University of Oulu

M. Mozaffari, W. Saad, M. Bennis and M. Debbah, "Wireless Communication Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): Optimal Transport Theory for Hover Time Optimization," in IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol. 16, no. 12, pp. 8052-8066, Dec. 2017. doi: 10.1109/TWC.2017.2756644

Wireless communication using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) : optimal transport theory for hover time optimization

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Author: Mozaffari, Mohammad1; Saad, Walid1; Bennis, Mehdi2,3;
Organizations: 1Wireless@VT, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, 24061 VA, USA
2Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Department of Computer Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, South Korea
4Mathematical and Algorithmic Sciences Laboratory, Huawei France Research and Development, 92100 Paris, France
5Centrale Supelec, Université Paris-Saclay, 91192 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-05-08


In this paper, the effective use of flight-time constrained unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as flying base stations that provide wireless service to ground users is investigated. In particular, a novel framework for optimizing the performance of such UAV-based wireless systems in terms of the average number of bits (data service) transmitted to users as well as the UAVs’ hover duration (i.e. flight time) is proposed. In the considered model, UAVs hover over a given geographical area to serve ground users that are distributed within the area based on an arbitrary spatial distribution function. In this case, two practical scenarios are considered. In the first scenario, based on the maximum possible hover times of UAVs, the average data service delivered to the users under a fair resource allocation scheme is maximized by finding the optimal cell partitions associated to the UAVs. Using the powerful mathematical framework of optimal transport theory, this cell partitioning problem is proved to be equivalent to a convex optimization problem. Subsequently, a gradient-based algorithm is proposed for optimally partitioning the geographical area based on the users’ distribution, hover times, and locations of the UAVs. In the second scenario, given the load requirements of ground users, the minimum average hover time that the UAVs need for completely servicing their ground users is derived. To this end, first, an optimal bandwidth allocation scheme for serving the users is proposed. Then, given this optimal bandwidth allocation, optimal cell partitions associated with the UAVs are derived by exploiting the optimal transport theory. Simulation results show that our proposed cell partitioning approach leads to a significantly higher fairness among the users compared with the classical weighted Voronoi diagram. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that the average hover time of the UAVs can be reduced by 64% by adopting the proposed optimal bandwidth allocation scheme as well as the optimal cell partitioning approach. In addition, our results reveal an inherent tradeoff between the hover time of UAVs and bandwidth efficiency while serving the ground users.

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Series: IEEE transactions on wireless communications
ISSN: 1536-1276
ISSN-E: 1558-2248
ISSN-L: 1536-1276
Volume: 16
Issue: 12
Pages: 8052 - 8066
DOI: 10.1109/TWC.2017.2756644
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
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