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User Association in 5G Networks: A Survey and an Outlook

Liu, D; Wang, L; Chen, Y; Elkashlan, M; Wong, K-K; Schober, R; Hanzo, L; (2016) User Association in 5G Networks: A Survey and an Outlook. IEEE Communications Surveys And Tutorials , 18 (2) pp. 1018-1044. 10.1109/COMST.2016.2516538. Green open access

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The fifth generation (5G) mobile networks are envisioned to support the deluge of data traffic with reduced energy consumption and improved quality of service (QoS) provision. To this end, key enabling technologies, such as heterogeneous networks (HetNets), massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), and millimeter wave (mmWave) techniques, have been identified to bring 5G to fruition. Regardless of the technology adopted, a user association mechanism is needed to determine whether a user is associated with a particular base station (BS) before data transmission commences. User association plays a pivotal role in enhancing the load balancing, the spectrum effi- ciency, and the energy efficiency of networks. The emerging 5G networks introduce numerous challenges and opportunities for the design of sophisticated user association mechanisms. Hence, substantial research efforts are dedicated to the issues of user association in HetNets, massive MIMO networks, mmWave networks, and energy harvesting networks. We introduce a taxonomy as a framework for systematically studying the existing user association algorithms. Based on the proposed taxonomy, we then proceed to present an extensive overview of the state-of-the-art in user association algorithms conceived for HetNets, massive MIMO, mmWave, and energy harvesting networks. Finally, we summarize the challenges as well as opportunities of user association in 5G and provide design guidelines and potential solutions for sophisticated user association mechanisms.

Type: Article
Title: User Association in 5G Networks: A Survey and an Outlook
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1109/COMST.2016.2516538
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1109/COMST.2016.2516538
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 IEEE. All rights reserved. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Technology, Computer Science, Information Systems, Telecommunications, Computer Science, 5G, user association, HetNets, massive MIMO, mmWave, energy harvesting, Heterogeneous Cellular Networks, Base Station Association, Wireless Access Networks, Downlink Sum Rate, Resource-allocation, Massive Mimo, Femtocell Networks, Power-control, Interference Coordination, Energy Efficiency
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503617
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