Reducing the Cost of Consistency: Performance Improvements in Next Generation Cellular Networks With Optimal Resource Reallocation

Fidan Mehmeti, Thomas F. La Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Consistent rate provisioning is one of the most prominent features envisioned for the next generation of cellular networks (5G), as a pivotal condition to an improved user experience, especially for services like live video streaming, online gaming, etc. However, prior research has shown that providing a consistent rate, while very beneficial to the QoS of mobile users, can result in a severe underutilization of the available resources, leading to a very inefficient operation of cellular networks. One of the ways of increasing resource allocation efficiency is by reallocating the unused resources to the same users. To this end, in this paper we quantify the benefits offered by different reallocation policies both for the mobile operator and users. We then determine, based on theoretical analysis, the optimal policies to follow for different optimization objectives. First, we focus on increasing the efficiency (total throughput) of the cellular network operator in a cell and then on providing proportional and max-min fairness to mobile users. The analysis captures the correlation of the user's channel quality in contiguous frames by using Markov chains. The outcomes of the analysis hold both for users that are always active in a given cell, and for users whose activity is intermittent. We also analyze the case with two classes of consistent users: premium and regular. The theoretical analysis is validated by extensive synthetic simulations and simulations run on real-life traces. We also compare the performance of different reallocation policies with that of a benchmark and show that the optimal reallocation policy for a given objective improves the performance by at least 35 percent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2546-2565
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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