Ultra Dense Small Cell Networks: Turning Density into Energy Efficiency

Publication Type:

Journal Article


IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications - Series on Green Communications and Networking, Volume 34, Issue 5, p.1267 - 1280 (2016)


In this paper, a novel approach for joint power control and user scheduling is proposed for optimizing energy efficiency (EE), in terms of bits per unit energy, in ultra dense small cell networks (UDNs). Due to severe coupling in interference, this problem is formulated as a dynamic stochastic game (DSG) between small cell base stations (SBSs). This game enables capturing the dynamics of both the queues and channel states of the system. To solve this game, assuming a large homogeneous UDN deployment, the problem is cast as a mean-field game (MFG) in which the MFG equilibrium is analyzed with the aid of low-complexity tractable partial differential equations. Exploiting the stochastic nature of the problem, user scheduling is formulated as a stochastic optimization problem and solved using the drift plus penalty (DPP) approach in the framework of Lyapunov optimization. Remarkably, it is shown that by weaving notions from Lyapunov optimization and mean-field theory, the proposed solution yields an equilibrium control policy per SBS, which maximizes the network utility while ensuring users’ quality-of-service. Simulation results show that the proposed approach achieves up to 70.7% gains in EE and 99.5% reductions in the network’s outage probabilities compared to a baseline model, which focuses on improving EE while attempting to satisfy the users’ instantaneous quality-of-service requirements.