SDN-Based Self-Organizing Energy Efficient Downlink/Uplink Scheduling in Heterogeneous Cellular Networks

Seungil MOON  Thant Zin OO  S. M. Ahsan KAZMI  Bang Ju PARK  Choong Seon HONG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E100-D   No.5   pp.939-947
Publication Date: 2017/05/01
Publicized: 2017/02/18
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2016NTI0002
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on the Architectures, Protocols, and Applications for the Future Internet)
heterogeneous cellular networks,  self-organization,  user association,  resource allocation,  downlink uplink scheduling,  Markov approximation,  

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The increase in network access devices and demand for high quality of service (QoS) by the users have led to insufficient capacity for the network operators. Moreover, the existing control equipment and mechanisms are not flexible and agile enough for the dynamically changing environment of heterogeneous cellular networks (HetNets). This non-agile control plane is hard to scale with ever increasing traffic demand and has become the performance bottleneck. Furthermore, the new HetNet architecture requires tight coordination and cooperation for the densely deployed small cell base stations, particularly for interference mitigation and dynamic frequency reuse and sharing. These issues further complicate the existing control plane and can cause serious inefficiencies in terms of users' quality of experience and network performance. This article presents an SDN control framework for energy efficient downlink/uplink scheduling in HetNets. The framework decouples the control plane from data plane by means of a logically centralized controller with distributed agents implemented in separate entities of the network (users and base stations). The scheduling problem consists of three sub-problems: (i) user association, (ii) power control, (iii) resource allocation and (iv) interference mitigation. Moreover, these sub-problems are coupled and must be solved simultaneously. We formulate the DL/UL scheduling in HetNet as an optimization problem and use the Markov approximation framework to propose a distributed economical algorithm. Then, we divide the algorithm into three sub-routines for (i) user association, (ii) power control, (iii) resource allocation and (iv) interference mitigation. These sub-routines are then implemented on different agents of the SDN framework. We run extensive simulation to validate our proposal and finally, present the performance analysis.