Adaptive Asymmetric Slot Allocation for Heterogeneous Traffic in WCDMA/TDD Systems


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Virginia Tech


Even if 3rd and 4th generation wireless systems aim to achieve multimedia services at high speed, it is rather difficult to have full-fledged multimedia services due to insufficient capacity of the systems. There are many technical challenges placed on us in order to realize the real multimedia services. One of those challenges is how efficiently to allocate resources to traffic as the wireless systems evolve. The review of the literature shows that strategic manipulation of traffic can lead to an efficient use of resources in both wire-line and wireless networks. This aspect brings our attention to the role of link layer protocols, which is to orchestrate the transmission of packets in an efficient way using given resources. Therefore, the Media Access Control (MAC) layer plays a very important role in this context.

In this research, we investigate technical challenges involving resource control and management in the design of MAC protocols based on the characteristics of traffic, and provide some strategies to solve those challenges. The first and foremost matter in wireless MAC protocol research is to choose the type of multiple access schemes. Each scheme has advantages and disadvantages. We choose Wireless Code Division Multiple Access/Time Division Duplexing (WCDMA/TDD) systems since they are known to be efficient for bursty traffic. Most existing MAC protocols developed for WCDMA/TDD systems are interested in the performance of a unidirectional link, in particular in the uplink, assuming that the number of slots for each link is fixed a priori. That ignores the dynamic aspect of TDD systems. We believe that adaptive dynamic slot allocation can bring further benefits in terms of efficient resource management. Meanwhile, this adaptive slot allocation issue has been dealt with from a completely different angle. Related research works are focused on the adaptive slot allocation to minimize inter-cell interference under multi-cell environments. We believe that these two issues need to be handled together in order to enhance the performance of MAC protocols, and thus embark upon a study on the adaptive dynamic slot allocation for the MAC protocol.

This research starts from the examination of key factors that affect the adaptive allocation strategy. Through the review of the literature, we conclude that traffic characterization can be an essential component for this research to achieve efficient resource control and management. So we identify appropriate traffic characteristics and metrics. The volume and burstiness of traffic are chosen as the characteristics for our adaptive dynamic slot allocation.

Based on this examination, we propose four major adaptive dynamic slot allocation strategies: (i) a strategy based on the estimation of burstiness of traffic, (ii) a strategy based on the estimation of volume and burstiness of traffic, (iii) a strategy based on the parameter estimation of a distribution of traffic, and (iv) a strategy based on the exploitation of physical layer information. The first method estimates the burstiness in both links and assigns the number of slots for each link according to a ratio of these two estimates. The second method estimates the burstiness and volume of traffic in both links and assigns the number of slots for each link according to a ratio of weighted volumes in each link, where the weights are driven by the estimated burstiness in each link. For the estimation of burstiness, we propose a new burstiness measure that is based on a ratio between peak and median volume of traffic. This burstiness measure requires the determination of an observation window, with which the median and the peak are measured. We propose a dynamic method for the selection of the observation window, making use of statistical characteristics of traffic: Autocorrelation Function (ACF) and Partial ACF (PACF). For the third method, we develop several estimators to estimate the parameters of a traffic distribution and suggest two new slot allocation methods based on the estimated parameters. The last method exploits physical layer information as another way of allocating slot to enhance the performance of the system.

The performance of our proposed strategies is evaluated in various scenarios. Major simulations are categorized as: simulation on data traffic, simulation on combined voice and data traffic, simulation on real trace data.

The performance of each strategy is evaluated in terms of throughput and packet drop ratio. In addition, we consider the frequency of slot changes to assess the performance in terms of control overhead.

We expect that this research work will add to the state of the knowledge in the field of link-layer protocol research for WCDMA/TDD systems.



Estimation of parameters, WCDMA, TDD, MAC protocol, 3G/4G wireless system, slot allocation, quality of service, Pareto distribution