Distributed algorithms for optimized resource management of LTE in unlicensed spectrum and UAV-enabled wireless networks
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Next-generation wireless cellular networks are morphing into a massive Internet of Things (IoT) environment that integrates a heterogeneous mix of wireless-enabled devices such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and connected vehicles. This unprecedented transformation will not only drive an exponential growth in wireless traffic, but it will also lead to the emergence of new wireless service applications that substantially differ from conventional multimedia services. To realize the fifth generation (5G) mobile networks vision, a new wireless radio technology paradigm shift is required in order to meet the quality of service requirements of these new emerging use cases. In this respect, one of the major components of 5G is self-organized networks. In essence, future cellular networks will have to rely on an autonomous and self-organized behavior in order to manage the large scale of wireless-enabled devices. Such an autonomous capability can be realized by integrating fundamental notions of artificial intelligence (AI) across various network devices. In this regard, the main objective of this thesis is to propose novel self-organizing and AI-inspired algorithms for optimizing the available radio resources in next-generation wireless cellular networks. First, heterogeneous networks that encompass licensed and unlicensed spectrum are studied. In this context, a deep reinforcement learning (RL) framework based on long short-term memory cells is introduced. The proposed scheme aims at proactively allocating the licensed assisted access LTE (LTE-LAA) radio resources over the unlicensed spectrum while ensuring an efficient coexistence with WiFi. The proposed deep learning algorithm is shown to reach a mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium, when it converges. Simulation results using real data traces show that the proposed scheme can yield up to 28% and 11% gains over a conventional reactive approach and a proportional fair coexistence mechanism, respectively. In terms of priority fairness, results show that an efficient utilization of the unlicensed spectrum is guaranteed when both technologies, LTE-LAA and WiFi, are given equal weighted priorities for transmission on the unlicensed spectrum. Furthermore, an optimization formulation for LTE-LAA holistic traffic balancing across the licensed and the unlicensed bands is proposed. A closed form solution for the aforementioned optimization problem is derived. An attractive aspect of the derived solution is that it can be applied online by each LTE-LAA small base station (SBS), adapting its transmission behavior in each of the bands, and without explicit communication with WiFi nodes. Simulation results show that the proposed traffic balancing scheme provides a better tradeoff between maximizing the total network throughput and achieving fairness among all network ows compared to alternative approaches from the literature. Second, UAV-enabled wireless networks are investigated. In particular, the problems of interference management for cellular-connected UAVs and the use of UAVs for providing backhaul connectivity to SBSs are studied. Speci cally, a deep RL framework based on echo state network cells is proposed for optimizing the trajectories of multiple cellular-connected UAVs while minimizing the interference level caused on the ground network. The proposed algorithm is shown to reach a subgame perfect Nash equilibrium upon convergence. Moreover, an upper and lower bound for the altitude of the UAVs is derived thus reducing the computational complexity of the proposed algorithm. Simulation results show that the proposed path planning scheme allows each UAV to achieve a tradeoff between minimizing energy efficiency, wireless latency, and the interference level caused on the ground network along its path. Moreover, in the context of UAV-enabled wireless networks, a UAV-based on-demand aerial backhaul network is proposed. For this framework, a network formation algorithm, which is guaranteed to reach a pairwise stable network upon convergence, is presented. Simulation results show that the proposed scheme achieves substantial performance gains in terms of both rate and delay reaching, respectively, up to 3.8 and 4-fold increase compared to the formation of direct communication links with the gateway node. Overall, the results of the different proposed schemes show that these schemes yield significant improvements in the total network performance as compared to current existing literature. In essence, the proposed algorithms can also provide self-organizing solutions for several resource management problems in the context of new emerging use cases in 5G networks, such as connected autonomous vehicles and virtual reality headsets.