Online Learning Based Uplink Scheduling In HetNets With Limited Backhaul Capacity

Zhenhua Han The University of Science and Technology of China, P.R. China
Haisheng Tan University of Science and Technology of China, P.R. China
Rui Wang The South University of Science and Technology of China, P.R. China
Shaojie Tang University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Francis C M Lau The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


Heterogeneous cellular networks (HetNets) can significantly improve the spectrum efficiency, where low-power low-complexity base stations (Pico-BSs) are deployed inside the coverage of macro base stations (Macro-BSs). Due to cross-tier interference , joint detection of the uplink signals is widely adopted so that a Pico-BS can either detect the uplink signals locally or forward them to the Macro-BS for processing. The latter can achieve increased throughput at the cost of additional backhaul transmission. However, in existing literature the delay of the backhaul links was often neglected. In this paper, we study the delay-optimal uplink scheduling problem in HetNets with limited backhaul capacity. Local signal detection or joint signal detection is scheduled in a unified delay-optimal framework. Specifically, we first prove that the problem is NP-hard and then formulate it as a Markov Decision Process problem. We propose an efficient and effective algorithm, called OLIUS, that can deal with the exponentially growing state and action spaces. Furthermore, OLIUS is online learning based which does not require any prior statistical knowledge on user behavior or channel characteristics. We prove the convergence of OLIUS and derive an upper bound on its approximation error. Extensive experiments in various scenarios show that our algorithm outperforms existing methods in reducing delay and power consumption.

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