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Fundamentals of Medium Access Control Design for Millimeter Wave Networks
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Automatic Control.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6737-0266
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In current wireless communication systems, demands for extremely high data rates, along with spectrum scarcity at the microwave bands, make the millimeter wave (mmWave) band very appealing to provide these extremely high data rates even for a massive number of wireless devices. MmWave communications exhibit severe attenuation, vulnerability to obstacles (called blockage), and sparse-scattering environments. Moreover, mmWave signals have small wavelengths that allow the incorporation of many antenna elements at the current size of radio chips. This leads to high directivity gains both at the transmitter and at the receiver, directional communications, and, more importantly, possible noise-limited operations as opposed to microwave networks that are mostly interference-limited.

These fundamental differences between mmWave networks and legacy communication technologies challenge the classical design constraints, objectives, and available degrees of freedom. The natural consequence is the necessity of revisiting most of the medium access control (MAC) layer design principles for mmWave networks, which have so far received less attention in the literature than physical layer and propagation issues. To address this important research gap, this thesis investigates the fundamental MAC layer performance metrics, including coverage, fairness, connection robustness, collision probability, per-link throughput, area spectral efficiency, and delay. The original analysis proposed in this thesis suggests novel insights as to the solutions for many MAC layer issues such as resource allocation, interference management, random access, mobility management, and synchronization in future mmWave networks.

A first thread of the thesis focuses on the fundamental performance analysis and mathematical abstraction of mmWave wireless networks to characterize their differences from conventional wireless networks, i.e., high directivity, line-of-sight communications, and occurrence of deafness (misalignment between transmitters and receivers). A mathematical framework to investigate the impact of beam training (alignment) overhead on the throughput is established, which leads to identify a new alignment-throughput tradeoff in mmWave networks. A novel blockage model that captures the angular correlation of line-of-sight conditions using a new notion of "coherence angle" is proposed. The coverage and delay of directional cell discovery are evaluated, and an optimization approach to maximize long-term throughput of users with fairness guarantees is proposed. In addition, this thesis develops a tractable approach to derive the collision probability, as a function of density of the transmitters, transmission power, density and size of the obstacles, operating beamwidth, and sensitivity of the receiver, among the main parameters. The collision probability allows deriving closed-form expressions for the per-link and network throughput of mmWave networks, and thereby identifying that, contrary to mainstream belief, these networks may exhibit a non-negligible transitional behavior of interference from a noise-limited to an interference-limited regime.

The second thread of the thesis builds on the previous fundamental performance analysis and modeling to establish new, efficient MAC protocols. The derived collision probability is used to evaluate per-link throughput, area spectral efficiency, and delay performance of common MAC protocols such as TDMA and slotted ALOHA, and to provide a fundamental comparison between pros and cons of contention-free and contention-based MAC protocols. The results suggest the use of on-demand interference management strategy for future mmWave cellular networks and collision-aware hybrid MAC protocols for mmWave ad hoc networks to reliably deliver messages without sacrificing throughput and delay performance. Moreover, the transitional behavior, together with significant mismatch between transmission rates of control and data messages, imposes the development of new hybrid proactive and reactive control plane architecture. This thesis identifies the prolonged backoff time problem, which happens in mmWave networks due to blockage and deafness, and proposes a new collision notification signal to solve this problem. Motivated by the significant mismatch between coverage of the control and data planes along with delay analysis of directional cell search, a novel two-step synchronization procedure is proposed for mmWave cellular networks. Also, the impact of relaying and multi-hop communication to provide reliable mmWave connections, to alleviate frequent handovers, and to reduce the beam training overhead is investigated.

The investigations of this thesis aim to demystify MAC layer performance of mmWave networks and to show the availability of many new degrees of freedom to improve the network performance, e.g., in terms of area spectral efficiency, energy efficiency, robustness, delay, coverage, and uniform quality of service provisioning. The results reveal many special behaviors of mmWave networks that are largely ignored in design approach of the current mmWave networks. Given that the standardization of mmWave wireless cellular networks has not started as yet, and that existing standards of mmWave ad hoc networks are highly sub-optimal, the results of this thesis will provide fundamental design guidelines that have the potential to be very useful for future mmWave standardizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , xvi, 23 p.
Series
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2015:030
National Category
Communication Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173231ISBN: 978-91-7595-645-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-173231DiVA: diva2:852128
Presentation
2015-09-14, E2, Lindstedsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150907

Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2016-06-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Millimeter Wave Cellular Networks: A MAC Layer Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Millimeter Wave Cellular Networks: A MAC Layer Perspective
Show others...
2015 (English)In: IEEE Transactions on Communications, ISSN 0090-6778, E-ISSN 1558-0857, Vol. 63, no 10, 3437-3458 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The millimeter wave (mmWave) frequency band is seen as a key enabler of multi-gigabit wireless access in future cellular networks. In order to overcome the propagation challenges, mmWave systems use a large number of antenna elements both at the base station and at the user equipment, which lead to high directivity gains, fully-directional communications, and possible noise-limited operations. The fundamental differences between mmWave networks and traditional ones challenge the classical design constraints, objectives, and available degrees of freedom. This paper addresses the implications that highly directional communication has on the design of an efficient medium access control (MAC) layer. The paper discusses key MAC layer issues, such as synchronization, random access, handover, channelization, interference management, scheduling, and association. The paper provides an integrated view on MAC layer issues for cellular networks, identifies new challenges and tradeoffs, and provides novel insights and solution approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Press, 2015
Keyword
millimeter wave, 5G, cellular networks, random access, synchronization, control channel, resource allocation, association
National Category
Communication Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173230 (URN)10.1109/TCOMM.2015.2456093 (DOI)000363257200001 ()2-s2.0-84957968474 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Foundation for Strategic Research , SM13-0008EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, ICT-317669 METIS
Note

QC 20151117. Updated from submitted to published.

Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. Design aspects of short range millimeter wave networks: A MAC layer perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design aspects of short range millimeter wave networks: A MAC layer perspective
2016 (English)In: IEEE Network, ISSN 0890-8044, E-ISSN 1558-156X, Vol. 30, no 3, 88-96 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increased density of wireless devices, ever growing demands for extremely high data rate, and spectrum scarcity at microwave bands make the millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies an important player in future wireless networks. However, mmWave communication systems exhibit severe attenuation, blockage, deafness, and may need microwave networks for coordination and fall-back support. To compensate for high attenuation, mmWave systems exploit highly directional operation, which in turn substantially reduces the interference footprint. The significant differences between mmWave networks and legacy communication technologies challenge the classical design approaches, especially at the medium access control (MAC) layer, which has received comparatively less attention than PHY and propagation issues in the literature so far. In this paper, the MAC layer design aspects of shortrange mmWave networks are discussed. In particular, we explain why current mmWave standards fail to fully exploitthe potential advantages of short range mmWave technology, and argue for the necessity of new collision-awarehybrid resource allocation frameworks with on-demand control messages, the advantages of a collision notification message, and the potential of multihop communication to provide reliable mmWave connections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2016
Keyword
millimeter wave networks, MAC layer design, random access, WLAN, WPAN, 5G.
National Category
Communication Systems Computer Systems Telecommunications
Research subject
Electrical Engineering; Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-182107 (URN)10.1109/MNET.2016.7474349 (DOI)000383679900014 ()2-s2.0-84973127045 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20161014

Available from: 2016-02-15 Created: 2016-02-15 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
3. Beam-searching and Transmission Scheduling in Millimeter Wave Communications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beam-searching and Transmission Scheduling in Millimeter Wave Communications
2015 (English)In: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), IEEE conference proceedings, 2015, Vol. 2015, 1292-1297 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Millimeter wave (mmWave) wireless networks relyon narrow beams to support multi-gigabit data rates. Nevertheless, the alignment of transmitter and receiver beams is a time consuming operation, which introduces an alignment-throughput tradeoff. A wider beamwidth reduces the alignment overhead,but leads also to reduced directivity gains. Moreover, existing mmWave standards schedule a single transmission in eachtime slot, although directional communications facilitate multiple concurrent transmissions. In this paper, a joint consideration ofthe problems of beamwidth selection and scheduling is proposed to maximize effective network throughput. The resulting optimization problem requires exact knowledge of network topology,which may not be available in practice. Therefore, two standard compliant approximation algorithms are developed, which relyon underestimation and overestimation of interference. The first one aims to maximize the reuse of available spectrum, whereas the second one is a more conservative approach that schedules together only links that cause no interference. Extensive performance analysis provides useful insights on the directionality level and the number of concurrent transmissions that should bepursued. Interestingly, extremely narrow beams are in general not optimal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE conference proceedings, 2015
Series
IEEE International Conference on Communications, ISSN 1550-3607 ; 2015
Keyword
Directional communications, millimeter wave networks, concurrent transmissions, spectral efficiency
National Category
Communication Systems Computer Systems Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-164072 (URN)10.1109/ICC.2015.7248501 (DOI)000371708101082 ()2-s2.0-84953709497 (Scopus ID)978-1-4673-6432-4 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2015, London, United Kingdom, 8 June 2015 through 12 June 2015
Note

QC20151015, QC 20160421

Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2016-04-21Bibliographically approved
4. The Transitional Behavior of Interference in Millimeter Wave Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Transitional Behavior of Interference in Millimeter Wave Networks
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Communication Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173226 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2015-09-08Bibliographically approved

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