Spectral Efficient and Energy Aware Clustering in Cellular Networks

Georgios Kollias, Ferran Adelantado, Christos Verikoukis

The current and envisaged increase of cellular traffic poses new challenges to Mobile Network Operators (MNO), who must densify their Radio Access Networks (RAN) while maintaining low Capital Expenditure and Operational Expenditure to ensure long-term sustainability. In this context, this paper analyses optimal clustering solutions based on Device-to-Device (D2D) communications to mitigate partially or completely the need for MNOs to carry out extremely dense RAN deployments. Specifically, a low complexity algorithm that enables the creation of spectral efficient clusters among users from different cells, denoted as enhanced Clustering Optimization for Resources' Efficiency (eCORE) is presented. Due to the imbalance between uplink and downlink traffic, a complementary algorithm, known as Clustering algorithm for Load Balancing (CaLB), is also proposed to create non-spectral efficient clusters when they result in a capacity increase. Finally, in order to alleviate the energy overconsumption suffered by cluster heads, the Clustering Energy Efficient algorithm (CEEa) is also designed to manage the trade-off between the capacity enhancement and the early battery drain of some users. Results show that the proposed algorithms increase the network capacity and outperform existing solutions, while, at the same time, CEEa is able to handle the cluster heads energy overconsumption.

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