Access network selection schemes for multiple calls in next generation wireless networks

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

There is an increasing demand for internet services by mobile subscribers over the wireless access networks, with limited radio resources and capacity constraints. A viable solution to this capacity crunch is the deployment of heterogeneous networks. However, in this wireless environment, the choice of the most appropriate Radio Access Technology (RAT) that can Tsustain or meet the quality of service (QoS) requirements of users' applications require careful planning and cost efficient radio resource management methods. Previous research works on access network selection have focused on selecting a suitable RAT for a user's single call request. With the present request for multiple calls over wireless access networks, where each call has different QoS requirements and the available networks exhibit dynamic channel conditions, the choice of a suitable RAT capable of providing the "Always Best Connected" (ABC) experience for the user becomes a challenge. In this thesis, the problem of selecting the suitable RAT that is capable of meeting the QoS requirements for multiple call requests by mobile users in access networks is investigated. In addressing this problem, we proposed the use of Complex PRoprtional ASsesment (COPRAS) and Consensus-based Multi-Attribute Group Decision Making (MAGDM) techniques as novel and viable RAT selection methods for a grouped-multiple call. The performance of the proposed COPRAS multi-attribute decision making approach to RAT selection for a grouped-call has been evaluated through simulations in different network scenarios. The results show that the COPRAS method, which is simple and flexible, is more efficient in the selection of appropriate RAT for group multiple calls. The COPRAS method reduces handoff frequency and is computationally inexpensive when compared with other methods such as the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS), Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) and Multiplicative Exponent Weighting (MEW). The application of the proposed consensus-based algorithm in the selection of a suitable RAT for group-multiple calls, comprising of voice, video-streaming, and file-downloading has been intensively investigated. This algorithm aggregates the QoS requirement of the individual application into a collective QoS for the group calls. This new and novel approach to RAT selection for a grouped-call measures and compares the consensus degree of the collective solution and individual solution against a predefined threshold value. Using the methods of coincidence among preferences and coincidence among solutions with a predefined consensus threshold of 0.9, we evaluated the performance of the consensus-based RAT selection scheme through simulations under different network scenarios. The obtained results show that both methods of coincidences have the capability to select the most suitable RAT for a group of multiple calls. However, the method of coincidence among solutions achieves better results in terms of accuracy, it is less complex and the number of iteration before achieving the predefined consensus threshold is reduced. A utility-based RAT selection method for parallel traffic-streaming in an overlapped heterogeneous wireless network has also been developed. The RAT selection method was modeled with constraints on terminal battery power, service cost and network congestion to select a specified number of RATs that optimizes the terminal interface utility. The results obtained show an optimum RAT selection strategy that maximizes the terminal utility and selects the best RAT combinations for user's parallel-streaming for voice, video and file-download.