Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Smoother sailing through sharing


Mathematical analysis reveals how to maximize access to mobile networks by seamlessly ‘offloading’ traffic to smaller Wi-Fi and cellular systems

Data-intense multimedia applications are stretching cellular network capacities to their limits, but A*STAR researchers have developed a strategy to ease this burden using ‘data offloading’1. By using high-level computational algorithms to investigate data transfer between cellular base stations and ‘complementary’ setups such as home Wi-Fi systems, the team identified optimal ways to satisfy user demands across multiple, heterogeneous networks.

Using Wi-Fi access points to deliver content to mobile devices can significantly boost the speed and capacity of wireless networks.

© CurvaBezier/iStock/Thinkstock

Wi-Fi networks and small, low-power femtocell and picocell cellular antennas are inexpensive, simple to install, and highly compatible with existing smartphones and tablets. For these reasons, mobile operators consider data offloading to these complementary networks as a more feasible way to expand capacity than installing obtrusive infrastructure or bidding for new frequency spectra.

Chin Keong Ho and Sumei Sun from the A*STAR Institute of Infocomm Research in Singapore and colleagues probed one of the biggest obstacles for implementing this sharing technique: deciding when and how much data to offload from the primary network. “Many parameters, such as user requirements and cellular coverage, can affect the real-time performance of the base station,” says Ho. “The dynamics of network and user traffic make optimal offloading decisions very challenging.”

Ho notes that the loads, or demand for cellular service, of networks using data offloading are coupled through complex, nonlinear relationships. For example, increasing the load on one base station can produce interference with another base station. To maintain the same quality of service, the second base station may have to increase its load or power — subtle changes that can ripple through the combined Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

To resolve these problems, the team developed a simple but accurate model to describe a network of base stations that can interfere with each other and a series of complementary cells that can accept excess data. They then employed advanced mathematical tools to produce a load-coupled equation that characterized and optimized the data-sharing network in detail.

As a result, the team could suggest potential strategies. “One interesting finding is that for certain networks, it is impossible to satisfy user demands no matter how large the powers of the base stations,” says Ho. “Consequently, data offloading is the only means to serve the users — a finding that highlights the fundamental importance of this approach.”

The researchers believe that their load-coupling model could find practical use by determining the optimal number of small cells or Wi-Fi access points in an offloading system. Furthermore, their equations could ‘future-proof’ mobile networks by analyzing performance degradation as user requirements inevitably change.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute for Infocomm Research

Ho, C. K., Yuan, D. & Sun, S. Data offloading in load coupled networks: A utility maximization framework. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications 13, 1921–1931 (2014). | article

A*STAR Research | ResearchSEA
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>