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Planning and Optimisation for the Coexistence of Mobile and Wireless Networks Towards Long Term Evolution

Final Report Summary - PLANOPTI (Planning and Optimisation for the Coexistence of Mobile and Wireless Networks Towards Long Term Evolution)

The drive for ubiquitous, cost-effective communication in unison with new service provisioning opportunities provided the impetus for the Planning and Optimization for the Coexistence of Mobile and Wireless Networks Towards Long Term Evolution (PLANOPTI) Marie Curie ERG on advanced cellular planning for heterogeneous networks through Cooperative Radio Resource Management. It answers to the need of having tools for planning and optimization in realistic scenarios, which model the potentialities and limitations of 4G systems coexistence whilst maximising the profit.
PLANOPTI considers the inclusion of measurement based issues regarding cellular coverage, interference, and resource reuse into cellular planning and optimization, whilst addressing QoS/QoE issues, multi-service, cost/revenues, MAC and link layer protocols, hybrid mesh and wireless sensor networks and sub-channelisation.
One main aspect arising from the interactions with others Universities, research centres and industry is the characterisation of services supported and the validation of the spectrum aggregation algorithms in the context of actual operator networks, e.g. within ad-hoc and wireless sensor networks, one of the most innovative components of PLANOPTI. The economic analyses methodologies and the optimization of the impact of pricing into the business models is one of the interdisciplinary added values of PLANOPTI.
As highlighted by the following descriptions, the six main tasks from PLANOPTI fellowship have been fully accomplished and the most relevant achievements were the following:

- WP1: Framework and Deployment Scenarios for Coexistence - Beyond 3G (B3G) deployment scenarios and characterization parameters were defined. The mapping between QoS and Quality of Experience in the context of wireless and cognitive radio (CR) networks was modelled. An LTE-Advanced scenario has been analyzed where the spectrum bands may be aggregated. A taxonomy for the characterization and classification of wireless sensor networks applications has been proposed in that is centred on different sets of characterization parameters. New application groups have been proposed for applications (e.g. civil engineering and healthcare ) that share common characterization parameters along with the discussion of the three generations of WSNs towards the Internet of Things. Complete specifications have been provided for a wireless planning tool and the packet based cellular wireless system level simulator that addresses a beyond 3G scenario.

- WP2: MAC and Cross-layer Simulations - The Multi-Channel-SCP MAC (MC-SCP-MAC) protocol was proposed. It explores the advantages of using the frame capture effect in the recent radio transceiver, the influential range concept and cognitive-based capabilities, to achieve higher throughputs, lower delays and packets collisions. The performance analysis of a two-phase contention scheme for scheduled channel polling was proposed envisaging to enhance the MAC protocol from not only Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) but also IEEE 802.11 (as well as aiming decentralised CR networks). A cross-layer multi-hop simulator for IEEE 802.11e was conceived. A wireless planning tool was also conceived that allows for a planning designer to dimension WMAN topologies via a practical approach. It is possible to obtain the signal coverage and throughput maps from the plan of a given zone. A viable architecture of a Medical Body Area Networks (MBANs) was also proposed with practical CR features based on Ultra Wide Band (UWB).

- WP3: Interoperability Aspects for Coexistence - Significant advances were also made in the design of resource allocation schemes for a scenario where a pool of different bands can be shared by several users. Based on the proposal of a framework for the efficient integration of functionalities for dynamic spectrum use (e.g. spectrum aggregation, SA) the research team has also analysed opportunistic load and spectrum sharing aspects and its energy efficiency. The core concept of pluralistic licensing and its application to next generation networks was addressed as well.

- WP4 and WP5: Radio and Network Simulation / Tuning and Measurement-based Optimization - In these workpackages, based on the experience he acquired by extracting results via the conception, development and use of cellular planning tools he has proposed a model to compute supported lower-layer throughputs, taking the different adaptive Modulation and Coding Schemes (MCSs) and the contribution of each concentric cell coverage ring into account. Furthermore, the research included the optimization of profit in percentage terms. Profit accounts both for costs and revenues. Whereas the assumptions on revenues were straightforward, a detailed analysis of cost was performed. Its major components include costs for licensing and spectrum auctions or fees, the installation costs of BSs including the cost of obtaining cell sites, the normal backhaul, and the cost of hardware and core equipment common to all, among others. These formulations were extended to cellular topologies with efficient relays, and further measurement campaigns were organized to improve the BWA propagation model. Relay sleep modes and cell zooming in topologies with relays have also been addressed. Using relays can significantly enhance the optimisation of cellular planning for WiMAX with relays by reducing the deployment cost of the system as well as its energy consumption. Relays are also amenable to opportunistic utilisation of power-saving modes.

- WP6: Dissemination and Exploitation – Dissemination activities included the participation in twelve/thirteen conferences, COST Action (2100, IC0905 TERRA, IC0902, IC 1004) initiatives, as well as giving two invited talks on spectrum sharing and coexistence arising from the coordination of WG2 (Cognitive Radio/Software Defined Radio Coexistence Studies) from COST “TERRA”. There was also three invited talks on WiMAX with Relays in Workshops/Conferences. In the context of the IEEE VTS Portugal Chapter, PLANOPTI and funded research projects, he organized or collaborated in the organization of nine seminars or workshops in the fields of the project, where, apart from distinguished lectures from VTS, presentations have been made by him and the research team on the different topics of the project. In conferences, Fernando has presented papers of himself in seven of them, one invited talk in another one, and contributed as session chair, Technical Programme Committee member in several of them. In VTC 2011 – Spring, in Budapest, Fernando was one of the vice-chairs (from the Wireless Communications track). Apart from the book on WiMAX Networks, the research outcomes included the publication of more than ten journal papers, four book chapters, eight invited and more than 20 regular papers in conference, as well as several prototypes and demonstrators (e.g. IEEE 802.16 demonstrators or WSN platform for simultaneously monitoring temperature and humidity within concrete structures).
The socio-economic impact of such seamless heterogeneous mobile and wireless communication systems is undeniable as these applications are gradually taking part of people’s lives, and the research is now far beyond the technological aspects, as a shift starts to exist to research within the social sciences community. In Europe, apart from standardization and regulatory bodies, the European Parliament and Council, and European Commission are deeply involved on promoting the exploitation of recent research results on dynamic spectrum access, cognitive radios and TV white spaces devices.
In terms of re-integration, Fernando J. Velez independently created a stable team with 10 members, currently including one post-doc fellow, three Ph.D. students, two M.Sc. students (doing research in the context of PROENERGY-WSN, one technician (who also is Ph.D student) and several grantees. Two former Ph.D. students succeeded in concluding their thesis.

Fernando got two national projects approved as the coordinator and four projects approved as participant. In particular, CREaTION (Cognitive Radio Transceiver Design for Energy Efficient Data Transmission) is a prestigious scientific research and technological development project in research lines of excellence approved in 2013. These grants support the integration by establishing close cooperation with other Portuguese groups while supporting the research from the team. The cooperation includes the publication of joint research, organization of Workshops, sharing of measurement equipment and protoytpes, organization of seminars/workshops and transfer of knowledge. Fernando Velez was also the main examiner in four Ph.D. and seven M.Sc. defenses in different Universities.
He has got a permanent and stable position as assistant professor, with a permanent contract. Fernando is preparing the habilitation, whose application will be submitted soon.
New collaborations with other Universities, research centres or companies Fernando Velez managed to setup include University of Rome – la Sapienza, University Carlos III, CTTC, Alcatel Lucent, VTT – Finland, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki (ATEITHE), Intervention Center, Oslo University Hospital, and Trinity College Dublin.
Training activities included the participation in tutorials, Workshops, a summer school, including seminars on management of scientific research and education.

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