Optimizing dense wireless networks of MIMO links
Cortes-Pena, Luis Miguel
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Wireless communication systems have exploded in popularity over the past few decades. Due to their popularity, the demand for higher data rates by the users, and the high cost of wireless spectrum, wireless providers are actively seeking ways to improve the spectral efficiency of their networks. One promising technique to improve spectral efficiency is to equip the wireless devices with multiple antennas. If both the transmitter and receiver of a link are equipped with multiple antennas, they form a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) link. The multiple antennas at the nodes provide degrees-of-freedom that can be used for either sending multiple streams of data simultaneously (a technique known as spatial multiplexing), or for suppressing interference through linear combining, but not both. Due to this trade-off, careful allocation of how many streams each link should carry is important to ensure that each node has enough degrees-of-freedom available to suppress the interference and support its desired streams. How the streams are sent and received and how interference is suppressed is ultimately determined by the beamforming weights at the transmitters and the combining weights at the receivers. Determining these weights is, however, made difficult by their inherent interdependency. Our focus is on unplanned and/or dense single-hop networks, such as WLANs and femtocells, where each single-hop network is composed of an access point serving several associated clients. The objective of this research is to design algorithms for maximizing the performance of dense single-hop wireless networks of MIMO links. We address the problems of determining which links to schedule together at each time slot, how many streams to allocate to each link (if any), and the beamforming and combining weights that support those streams. This dissertation describes four key contributions as follows: - We classify any interference suppression technique as either unilateral interference suppression or bilateral interference suppression. We show that a simple bilateral interference suppression approach outperforms all known unilateral interference suppression approaches, even after searching for the best unilateral solution. - We propose an algorithm based on bilateral interference suppression whose goal is to maximize the sum rate of a set of interfering MIMO links by jointly optimizing which subset of transmitters should transmit, the number of streams for each transmitter (if any), and the beamforming and combining weights that support those streams. - We propose a framework for optimizing dense single-hop wireless networks. The framework implements techniques to address several practical issues that arise when implementing interference suppression, such as the overhead of performing channel measurements and communicating channel state information, the overhead of computing the beamforming and combining weights, and the overhead of cooperation between the access points. - We derive the optimal scheduler that maximizes the sum rate subject to proportional fairness. Simulations in ns-3 show that the framework, using the optimal scheduler, increases the proportionally fair aggregate goodput by up to 165% as compared to the aggregate goodput of 802.11n for the case of four interfering single-hop wireless networks with two clients each.