Maximising the Utility of Enterprise Millimetre-Wave Networks

Nicolo Facchi, Francesco Gringoli, Paul Patras

Millimetre-wave (mmWave) technology is a promising candidate for meeting the intensifying demand for ultra fast wireless connectivity, especially in high-end enterprise networks. Very narrow beam forming is mandatory to mitigate the severe attenuation specific to the extremely high frequency (EHF) bands exploited. Simultaneously, this greatly reduces interference, but generates problematic communication blockages. As a consequence, client association control and scheduling in scenarios with densely deployed mmWave access points become particularly challenging, while policies designed for traditional wireless networks remain inappropriate. In this paper we formulate and solve these tasks as utility maximisation problems under different traffic regimes, for the first time in the mmWave context. We specify a set of low-complexity algorithms that capture distinctive terminal deafness and user demand constraints, while providing near-optimal client associations and airtime allocations, despite the problems' inherent NP-completeness. To evaluate our solutions, we develop an NS-3 implementation of the IEEE 802.11ad protocol, which we construct upon preliminary 60GHz channel measurements. Simulation results demonstrate that our schemes provide up to 60% higher throughput as compared to the commonly used signal strength based association policy for mmWave networks, and outperform recently proposed load-balancing oriented solutions, as we accommodate the demand of 33% more clients in both static and mobile scenarios.

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