Interference mitigation and interference avoidance for cellular OFDMA-TDD networks
Foutekova, Ellina P.
In recent years, cellular systems based on orthogonal frequency division multiple access – time division duplex (OFDMA-TDD) have gained considerable popularity. Two of the major reasons for this are, on the one hand, that OFDMA enables the receiver to effectively cope with multipath propagation while keeping the complexity low. On the other hand, TDD offers efficient support for cell-specific uplink (UL)/downlink (DL) asymmetry demands by allowing each cell to independently set its UL/DL switching point (SP). However, cell-independent SP gives rise to crossed slots. In particular, crossed slots arise when neighbouring cells use the same slot in opposing link directions, resulting in base station (BS)-to-BS interference and mobile station (MS)-to-MS interference. BS-to-BS interference, in particular, can be quite detrimental due to the exposed location of BSs, which leads to high probability of line-of-sight (LOS) conditions. The aim of this thesis is to address the BS-to-BS interference problem in OFDMA-TDDcellular networks. A simulation-based approach is used to demonstrate the severity of BS-to-BS interference and a signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) equation for OFDMA is formulated to aid system performance analysis. The detrimental effects of crossed slot interference in OFDMA-TDD cellular networks are highlighted by comparing methods specifically targeting the crossed slots interference problem. In particular, the interference avoidance method fixed slot allocation (FSA) is compared against state of the art interference mitigation approaches, viz: random time slot opposing (RTSO) and zone division (ZD). The comparison is done based on Monte Carlo simulations and the main comparison metric is spectral efficiency calculated using the SINR equation formulated in this thesis. The simulation results demonstrate that when LOS conditions among BSs are present, both RTSO and ZD perform worse than FSA for all considered performance metrics. It is concluded from the results that current interference mitigation techniques do not offer an effective solution to the BS-to-BS interference problem. Hence, new interference avoidance methods, which unlike FSA, do not sacrifice the advantages of TDD are open research issues addressed in this thesis. The major contribution of this thesis is a novel cooperative resource balancing technique that offers a solution to the crossed slot problem. The novel concept, termed asymmetry balancing, is targeted towards next-generation cellular systems, envisaged to have ad hoc and multi-hop capabilities. Asymmetry balancing completely avoids crossed slots by keeping the TDD SPs synchronised among BSs. At the same time, the advantages of TDD are retained, which is enabled by introducing cooperation among the entities in the network. If a cell faces resource shortage in one link direction, while having free resources in the opposite link direction, the free resources can be used to support the overloaded link direction. In particular, traffic can be offloaded to near-by mobile stations at neighbouring cells that have available resources. To model the gains attained with asymmetry balancing, a mathematical framework is developed which is verified by Monte Carlo simulations. In addition, asymmetry balancing is compared against both ZD and FSA based on simulations and the results demonstrate the superior performance of asymmetry balancing. It can be concluded that the novel interference avoidance approach is a very promising candidate to