Pilot-assisted opportunistic user scheduling for wireless multi-cell networks
Paper in proceedings, 2015
We consider downlink transmission in multi-cell wireless networks where in each cell one base station is serving multiple mobile terminals. There is no a priori channel state information (CSI) available at base stations and mobile terminals. We propose a low-complexity pilot-assisted opportunistic user scheduling (PAOUS) scheme. The proposed scheme operates in four subsequent phases: channel training; feedback transmission; user scheduling; and data transmission. We deploy an orthogonal pilot-assisted channel training scheme for acquiring CSI at mobile terminals. Consequently, each mobile terminal obtains a noisy estimation of the corresponding local CSI (i.e. channel gains from base stations to the mobile terminal). Then, it makes a local decision based on the estimated channel gains of the interfering links (i.e. the links between base stations in neighboring cells and the mobile terminal) and sends a one-bit feedback signal to the base station of the corresponding cell. Each base station schedules one mobile terminal for communication. We compute the achievable rate region and the achievable degrees of freedom (DoF) of the proposed transmission scheme. Our results show that in a multi-cell network with K base stations and coherence time T, the total DoF equation is achievable given that the number of mobile terminals in each cell scales proportional to signal-to-noise-ratio. Since limited radio resources are available, only a subset of base stations should be activated, where the optimum number of active base stations is equation. This recommends that in large networks (K > T over 2), select only a subset of the base stations to be active and perform the PAOUS scheme within the cells associated to these base stations. Our results reveal that, even with single antenna at base stations and no a priori CSI at terminals, a non-trivial DoF gain can be achieved. We also investigate the power allocation between channel training and data transmission phases. Our stuy shows that in large networks (many base stations) more power should be allocated to channel training while in dense networks (many mobile terminals in each cell) more power should be allocated for data transmission.