Inter Cell Scheduling in Wireless Data Networks

Over the past few years, the design and per-
formance of channel-aware scheduling strategies have at-
tracted huge interest. In the present paper we examine
a different notion of scheduling, namely coordination of
transmissions among base stations, which has received little
attention so far. The inter-cell coordination comprises
two key elements: (i) interference avoidance; and (ii) load
balancing. The interference avoidance involves coordinating
the activity phases of interfering base stations so as to
increase transmission rates. The load balancing aims at diverting
traffic from heavily-loaded cells to lightly-loaded
cells. We consider a dynamic scenario where users come
and go over time as governed by the arrival and completion
of random data transfers, and evaluate the potential capacity
gains from inter-cell coordination in terms of the maximum
amount of traffic that can be supported for a given
spatial traffic pattern. Numerical experiments demonstrate
that inter-cell scheduling may provide significant capacity
gains, the relative contribution frominterference avoidance
vs. load balancing depending on the configuration and the
degree of load imbalance in the network