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GC'12 Workshop: The 7th IEEE International Workshop on Heterogeneous, Multi-Hop, Wireless and Mobile Networks

Heterogeneous LTE/802.11a Mobile Relays for


Data Rate Enhancement and Energy-Efciency in
High Speed Trains
Rachad Atat1 , Elias Yaacoub2 , Mohamed-Slim Alouini1 , and Adnan Abu-Dayya2
1 Electrical Engineering Program, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal,
Makkah Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Email: {rachad.atat, slim.alouini}@kaust.edu.sa
2 Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC), Qatar Science and Technology Park, Doha, Qatar.

Email: {eliasy, adnan}@qmic.com

AbstractPerformance enhancements of cellular networks windows, the fact that dramatically reduces and weakens the
for passengers in high speed railway systems are investigated. wireless link quality [4]. In addition, as the train moves
Relays placed on top of each train car are proposed. These at a high speed, the high bandwidth that is required to
relays communicate with the cellular base station (BS) over
Long Term Evolution (LTE) long range links and with the support multimedia applications (videos, pictures, audio, etc)
mobile terminals (MTs) inside the train cars using IEEE 802.11a decreases, and users may not be able to establish a direct link
short range links. Scenarios with unicasting and multicasting with the outside world unless the passenger carries equipment
from the BS are studied, both in the presence and absence of that has direct access to a satellite node [1], [5].
the relays. In addition, LTE resource allocation is taken into
account. The presence of the relays is shown to lead to signicant Relays have been widely investigated in the literature
enhancements in the effective data rates of the MTs, in addition because they can minimize the total power consumption of
to leading to huge savings in the energy consumption from the the network nodes, maximize network lifetime, extend the
batteries of the MTs. coverage and expand the capacity in wireless systems [6].
Index TermsMobile relay, effective rate, energy efciency, Relays for the purpose of reducing the energy consumption
LTE, heterogeneous networks. were investigated in [7], [8], while cooperative wireless com-
munication systems employed in vehicular networks have
I. I NTRODUCTION been investigated in [9], [10].

Passengers in high speed train systems may want to have In this paper, we suggest a new relay-based heterogeneous
access for Internet to be able to browse a website, read/send network architecture, where a relay is installed on top of each
emails, download multimedia services, etc. [1], the fact that car of the train (on the ceiling), and the closest wireless BS in
initiated the investigation of new network architectures that the vicinity of the train communicates with the relays using
can provide the passengers with high speed mobile data LTE technology. Then, each relay communicates with the
services. While the Global System for Mobile communica- MTs that are located inside the train car using Wireless Local
tions - Railway (GSM-R) is used to exchange train control Area Network (WLAN) IEEE 802.11a, that is perceived as
information (location, schedule, speed, etc) with a maximum the best candidate for high speed trains to provide in-train
data rate of 200 kbps, Long Term Evolution Network (LTE), coverage as it can achieve a peak data rate of 54 Mbps [4].
constitutes the next generation wireless communication sys- This network approach aims at enhancing the perceived data
tem for high speed railways since it was shown to provide rates and at minimizing the total energy consumption of
good performance with advanced channel estimation and the MTs compared to the case where the BS communicates
disperse deployed antennas on train [2]. LTE is best suitable directly with the MTs in the train. Thus, the BS does not
for high-speed broadband data when compared with various need to communicate with the hundreds of passengers in
technologies such as WiFi, satellite, 2G/EDGE, and 3G [3]. the train which reduces radio resource management control
However, many problems and challenges arise despite the signicantly. This approach will help in avoiding the radio
wireless broadband technology in use. When the mobile signal propagation losses and low QoS, and maintaining a
terminal (MT) communicates directly with the base sta- stable high speed wireless link between the relay and the
tion (BS), it will experience a severe degradation in the MTs inside the train car.
Quality of Service (QoS) since the wireless signal has to The paper is organized as follows. The system model is
travel through the train, and penetrate through the metalized presented in Section II. The rate and energy derivations for
the proposed relay-based approach are derived in Section III.
Scheduling of LTE resources is described in Section IV.
This work was made possible in part by NPRP grant # 09-180-2-078 from
the Qatar National Research Fund (A member of The Qatar Foundation). Simulation results are studied and analyzed in Section V.
The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors. Finally, conclusions are drawn in Section VI.
978-1-4673-4941-3/12/$31.00 2012 IEEE 421
where the train passengers are interested in a similar content.


For example, this could be the case of entertainment services
 
 provided by the railroad operator in cooperation with the
  
 
 
mobile operator: live news websites, broadcast of a live
 
sports match, etc. In fact, cooperative relaying of content of


common interest is receiving signicant research attention,
e.g. as in [15], where a low mobility scenario is consid-
  ered though. Scenarios where passengers are downloading
different content correspond to SR unicasting, and will be
considered in future research.

Fig. 1. General system model. A. Data Rates


(x)
Given the transmit power Ps,d that source s is using
II. S YSTEM M ODEL in order to transmit to destination d over subcarrier x, the
(x)
channel gain Hs,d of the channel between s and d over
A high speed moving train is considered. Cellular coverage
subcarrier x, the antenna gain of the source Gs , the antenna
inside the train is ensured by LTE BSs deployed parallel to
gain of the destination Gd , and the thermal noise power
the train path. These BSs could be co-located with GSM- (x)
R BSs. Typical deployments consist of having a separation 2 , the received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) s,d on the link
distance dBS between BSs on the order of 7-15 km along the between s and d over subcarrier x can be calculated as:
(x) (x)
railroad. However, distinction should be made between GSM- (x) Ps,d Gs Gd Hs,d
R used for railway control, which is out of the scope of this s,d = (1)
2
paper, and LTE, which is used to ensure cellular connectivity In the presence of relays, the source is either the BS trans-
to passengers inside the train. mitting to the relays (destination), or it could be the relay
The system model is depicted in Fig. 1. The train consists transmitting to the MTs inside the train car. In the traditional
of a number K of train cars. On top of each car, a mobile case without relays, the source is the BS and the destinations
relay is xed in the ceiling. The relay performs heterogeneous are the MTs.
communications using two antennas (or two sets of antennas In this paper, discrete sets of Modulation and Coding
in case MIMO communication is used, which could be an Schemes (MCS), as is the case in practical standards, are
interesting future extension of this work): one antenna located considered. Thus, the discrete rates used in LTE and 802.11a
outside the train car, used for communication with the BS are adopted. The 14 MCS used in LTE can be found in [16]
on the long range (LR) cellular links, and another antenna and the eight MCS used in 802.11a in addition to their
inside the train car, used to communicate with the MTs inside corresponding data rates can be found in [13], [14]. Assuming
the train using WLAN. In a given car, relay k serves a L possible discrete rates such that r1 < r2 < < rL , then
number Mk of MTs belonging to the train passengers. LTE rate rl is used between s and d over subcarrier x if the SNR
communication is considered between the BS and the relays. (x)
is above a certain threshold l , i.e. l s,d < l+1 .
In LTE, the available spectrum is divided into resource blocks
(RB) consisting of 12 adjacent subcarriers, allocated in a
B. Channel Model
0.5 ms time slot. The shortest assignment unit consists of
two consecutive slots, i.e., for a duration of 1 ms, which The channels are modeled by pathloss, shadowing and
is the duration of one transmission time interval (TTI) [11], fading. The channel gain on the link between source s and
[12]. A total bandwidth of Wtot = 5 MHz, subdivided into destination d over subcarrier x is given by:
NRB = 25 RBs of 12 subcarriers each is assumed. Each (x) (x)
Hs,d,dB = ( log10 ds,d ) s,d + 10 log10 Fs,d (2)
subcarrier has a bandwidth of Wsub = 15 kHz, such that
the bandwidth of an RB is WRB = 180 kHz [11]. We will In (2), the rst factor captures propagation loss, with ds,d
consider that one RB is allocated to each relay. The BS power the distance between s and d, the pathloss constant, and
is assumed to be subdivided equally among the RBs. the path loss exponent. The second factor, s,d , captures log-
The short range (SR) links between the relays and the MTs normal shadowing with a standard deviation , whereas the
(x)
inside the car use the IEEE 802.11a protocol which uses Or- last factor, Fs,d , corresponds to Rayleigh fading (generally
thogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) technique considered with a Rayleigh parameter a such that E[a2 ] = 1).
including 8 different data rates and 64 carriers. It supports In the channel model, spatial shadowing correlation is
a bandwidth of 16.6 MHz, with a carrier spacing of 312.5 taken into account as the train moves along the railroad. The
KHz and a data rate ranging between 6 and 54 Mbps [13], correlated shadowing model of [17] and [18] is applied in this
[14]. paper. In addition, for fast Rayleigh fading, a block fading
In this paper, the downlink direction is studied. Unicasting model is considered, where the fast fading remains constant
and multicasting on the LR LTE links are investigated. On for a xed time Tdec which is the channel de-correlation time.
the SR, it is considered that multicasting is performed by the Then the channel conditions change and remain constant for
relays inside each train car. This corresponds to a scenario another Tdec , and so on.
422
III. R ATE AND E NERGY C ALCULATIONS WITH THE B. Scenario of LR Multicasting
R ELAY- BASED A PPROACH In the case of LR multicasting, the BS transmits the content
of common interest at the lowest rate achievable by the relays,
We denote by R the set of relays, and by Mk the set
in order to ensure that all relays receive the data correctly.
of MTs served in car k, with |Mk | = Mk , where | |
Following the same analysis as in Section III-A, the results
represents set cardinality. In addition, we denote by RL,d the
for LR multicasting with relays can be obtained by replacing
transmission rate on the LR links from the BS to destination d
RL,k with min RL,k in (3)-(4). The expressions of (5) and (6)
(could be a relay in the proposed approach or an MT kR
in the traditional approach), and by RS,kj the achievable remain the same. In addition, (7) becomes:
transmission rate on the SR links from relay k to MT j. Bjk (n)
Ew/orelay,jk (n) = PL,Rx , (8)
min
 RL,i (n)
i Mk
A. Scenario of LR Unicasting i.e. in the case of multicasting without relays, the minimiza-
The time needed to transmit one data bit to any MT jk tion takes place over all MTs in all the cars of the train since
Mk with LR unicasting and SR multicasting is given by: the relays do not exist.

1 1
1bit
Drelay,j = + , (3) IV. LTE R ESOURCE A LLOCATION
k
RL,k min RS,ki
iMk In this section, we present the resource allocation tech-
niques adopted on the LTE LR communications for each of
where the rst term corresponds to the time needed by the
the investigated scenarios. We denote by rd,y the achievable
relay to receive the data bit from the BS and the second term
rate of a destination d over RB y. The destination could be
corresponds to the multicast transmission from relay k to the
a relay in the proposed approach or an MT in the traditional
MTs of Mk .
approach.
Hence, the effective data rate of MT jk Mk when relays
are used can be expressed as the inverse of (3), or:
A. LTE Resource Allocation with LR Unicasting
RL,k min RS,ki
Req,jk =
iMk
(4) In the case of LR unicasting, we consider that one RB
RL,k + min RS,ki is allocated to each destination according to Algorithm 1.
iMk
This approach allocates RBs to destinations in a way to
The rates vary with the channel variations, and hence
depend on the channel realization. Consequently, the number Algorithm 1 LTE resource allocation with unicasting
of bits that can be transmitted at the nth channel realization 1: while All destinations have not been assigned an RB
to all MTs jk Mk can be expressed as: do
2: Find the pair (Destination d ,RB y ) such that:
Bjk (n) = Req,jk (n) Tdec (5)
(d (n), y (n)) = {arg max rd,y (n)} (9)
d,y
With PS,Rx denoting the power drained from the MTs 3: Mark RB y (n) as occupied and
batteries when their SR IEEE 802.11a interface is active, then 4: Mark destination d (n) as served
the energy drained from the battery of each MT jk Mk 5: Set RL,d (n) = rd ,y (n)
in order to receive Bjk (n) bits with SR multicasting is given 6: Repeat (9) for the remaining RBs and destinations
by: 7: until all destinations are served or all RBs are allocated
Bjk (n) 8: end while
Erelay,jk (n) = PS,Rx (6)
min RS,ki (n)
iMk
maximize LR performance by selecting the best RB for each
In other words, the energy in (6) corresponds to the power destination.
drained multiplied by the reception time.
In the absence of relays, MTs communicate directly with
B. LTE Resource Allocation with LR Multicasting
the BS and in this case Req,jk = RL,jk . In addition, the
energy consumption becomes: The transmission on a given RB is limited by the rate
achieved by the destination having the worst channel condi-
Bjk (n) tions on that RB. Thus, the BS performs multicasting on the
Ew/orelay,jk (n) = PL,Rx , (7)
RL,jk (n) RB having the highest minimum rate, i.e., according to the
following:
with PL,Rx denoting the power drained from the MTs   
batteries when their LR LTE interface is active to receive
y (n) = arg max min rd,y (n) (10)
data from the BS. y d

423
V. R ESULTS AND A NALYSIS 0.9

In this section, we compare the performance of the scenar- 0.8


ios with and without relays. In the simulations, we assume 0.7
that the train moves along a track with a speed of 250

Effective Rate (Mbps)


km/hour. The train consists of 10 cars, each of 20 meters 0.6 Relay: unicast
Relay: multicast
in length and 5 meters in width. A relay is placed in the 0.5 w/o Relay: unicast
middle of the ceiling of each train car, in which up to 20 MTs 0.4
w/o Relay, 200 RBs: unicast
w/o Relay: multicast
can be uniformly distributed inside. The time where fading is
0.3
considered constant is taken to be Tdec = 10 ms. In addition,
we consider an IEEE 802.11a bandwidth of WSR = 16.6 0.2

MHz on the SR and an LTE bandwidth on the LR of 0.1

WLR = 5 MHz. With WLR = 5 MHz, the bandwidth is 0


subdivided into NRBs = 25 RBs of 12 subcarriers each [11],
0 50 100 150 200
Number of MTs

[12]. The BS transmit power is set to 5 Watts, equally divided Fig. 2. Effective rate versus the total number of MTs.
among the LTE RBs. Moreover, we consider that the BS
antenna gain is 10 dBi and that of the relay is 6 dBi. 1
Channel parameters are obtained from [19]: Relay: dLR = 2km
0.9
= 128.1 dB, = 3.76, and = 8 dB. Furthermore,
w/o Relay: d = 2km
LR
Relay: d = 3km
we set PL,Rx = 1.8 Joules/s and PS,Rx = 0.925 Joules/s 0.8 LR
w/o Relay: dLR = 3km

according to the measurements made in [20].

Effective Rate (Mbps)


0.7 Relay: dLR = 4km
w/o Relay: dLR = 4km
0.6

A. Effective Rate Results 0.5

0.4
As the train moves along the railroad, the distribution of
a content of common interest by the BS might occur at 0.3

any position of the train with respect to nearest BS. Fig. 2 0.2

shows the effective rate results assuming that the nearest BS 0.1

is located at dLR = 1 Km away from the rst car in the 0


0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
train when the content distribution starts. The positions of Number of MTs

the cars, relays, and MTs, in addition to the shadowing and Fig. 3. Effective rate for LR multicasting with different distances to the BS.
fading values, are updated as the train moves during content
distribution. It can be seen from Fig. 2 that the presence of degrades signicantly, as many MTs do not have an RB
relays leads to signicant enhancements, both in the case of allocated to them. Therefore, in Fig. 2, we compare the
LR unicasting and multicasting. The best results are achieved results to a ctitious scenario where we assume that an
with relays in the case of LR unicasting. In fact, in this RB is available for each MT (200 RBs in total). This
case, each relay is granted its best LTE RB to receive the could correspond in practice to an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)
BS transmission on the LR according to (9), whereas high deployment with carrier aggregation, where two 20 MHz
multicasting rates are achieved on the SR over IEEE 802.11a. bandwidth slots can be aggregated to lead to a total of
With LR multicasting, the LR rate is limited by that of the 40 MHz, subdivided into 200 RBs. However, even in this
relay having the worst LR performance according to (10). extreme scenario, the case of 5 MHz bandwidth and 25 RBs
In the absence of relays, MTs receive their data directly on performs better in the presence of relays.
the LR. In the case of LR multicasting, the performance is Fig. 3 shows the effect on the effective rate when dLR
limited by the MT having the worst performance. Hence, as is increased, considering a BS antenna gain of 15 dBi.
the number of MTs increases, the probability of nding an Results for LR multicasting are shown. As expected, the
MT with bad LR channel conditions increases. Consequently, effective rates decrease as the distance to the BS increases,
the implementation of (10) with MTs as destinations leads due to lower achievable LR rates since the SNR on the LR
to performance degradation as the number of MTs increases. decreases. However, the superiority of the proposed approach
On the other hand, in the case of LR multicasting with relays, is maintained. The same conclusions can be reached for LR
the number of relays is constant, since one relay is available unicasting, although the results are not shown here due to
per car (K = 10 in the model considered). This explains the space limitations.
almost constant performance of the multicasting plot with
relays, especially that high rates can be achieved on the SR
relay-MT links as explained above, which makes the LR rate B. Energy Results
the limiting factor in determining the effective rate. In this section, we investigate the total energy consumed by
In the case of LR unicasting without relays, one RB is the MTs in order to receive a le of total size BT = 1 Mbits.
dedicated to each MT. However, the number of MTs that can Fig. 4 shows the energy consumption in the same scenario
be simultaneously served cannot exceed NRBs = 25. When investigated in Fig. 2, i.e. with a BS located at dLR = 1 km
the number of MTs increases beyond this limit, performance from the rst train car with a BS antenna gain of 10 dBi.
424
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