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SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 62, Issue 2: 021302(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9477-4

Time-domain ICIC and optimized designs for 5G and beyond: a survey

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  • ReceivedDec 25, 2017
  • AcceptedApr 24, 2018
  • PublishedNov 30, 2018

Abstract

Time-domain enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC) is an effective technique to reduce the cross-tier inter-cell interference (ICI) in long term evolution (LTE)-based heterogeneous small cell networks (HetSCNs). This paper first clarifies two main communication scenarios in HetSCNs, i.e., macrocells deployed with femtocells (macro-femto) and with picocells (macro-pico). Then, the main challenges in HetSCNs, particularly the severe cross-tier ICI in macro-femto caused by femtocells with closed subscribe group (CSG) access or in macro-pico caused by picocells with range expansion are analyzed. Based on the prominent feature of dominant interference in HetSCNs, the main idea of time-domain interference coordination and two basic schemes in the eICIC standardization, i.e., almost blank subframe (ABS) and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing symbol shift are presented, with a systematic introduction to the interactions of these techniques with other network functions. Then, given macro-femto and macro-pico HetSCNs, an overview is provided on the advanced designs of ABS-based eICIC, including self-optimized designs with regard to key parameters such as ABS muting ratio, and joint optimized designs of ABS-based eICIC and other radio resource management techniques, such as user association and power control. Finally, the open issues and future research directions are discussed.


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61431001), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. L172049), and Beijing Young Talent Project (Grant No. 2015000021223ZK31).


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) Illustration of a HetSCN.

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) Coverage of outdoor picocells with or without RE.

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) Transmission with ABS configuration.

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) ABS configurations with (a) normal and (b) MBSFN subframes.

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) OFDM symbol shift with data channel muting.

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) Categories of advanced eICIC designs for macro-femto HetSCNs.

  • Figure 7

    (Color online) Categories of eICIC self-optimizations for macro-pico HetSCNs.

  • Figure 8

    (Color online) Categories of joint eICIC and other ICIC schemes designs for macro-pico HetSCNs.

  • Figure 9

    (Color online) Illustration of ICI caused by the 5G new frame structure.

  • Table 1   Summary of existing surveys on HetSCNs
    Categories Survey papers Contributions
    Time-
    domain
    ICIC
    [10] Introduces the interference challenge in HetSCNs and the main idea of eICIC.
    [11] Introduces the standardization work of eICIC in 3GPP LTE-A, including almost blank subframe (ABS), orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) symbol shift, and power control.
    [12] Introduces the main idea of eICIC, the coordination and signaling of system parameter settings related to eICIC, common reference signal (CRS) interference cancellation, and low-power ABS for eICIC.
    Frequency
    domain
    ICIC
    [13] A survey of different fractional frequency reuse schemes for HetSCNs.
    [14] A survey of various frequency-domain ICIC schemes with different enabling theories, such as game theory, graph theory, and machine learning, and different spectrum sharing principles.
    [15] An overview of ICIC for macro-femto HetSCNs from the perspective of orthogonal channel and co-channel assignment.
    CoMP [16] Introduces the standardization work of CoMP in LTE-A, including the CoMP scenarios in HomMCNs and HetSCNs, CoMP transmission categories, and standardization for CoMP.
    [17] A survey of BS coordination approaches in multicell network, including the downlink multicell beamforming and scheduling, and uplink coordinated scheduling and power control.
    [18] Introduces the cooperative interference mitigation using CoMP in heterogeneous cloud small cell networks and provides performance evaluation of CoMP clustering schemes.
    [19] Provides an overview of MS-side and network-side interference management techniques for 5G cellular networks, i.e., joint detection or decoding on the MS-side and joint scheduling on the network-side.
    [20] A survey of CoMP clustering techniques for future cellular networks, including CoMP clustering algorithms based on self-organization (i.e., static, semistatic and dynamic) and aimed objective function (such as spectral efficiency and backhaul optimization).
    Power
    control
    Power
    control
    Introduces the FFR in multilayer HetSCNs to reduce cross-tier interference and the joint opti-
    mization with power control.
    Network-
    based
    and
    MS-
    based
    ICIC
    [22] A survey of ICIC techniques for HomMCNs from the perspective of network-based selective interference avoidance, including fractional frequency reuse, power control, and joint frequency and power allocation. It also provides a brief introduction on the interference scenarios and the main idea of eICIC for HetSCNs, including time, frequency, and power domain ICIC techniques.
    [23] An overview of ICIC techniques for HetSCNs from the perspective of dominant interference mitigation, including a brief introduction of network-based time, frequency, and power domain resource allocation, and MS-based interference suppression and cancellation.
    [24] An introduction of femtocell standardization and a survey of interference management techniques in femtocells, including MS-based interference cancellation such as successive interference cancellation and multiuser detection, and network-based interference coordination based on spectrum allocation, power control, and time hopping.
    User
    association
    and
    ICIC
    [25] Introduces several user association approaches to load balancing in HetSCNs, and analyzes the effect of interference management, such as ABS-based eICIC, on load balancing.
    [26] Summarizes the interference management challenges in multilayer networks, such as different user association schemes leading to diverse interference levels, and provides guidelines on joint user association and power control designs.
    ICIC with
    backhaul
    constraints
    ICIC with
    backhaul
    constraints
    ICIC with
    backhaul
    constraints
    Cognitive
    interference
    management
    [27] A survey of cognitive interference management schemes in two-layer HetSCNs in which macrocells are noncognitive and femtocells are cognitive, including cognitive radio (CR)-enabled power control, frequency resource allocation, antenna beamforming, and joint schemes.
    [28] An overview of how CR facilitates interference management in HetSCNs without any coordination. Introduces the CR-enabled interference mitigation approaches, including exploiting the orthogonality in the time-frequency and space domains, and interference cancellation via decoding techniques.
    [29] A survey of using stochastic geometry models to analyze the performance of cognitive interference management performance in cognitive HetSCNs.
  • Table 2   Categories of small cells defined in LTE
    Type of small cells Backhaul Access modes Locations
    Pico BS
    Fiber (several microseconds
    latency) or wireless link
    Open to all MSs
    Fiber (several microseconds
    latency) or wireless link
    Femto BS
    Digital subscriber line (DSL)
    or Cable (15–60 ms one way)
    Closed subscriber group (CSG)
    Digital subscriber line (DSL)
    or Cable (15–60 ms one way)

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