSF) codes. Single OVSF code
communication systems. In WCDMA, the separation of
operation requires less hardware complexity at the user
simultaneous data transmissions from a user or base station,
equipment, compared to multi-code operation, and can
as well as the separation of the various data transmissions of
provide only data rates, which are a power of two times the
a single user is done in a two-step process, spreading and
lowest basic rate. Obviously, OVSF codes at the forward
scrambling. During spreading, each individual data stream
link are valuable and scarce resources, and this is the reason
is spread to the chip rate by the application of a spreading
why the OVSF code assignment problem has been receiving
code or else a channelization code, and after that, the spread great attention recently.
signal is scrambled by the application of a scrambling code The problem is similar to that faced by designers of
operating at the chip rate. In the inverse link, each mobile multi-rate networks, who need to compromise the require-
station has the whole set of channelization codes available ment of supporting various multi-rate services with two
to separate its own transmissions. On the other hand, in the mutually conflicting goals: (a) provide a reasonable level of
performance without letting the demand from some type of
* Corresponding author. Tel.: þ30-227-308-2236; fax: þ 30-227-308- service excluding the other types, and at the same time (b)
2009. keep the utilization of resources as high as possible. This
E-mail address: arouskas@aegean.gr (A.N. Rouskas). situation is studied extensively in the area of ATM
0140-3664/$ - see front matter q 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.comcom.2004.01.026
A.N. Rouskas et al. / Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800 793

networks, fixed or wireless (see for example Ref. [1] and the presents and discusses the simulation results, and the paper
references therein). Alternative methodologies in the area of is concluded in Section 6.
ATM networks can be found in Ref. [2].
To cope with this problem, priority based schemes for
different service classes are presented in Ref. [3], while a 2. System model
new protocol that dynamically assigns OVSF codes on a
timeslot basis to provide for data rate guarantee for bursty A detailed description on OVSF code generation can be
traffic is presented in Ref. [4]. According to Ref. [5], a target found in Refs. [8,9]. The OVSF code tree is a binary tree with
position is defined for each traffic class and codes close to h layers, and each node represents a channelization code Ckl ;
the target position are dynamically allocated to calls of the where k ¼ 1; …; h is the layer number, and l ¼ 1; …; 2h2k is
same class. The tuning of target positions is not considered, the code number within layer k: The lowest layer is the leaf
however, and this problem is left open. Another work in this layer and the highest layer is the root layer. The lower the layer
area [6], where three different rate classes (voice, video and of a code, the higher the SF and the lower the code rate. We
data) are considered, proposes a leftmost code assignment will refer to R as the basic code rate available achieved by a
procedure for voice terminals, combined with reassign- leaf layer code and we will denote by SFmax the corresponding
ments at the release of a connection to make room for video maximum SF of the leaf layer codes. Then the rate of the root
traffic requests. In Ref. [7], the situation of code blocking is layer code is 2h21 R; and its SF is SFmax =2h21 :
introduced, where an incoming call may be blocked even if Codes of the same layer, as well as codes that do not lie
there is spare capacity to handle the new call. Code blocking on the same path from a leaf to the root of the tree, are
may appear only on incoming calls with rate greater than the orthogonal and can be simultaneously assigned to different
lower code rate available and is due to the scattering of data transmissions in the same cell. Non-orthogonal are the
lower layer free codes along the tree. This phenomenon codes that lie on the same path from a leaf to the root of the
further deteriorates the performance perceived by higher tree and cannot be allocated simultaneously. We will refer
rate calls. to this constraint as the orthogonality constraint that must
In this paper, we introduce resource partitioning schemes be preserved during the allocation process, otherwise the
to provide for fair access of different rate calls to the resulting signals will interfere.
available limited set of OVSF codes at the forward link of Fig. 1 depicts a 5-layer code tree. White codes in the
WCDMA systems. The division of codes is made according figure denote empty (free) codes that can be allocated to
to some prior knowledge of network operators about the incoming calls of the same rate. Black codes denote busy
traffic level of different classes. The procedure is optimal in (occupied) codes that are already allocated to ongoing calls,
the sense that the maximum blocking probability of the while grey codes denote blocked codes, which are refrained
different rate calls is minimized and efficient in the sense from use due to an allocation of a non-orthogonal code. Due
that computation of the size of different partitions is to the orthogonality constraint, the assignment of a code is
relatively fast. The latter is due to the special structure possible, if and only if none of its ancestor codes and none
and properties of the channelization code tree. of its descendant codes are occupied. Once a code is
At the two extremes, we have complete sharing (CS) assigned, all of its ancestors, as well as all of its descendants
strategy, in which the whole code tree is considered as a are blocked and can be used after the code is released. For
common pool of resources, and complete partitioning (CP) example, the assignment of code C34 immediately blocks its
strategy, where each traffic rate class is allocated a separate ancestor codes C51 ; C42 ; and its descendant codes C27 ; C28 ;
non-overlapping partition of the code tree for use. Between C1;13 ; C1;14 ; C1;15 and C1;16 ; as shown in Fig. 1.
the two extremes, hybrid partitioning (HP) strategies are In the same figure, the code tree capacity is 16R; the used
developed and the performance of resource reservation capacity is 8R; and the remaining capacity is 8R:
strategies are studied in terms of blocking per class and code Unfortunately, if a 8R call arrives, it will be blocked even
utilization. Simulation results show that: (a) fair access to if capacity exists to accommodate it. This situation is
codes is assured more by CP and less by HPs, especially at known as code blocking [7], where an incoming call may
medium to high loads, at the expense of slightly lower code be blocked even if there is spare capacity that can handle
utilization compared to CS; (b) when reassignments are the new call. The higher the rate of the incoming call, the
used, the same behavior is shifted towards higher loads; and
(c) HPs are more immune against traffic variations than CP,
which is usually optimized for certain traffic mixes.
The paper is organized as follows. The system model is
presented in Section 2. The long term resource reservation
policies, as well as the method to compute the size of each
partition are presented in Section 3. The real-time assign-
ment operation is developed in Section 4. Finally, Section 5 Fig. 1. Example OVSF code tree.
794 A.N. Rouskas et al. / Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800

worse the code blocking, in other words higher rate calls are † at the code reservation level, the network operator is
facing severe limitations on accessing the codes especially given the possibility to reserve certain parts of the OVSF
at increasing loads. This undesirable effect further contrib- code tree for certain rate calls, and
utes to the unfair utilization of higher layer codes. So, if † at the code request level incoming calls are assigned to
code allocations are not well managed and packed the free codes of the part that those calls have access to.
higher rate calls will perceive very low performance level.
In this paper, we consider a single cell system and study the Obviously, the former is a resource planning, while the
code-limited capacity problem as in Ref. [7], while we ignore latter is a real-time operation.
the interference-limited situation and the fact that certain
parts of the code tree are reserved for control channels. So in 3.1. Allocation strategies at the code reservation level
our study we use a single cell system and assume that the
whole set of codes are available at any time for user data We consider previously proposed strategies, like CS, CP
transmissions. If we had to take into account these additional and HP, and adapt them to the OVSF code reservation
constraints we would simply reduce the set of available codes problem in WCDMA.
accordingly. Furthermore, although multi-code operation is A. Complete sharing (CS). When there is no partition of
also possible at the expense of higher complexity at the the code tree and each incoming call can have access to
mobile terminal [10,11], we consider only single OVSF code every code (at the corresponding rate level of the tree) that
operation and assume that only calls with rates equal to the preserves the orthogonality constraint, then we have the CS
OVSF code rates are introduced to the system. strategy. This strategy is the only one studied so far in the
Finally, we will use the following assumptions. Inter- context of OVSF code assignment at the forward link of
arrival times between consecutive calls of rate requirement WCDMA interface.
iR; i ¼ 2k21 ; k ¼ 1; …; h; are exponential with mean 1=li B. Complete partitioning (CP). When different rate calls
and call durations are exponentially distributed with mean have access to different non-overlapping partitions of the
1=mi : The offered load for rate class iR is then ai ¼ li =mi : code tree, then we have the CP strategy.
The same assumptions are made by other authors in this area C. Hybrid partitioning (HP). Between the two extreme
of research [5,7]. The main reason for making these strategies, HP schemes can be devised. For example, one
assumptions, instead of using more sophisticated models solution might be the division of the code tree in two parts. In
for our traffic sources, is actually the fact that we deal with the first part, CS may be applied, while the second part is kept
the problem at the resource reservation and session levels, for CP. However, due to the abrupt difference on the size of
rather than the packet scheduling level. Additionally, the code rates, this type of hybrid strategies are not expected to
algorithms proposed herein are intended for use with the behave well, because of the aggressiveness of the lower rate
downlink dedicated channel, which is allocated to a call for calls. Indeed, our early simulation results indicated that, at
the whole duration of the connection. medium to high loads, the lower rate calls flood the common
pool (first part of the tree), and higher rate calls are soon
confined to their own partitions in the second part of the tree.
3. Code reservation Thus, from a CP scheme we introduce the following
hybrid scheme, which favors higher rate over lower rate
Network operators of multi-service networks are facing calls. The calls of rate iR can have access not only to the
the conflicting requirements of high network resource partition of their own but also to the initial partition of the
utilization and provision of acceptable performance levels immediately lower rate iR=2 codes. However, by doing so,
for all services with stringent QoS requirements. Extensive there is always the possibility that the new area for the calls
research on this area has proposed resource reservation as the of rate iR also have access to some part of the initial
most appropriate technique to provide fair use of the partition of rate iR=4: This is possible due to the structure of
resources especially at medium to high loads, where low the channelization code tree and will be explained shortly.
rate services can more easily obtain access to the network To avoid this situation, rate iR calls are allowed to access
resource, dominate the use of the bandwidth and exclude the only that part of the initial partition of rate iR=2 codes that
higher rate services [1,12,13]. Real-time call admission does not overlap with the initial partition of the rate iR=4
control may delay or block a request, if network resources, codes. This HP strategy is denoted by HP1.
that would guarantee the requested QoS, are not available at Similarly, if calls of rate iR can have access to that part
the time of the call. Additionally, call control may exploit of the initial partitions of iR=2 and iR=4 calls that does not
multiplexing of low QoS services, such as background traffic, overlap with the initial partition of iR=8 calls, the HP
as a means to preserve high network utilization. The set of strategy is denoted by HP2, and so on. Within a shared
channelization codes is treated as the limited valuable set of area, the codes are treated as a common resource by the
network resources, and two levels of code management are calls that have access to that area, just like in the CS
identified, considering only constant bit rate services with strategy. However, incoming calls of rate iR first search for
rates equal to the available code rates: empty codes in their partition and if no free codes are
A.N. Rouskas et al. / Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800 795

2. Due to the binary code tree structure, the coarse rate


values (powers of two times the basic rate), and the fixed
size of the tree, the partitioning may be also quite coarse.
To clarify this, let us denote by ni the number of rate iR
codes of the corresponding partition. Then the capacity
of the partition of rate iR codes can grow only with
increments of size iR: Thus, in a P tree with height h; the
following constraint must hold: i ni £ iR ¼ 2h21 R: In
other words, the feasible partitionings of the code tree are
limited to all the possible combinations of ni ’s that fulfill
the previous constraint.
3. Any partition should preserve the fairness property
ni . 0:
4. Once the traffic distribution and traffic level are
determined, the computation of the size of the
partitions should aim at optimizing a certain perform-
ance goal.

Under the previous assumptions, the blocking probability


for each traffic class can be obtained by the Erlang Bðni ; ai Þ
formula and the problem of selecting the most suitable
distribution of ni ’s is formulated as:

Fig. 2. Complete partitioning vs hybrid partitionings 1 and 2.


Problem 3.1. Given the number k of different rate classes,
the offered traffic ai of each class, i ¼ 1; 2; 4; …; 2k21 and
found, the search is continued to the common area of iR the height h of the code tree, find among the feasible
and iR=2 calls. combinations of ni ’s, the optimal partitioning such that the
The aforementioned CP and HP strategies are shown maximum blocking probability experienced by the different
in Fig. 2. The reader can observe from Fig. 2(b) that in traffic classes is minimized.
the case of HP1, the new area of 8R codes does overlap
with only a part of the initial partition of 4R: By doing More formally : min{max{Bðni ; ai Þli ¼ 1; 2; 4; …; 2k21 }}
so, we prevent the overlap of this new area of 8R codes subject to:
with the initial partition of the 2R codes. X
When the number of different traffic classes increases, ni £ iR ¼ 2h21 R ð1Þ
then it is always possible to aggregate neighboring i

classes using HP1. However, since the size of the tree ni $ 1 ð2Þ
is limited, the number of possible traffic classes is small
and the need for class aggregation is not very likely to An exhaustive search procedure is very time consuming
appear. for arbitrary values of the size h of the tree and the
number k of the different rate classes. Fortunately, since
both h and k can only take small values (e.g. h ¼ 9;
3.2. Partitioning problem k , 9), the number of possible combinations of ni ’s is
limited and a sequential search to select the most suitable
Let us assume a tree of height h; a set of k different traffic is possible. We will refer to this exhaustive search that
rate classes, and a high population of users for each traffic attempts to minimize the maximum blocking probability,
rate class. The offered load ai ¼ li =mi of each population set as the min –max procedure.
is assumed to be known in advance by the network operator.
Before proceeding to the formulation of the optimal Let us now compare the results of this min –max
partition search problem, there are some issues that need procedure with a different scheme that allocates partition
to be further clarified. sizes proportional to the offered traffic loads ai ’s. The
setting of this example, as well as the resulting partition-
1. Uniform partitioning is expected to work well under ings are shown in Table 1. We consider k ¼ 5 different
uniform traffic loads, but it will under utilize codes at rate classes, the size of the tree is h ¼ 9; while the offered
different traffic mixes. Consequently, partitioning must traffic distribution is selected so that the load proportional
take into account the prior knowledge about the expected partitioning approach results in a feasible combina-
offered traffic distribution. tion ðn1 ; n2 ; n4 ; n8 ; n16 Þ ¼ ð96; 32; 12; 4; 1Þ: Our min –max
796 A.N. Rouskas et al. / Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800

Table 1
Load proportional partition vs min–max probability partition

iR R 2R 4R 8R 16R
ai 52.97 17.66 6.62 2.21 0.55

P16
ni ¼ 256 £ ði £ ai Þ=ð i¼1 i £ ai Þ 96 32 12 4 1
Bðni ; ai Þð%Þ 3.19 £ 1026 6.49 £ 1022 2.01 11.74 35.56

ni 62 25 12 6 3
Bðni ; ai Þð%Þ 2.70 2.14 2.01 1.78 1.62

procedure, however, yields partition ðn1 ; n2 ; n4 ; n8 ; n16 Þ ¼ 4. Real-time assignment process


ð62; 25; 12; 6; 3Þ: For the maximum blocking probability,
the load proportional approach gives 35.56%, while min– 4.1. Code selection schemes at the call level
max yields only 2.70%. In addition to that, our proposal
results in a ratio for the maximum and minimum During system operation, and because of the statistical
probabilities of only 1.67. nature of the arrival and departure processes, the occupied
Finally, we note that the min – max partitioning codes will be randomly scattered across the code tree
procedure is quite fast in computing the optimal partition (CS case) or within the common area of codes (HP
sizes because of the small values of h and k: This property cases), if no countermeasures are taken and the real-time
is very useful in a time-varying environment, since a non- allocation of codes is performed either randomly or even
uniform partition may work well for some offered traffic in an ordered fashion. The obvious result will be
intensities and distributions but not for others. Thus, great fragmented tree or common areas capacity and limited
traffic variations may require partition reconfigurations to appearances of higher free codes. Unfortunately, the
adapt to the new conditions and this is possible only if the performance perceived by the higher rate calls is
new partitions can be constructed in reasonable time significantly deteriorated. One way to alleviate this
limits. phenomenon is by applying clever code selection schemes
A similar formulation can be made so that the blocking at the arrival of a new call, when more than one codes of
probabilities, experienced by each traffic class in the the required rate are available. The problem of selecting
resulting partitioning, is as close as possible. One straight- the best code, among several available candidates, at the
forward way to identify this optimal combination of ni ’s is arrival of a new call or during the reassignment phase, is
to sequentially search among the set of all possible studied in Refs. [14,15].
We can use any of the crowded-first or weighted code
combinations and choose the one that yields the minimum
selection schemes proposed in Refs. [14,15]. They both
standard deviation of the corresponding blocking probabil-
yield nearly identical results in terms of code blocking
ities. Any such partition should preserve the fairness
and code utilization. According to the second scheme,
property ni . 0: We expect this alternative partitioning to
which is used in the simulations below, the selected code
be similar to the aforementioned min –max procedure. For
is the one, which blocks the least possible higher free
example, this method produces identical partitions if the
codes. For example, in the case of an incoming call of
settings of the previous example are used. This partitioning, rate 2R in the tree of Fig. 1, the candidate codes to
however, does not bound the higher blocking probability receive the new call are C21 ; C22 ; C24 and C26 : The
and is expected to produce in general slightly worse weighted selection scheme ignores C21 ; and C22 ; and
partitions, in terms of call blocking, compared to the selects either C24 ; or C26 ; depending on the ordered
min – max method. criterion used, leftmost or rightmost.
A similar tree partitioning problem is discussed in Ref. If such a scheme is applied, after each code
[5]. In this work, a target code is defined for each traffic class allocation the largest available code will be the largest
and codes close to the target code are dynamically allocated possible. Additionally, the scheme will not block higher
to calls of the same class. The tuning of target codes is not layer codes, unless there is no alternative, thus
considered, however, and this problem is left open. In other alleviating the problem of scattered codes. Obviously,
words, the authors propose a code allocation scheme to such a scheme is required in the CS and HP code
dynamically direct allocations to certain parts of the tree, reservation strategies only, since in the case of CP, each
but they do not define what the target codes are, meaning traffic class has its own pool of codes to select from.
that they do not propose a method for defining the borders of Thus, in this case there is no code blocking within each
the partitions. partition.
A.N. Rouskas et al. / Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800 797

4.2. Code reselection schemes at the call level

Additional improvement on the performance perceived


by the higher rate calls can be provided if code blocking is
completely vanished. Code reassignments at the arrival of
new calls can be used as a means to completely eliminate
the problem of code blocking. However, the price paid for
this improvement is the additional complexity introduced in
the signaling load, measured by the number of reassign-
ments. The work in Ref. [7] focuses on procedures that Fig. 3. Total blocking per scheme for rate distribution 40:30:20:10.
perform the minimum possible number of reassignments.
Reassignment schemes are necessary when the capacity arrive according to a Poisson process, while their call
of the tree is enough to carry the incoming call, but no code duration is exponentially distributed with equal mean. The
of the required rate is available. In such a case, a code of the possible rates for a new call are R, 2R; 4R and 8R; each with
required rate can become available, by transferring all the a different probability of appearance. A realistic traffic
ongoing calls at the subbranch of the code to some other pattern with lower rates being more probable ðR : 2R : 4R :
branches of the tree. Since the reassignment of a code may 8R ¼ 40 : 30 : 20 : 10Þ was used in our simulations. Under
involve further reassignments of codes in other branches, this non-uniform rate distribution, the min – max procedure
the only way to ensure that the minimum number of yielded ðn1 ; n2 ; n4 ; n8 Þ ¼ ð36; 28; 19; 11Þ as the optimal
reassignments be performed is to exhaustively search for the partitioning at total incoming traffic loads ranging from 80
best candidate code with a recursive procedure. However, to 120. To ensure the stability of the results, each simulation
this is not possible during call setup time and a heuristic run consisted of at least 100,000 incoming calls.
algorithm is required. The idea behind the code pattern We studied two performance measures, the blocking
search, mentioned in Ref. [7], is to select the code which has probability per traffic class and the utilization of codes,
the least number of occupied codes in its subbranch, and if which is defined as
more than one codes are still candidates, then the one with Total Utilization
the least occupied capacity in its subbranch is selected. X
Reassignments of lower rate codes are treated like new calls all accepted calls
ðcall rateÞ £ ðcall durationÞ
¼ ð3Þ
and may induce further reassignments. ð256RÞ £ ðtotal simulation timeÞ
In the CS strategy, we can use such a reassignment
As shown in Fig. 3, CS and CSR perform much better than
scheme at the arrival of new calls to completely eliminate
CP, HP3 and HP3R, especially as the load increases.
code blocking. We will refer to this strategy as the complete
However, this benefit is not proportionally reflected at the
sharing with reassignments (CSRs).
utilization of the code tree as we can see in Fig. 4. This
The situation is slightly different in the HP strategies,
behavior is natural since the results for blocking simply
where mixing of higher and lower layer codes is possible
count incoming blocked calls, irrespectively of the rate of
only within the overlapping code areas. For example in the
the calls. At light load, all the schemes utilize the codes
HP1 strategy, at the arrival of a iR call that finds the partition
equally, but as the load increases CSR achieves slightly
iR full, reassignments may occur in the following cases:
better utilization than the others. The schemes listed in
decreasing order of total code utilization are CSR, CS,
1. If a 2iR call is serviced by some 2iR code in the initial
HP3R, HP3 and CP.
partition of iR calls, and this 2iR call can be reassigned to
Although CSR and CS achieve higher total utilization,
the initial partition of 2iR calls.
this is not the case for each traffic class when examined
2. If the iR call can only be accommodated in the initial
separately. Lower rate codes have far better utilization than
partition of iR=2 calls by reassigning one or two iR=2
higher rate codes and that becomes more intense as the load
calls. This case may cause further reassignments.
increases.
We will refer to this strategy as the HP1 with
reassignments (HP1Rs). Similarly, we can define HP2
with reassignments (HP2R), and so on.

5. Numerical results and discussion

The performance of the proposed schemes is evaluated


through event driven simulation on a 9-layer OVSF code
tree. The capacity of the tree is 256R: Calls are assumed to Fig. 4. Total code utilization per scheme for rate distribution 40:30:20:10.
798 A.N. Rouskas et al. / Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800

Fig. 5. Blocking per rate for CS and rate distribution 40:30:20:10. Fig. 7. Blocking per rate for CP and rate distribution 40:30:20:10.

If we omit reassignments, when we compare the three case, but of course this further gain is also earned at the
schemes CS, HP3 and CP, we see that the behavior against expense of higher blocking of the other rates. Also, in the
different rate calls is varying significantly. From Fig. 5, CP scheme all traffic rates perceive very similar
which shows the results for CS, it is clear that the performance.
performance experienced by the different rate connections When reassignments are used, code blocking is com-
is totally dissimilar. For medium to high loads, the calls of pletely eliminated. Comparing Figs. 5 and 8, and Figs. 6
rate 8R are literally excluded from service while the lower and 9 we see the code blocking removal significantly
rate calls are receiving unnecessarily very low blocking. improves fairness conditions both in CS and HP3. Thus,
So, for traffic load 90 Erlangs, total blocking is about 3% with code reassignments, significant improvement in both
(Fig. 3) while the blocking of 8R calls only is over than 22%. CS and HP3 is appearing at load of 60 Erlangs and higher.
For greater loads these rate calls receive very poor When HP3R is compared to CSR, the improvement from the
performance. This extremely different behavior is mainly application of the hybrid scheme on the maximum blocking
explained by the abrupt change of the code rates between probability is starting to appear at loads higher than
consecutive layers, rather than by code blocking. 90 Erlangs. But of course, again this benefit is also earned
In Figs. 6 and 7, we show blocking per rate class, when at the expense of the reassignment cost during the call setup
HP3 and CP are employed. We see that at the total load of process.
80 Erlangs, HP3 presents similar performance compared to Finally, we kept the same code partitioning and tested
that of CS, in the sense that the maximum blocking CP, HP and HPR under small variations of the incoming
probabilities in both schemes are equal. However, at higher traffic rate distributions. In Figs. 10 – 12, we show
loads HP3 performs better than CS. So at the load of
90 Erlangs, the highest blocking probability has now
become 16%, 6% down, but of course none is getting
anything for nothing, and this gain is earned at the expense
of higher blocking of the other rates. Even better behavior,
with respect to the same optimization goal, is achieved
when CP is applied. At total loads of 80 Erlangs and higher,
CP clearly performs better than both CS and HP3. This
behavior is justified also by the fact that the partitions where
optimized for the total incoming loads ranging from 80 to
120. Again at 90 Erlangs, the highest blocking probability
has become lower than 14%, that is 8% down from the CS Fig. 8. Blocking per rate for CSR and rate distribution 40:30:20:10.

Fig. 6. Blocking per rate for HP3 and rate distribution 40:30:20:10. Fig. 9. Blocking per rate for HP3R and rate distribution 40:30:20:10.
A.N. Rouskas et al. / Computer Communications 27 (2004) 792–800 799

6. Concluding remarks

In this paper, we examined the use of reservation


schemes in the management of codes at the forward link
of the WCDMA wireless interface. Like in every multi-
service network, calls with different rate requirements will
perceive very dissimilar system performance. This unfor-
tunate situation is exaggerated in this problem by both the
abrupt difference of the available code rates and the code
blocking phenomenon. We adapted partitioning schemes
Fig. 10. Blocking per rate for CP and rate distribution 38:28:22:12. to the problem at hand and formulated the problem of
determining the size of the partitions when the optimiz-
ation goal is to minimize the maximum of the blocking
probabilities. Thanks to the small size of the code tree and
the limited number of different rates available, the
procedure of finding the optimal partitioning is relatively
fast and can be used dynamically if the prevailing traffic
conditions significantly change. We showed that: (a) code
blocking elimination significantly improves the fairness
conditions in the CS and hybrid schemes; (b) there is a
threshold value for the incoming load, after which both
HP and CP both behave better than CS; (c) when
Fig. 11. Blocking per rate for HP3 and rate distribution 38:28:22:12. reassignments are used, this threshold value is shifted
towards higher traffic loads; and (d) HP without reassign-
ments absorb small variations in the traffic distribution
the performance of the CP, HP3 and HP3R schemes when better than HPR and CP.
the partitioning of the code tree is not altered Future work will include the development of efficient
ððn1 ; n2 ; n4 ; n8 Þ ¼ ð36; 28; 19; 11ÞÞ but the rate distribution packet scheduling algorithms to exploit the different
is changed to ðR : 2R : 4R : 8R ¼ 38 : 28 : 22 : 12Þ: Note characteristics of traffic sources expected in third generation
that under this traffic distribution, the min– max procedure systems. The study must take into account the traffic classes,
yielded ðn1 ; n2 ; n4 ; n8 Þ ¼ ð32; 24; 20; 12Þ: The results con- as well as the definitions of dedicated and shared channels
firmed our intuition that HP and HPR schemes, are capable proposed by 3GPP specifications.
of absorbing such small traffic fluctuations, while CP is less
immune, loses its fairness property and deviates from the
optimum. The surprising result was that HP3 performed References
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