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"Uncoordinated network strategies for enhanced interference, mobIlity, radio resource, and energy saving management in LTE-Advanced networks"

Periodic Report Summary 1 - CROSSFIRE (Uncoordinated network strategies for enhanced interference, mobIlity, radio resource, and energy saving management in LTE-Advanced networks)

CROSSFIRE targets the following main objectives:
1. Recruitment of ESRs with the clear and long-term objective to conduct top-notch research and to pursue research excellence at the national, European, and international levels.
2. Develop personalized training and career plans to meet the needs and goals of each ESR.
3. Allow the ESRs to understand and address key research challenges on future cellular networks that form pivotal societal and economic concerns for Europe within the mid-to-long term.
4. Offer to each ESR top-level training and research programs with the twofold objective to reinforce and corroborate their own background, as well as to complement this with active participation in a multi-disciplinary network of research scientists.
5. Complement the typical competences of “applied research” with aspects related to project management, intellectual property rights, writing of patents, presentation and communication skills, writing of technical papers, exploitation of technical results and creation of start-up companies, etc.
6. Guide and help the ESRs to build a remarkable professional career in private or public sectors.

The following work has been performed in the different WPs for the reporting period (Sept 2012 - Aug 2014):
Starting with the project management (WP6), the main tasks accomplished include recruitment of all ESRs in time of with short delay, organization of five plenary meetings and a mid-term review meeting and coordination of all seminars/courses and main events. Other tasks for this period are the preparation of the Progress Report, the compilation of all the work packages progress information from the partners, the upload of all the corresponding information to the Participant Portal, and the submission of the report.

Concerning the training activities (WP5), 3 out 5 complementary courses and 3 out of 6 seminars have been successfully organized. Some events have been rescheduled due to the late recruitment of some ESRs. A Moodle-based training platform ( has been set up. Training activities organized by CROSSFIRE have been recorded and uploaded, along with the additional learning material, to this platform, and ESRs have been provided with the corresponding access. The personalized training programme has been designed through the Personal Development Career Plan (PDCP).

Moving to dissemination (WP7), major achievements include:
1) Public talks and presentations by all ESRs.
2) Four open days executed.
3) Personal website and presence in Linkedin and ResearchGate portals by all ESRs.
4) A website and a twitter account to provide a central element of disseminating main results.
5) Newsletters every 3 months, to capture up-to-date activities.
6) A number of invited talks by PIs of the network not only within Europe but also internationally.
7) Publications in high calibre international journals and flagship IEEE international conferences and workshops.

Concerning the technical WPs (WP1-WP4), and starting from WP1 (interference modeling, analysis and management of heterogeneous LTE-A cellular networks), three major achievements have been obtained.
1) New methodologies have been proposed for network interference, that take into account specific characteristics of the LTE-A physical layer (3 accepted IEEE journal papers - 10x gain).
2) A novel cell association mechanism has been proposed (1 patent application - 10x gain).
3) New computationally-efficient random linear network coding mechanisms have been proposed and tested (submission in progress - 20x gain).

In WP2 (network virtualization technologies and mechanisms for LTE-A networks), main achievements include the following:
1) Analysis for Radio Access Network (RAN) and networking sharing considering the current 3GPP state of the art and the OpenFlow based paradigm (2 IEEE conference papers and 1 IEEE journal – 50% gain).
2) A new management paradigm was explored to perform dynamic frame alternation based on the real time network traffic statistics and application input via the SDN APIs (1 conference paper – 28% gain).
3) A mathematical contribution about sharing of core network elements among different operators, taking into account the mobility and routing cost (submission in progress – 20% gain).

In WP3 (self-organization and self-optimization mechanisms in the LTE-A standard), several achievements have been accomplished:
1) A novel handover mechanism that depends on the different users’ speeds, making it suitable for different deployments and scenarios.
2) Novel algorithms on parallelized randomized Device-to-Device (D2D) radio resource allocation (r-RRA) (1 conference paper – 10% gain).
3) A realistic framework for enabling D2D communications in LTE networks (up to 100% cell area reuse).
4) An auction scheme for distributing resources and introducing competitiveness among the participants.
5) A novel algorithm for enhancing the resource allocation efficiency for TD-LTE (1 IEEE conference paper

Main achievements in WP4 (QoE characterization and provisioning in LTE-A heterogeneous networks) are the following:
1) An overall architecture that will be used as reference by all WPs in the CROSSFIRE project.
2) A thorough state-of-the-art analysis on QoE modeling issues
3) An insight on QoE fundamentals, discussing the open issues and possible solutions linked with QoE support in mobile cellular networks, such as the LTE-A (1 IEEE magazine submission).
4) A quantification of the QoE deterioration of macrocell users due to the interference from femtocells, focusing on VoIP services in LTE-A networks (1 conference paper – 75% gain).
5) A network management framework that exploits QoE awareness for controlling the operational mode of mobile end-users in LTE-A networks with Device-to-Device (D2D) support ( 1 conference paper – gain up to 35%).

As for the expected impact, LTE-A is the next step towards faster and better cellular communications. Being a working standard supported by most major mobile manufacturers and operators, it is expected to be the future dominant applied technology. The immediate benefits of the involvement of the ESRs in this training program will be through the in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience they will acquire with this evolving sector. This will directly improve their career prospects for positions at the fast growing number of universities and institutes that focus in this area, as well as large and smaller specialized companies that see new market opportunities. The key benefits for ESRs involved in the Network will also emanate from the involvement of top level experienced researchers as supervisors, the participation of academic and industrial partners willing to cooperate in market-driven and sky blue research and, finally, the availability of a selected course portfolio, encompassing both technical and complementary skills.