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Group-based joint signaling and data resource allocation in MTC-underlaid cellular networks


Machine-type communications (MTC) are gaining significant research attention as one of the most promising technologies for the fifth generation (5G) mobile networks. A critical issue handled by MTC is support for massive numbers of connections, which is a growing problem that will become increasingly challenging as MTC share spectrum resources with cellular communication. Here, not only the number of connections but also the data rate requirements of cellular users (CUEs) need to be considered. Given these issues, in this paper, we formulate a group-based joint signaling and data resource optimization model constrained by network resource and data rate requirements in order to maximize the number of connections. We also note that this problem is nonconvex and that obtaining an optimal solution is computationally complex for MTC with massive numbers of users (UEs). Therefore, we decompose the problem into group-based data aggregation and resource allocation subproblems. To solve these two subproblems, we develop an adaptive group head selection algorithm and a joint signaling and data resource allocation algorithm that satisfy both the data rate requirement and resource constraints, respectively. Our simulation results show that our proposed algorithms significantly improve the number of connections when compared with other classic methods. Furthermore, our results reveal that the limiting factor on the number of connections changes with the ratio of the number of MTC UEs to that of CUEs and the ratio of data requirement of MTC UEs to that of CUEs. Finally, we note that our proposed group-based resource allocation algorithm can effectively improve the number of connections, especially when more MTC UEs and a small amount of MTC data are present.

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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61461136002, 61631005) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.

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Correspondence to Xuefei Zhang.

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Zhang, X., Wang, Y., Wang, R. et al. Group-based joint signaling and data resource allocation in MTC-underlaid cellular networks. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 60, 100304 (2017).

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  • data aggregation
  • matrix analysis
  • machine-type communications
  • signaling and data resource allocation