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A Game Theoretic Framework for User Association & Inter-cell Interference Management in LTE Cellular Networks

Abstract : Driven by an exponential growth in mobile broadband-enabled devices and a continue dincrease in individual data consumption, mobile data traffic has grown 4000-fold over the past 10 years and almost 400-million-fold over the past 15 years. Homogeneouscellular networks have been facing limitations to handle soaring mobile data traffic and to meet the growing end-user demand for more bandwidth and betterquality of experience. These limitations are mainly related to the available spectrumand the capacity of the network. Telecommunication industry has to address these challenges and meet exploding demand. At the same time, it has to guarantee a healthy economic model to reduce the carbon footprint which is caused by mobile communications.Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets), composed of macro base stations and low powerbase stations of different types, are seen as the key solution to improve spectral efficiency per unit area and to eliminate coverage holes. In such networks, intelligent user association and interference management schemes are needed to achieve gains in performance. Due to the large imbalance in transmission power between macroand small cells, user association based on strongest signal received is not adapted inHetNets as only few users would attach to low power nodes. A technique based onCell Individual Offset (CIO) is therefore required to perform load balancing and to favor some Small Cell (SC) attraction against Macro Cell (MC). This offset is addedto users’ Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP) measurements and hence inducing handover towards different eNodeBs. As Long Term Evolution (LTE) cellular networks use the same frequency sub-bands, mobile users may experience strong inter-cellxv interference, especially at cell edge. Therefore, there is a need to coordinate resource allocation among the cells and minimize inter-cell interference. To mitigate stronginter-cell interference, the resource, in time, frequency and power domain, should be allocated efficiently. A pattern for each dimension is computed to permit especially for cell edge users to benefit of higher throughput and quality of experience. The optimization of all these parameters can also offer gain in energy use. In this thesis,we propose a concrete versatile dynamic solution performing an optimization of user association and resource allocation in LTE cellular networks maximizing a certainnet work utility function that can be adequately chosen. Our solution, based on gametheory, permits to compute Cell Individual Offset and a pattern of power transmission over frequency and time domain for each cell. We present numerical simulations toillustrate the important performance gain brought by this optimization. We obtain significant benefits in the average throughput and also cell edge user through put of40% and 55% gains respectively. Furthermore, we also obtain a meaningful improvement in energy efficiency. This work addresses industrial research challenges and assuch, a prototype acting on emulated HetNets traffic has been implemented.
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Nessrine Trabelsi. A Game Theoretic Framework for User Association & Inter-cell Interference Management in LTE Cellular Networks. Computer Science and Game Theory [cs.GT]. Université d'Avignon, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016AVIG0215⟩. ⟨tel-02088917⟩

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