Cooperative Beamforming with Predictive Relay Selection for Urban mmWave Communications

by   Anastasios Dimas, et al.

While millimeter wave (mmWave) communications promise high data rates, their sensitivity to blockage and severe signal attenuation presents challenges in their deployment in urban settings. To overcome these effects, we consider a distributed cooperative beamforming system, which relies on static relays deployed in clusters with similar channel characteristics, and where, at every time instance, only one relay from each cluster is selected to participate in beamforming to the destination. To meet the quality-of-service guarantees of the network, a key prerequisite for beamforming is relay selection. However, as the channels change with time, relay selection becomes a resource demanding task. Indeed, estimation of channel state information for all candidate relays, essential for relay selection, is a process that takes up bandwidth, wastes power and introduces latency and interference in the network. We instead propose a unique, predictive scheme for resource efficient relay selection, which exploits the special propagation patterns of the mmWave medium, and can be executed distributively across clusters, and in parallel to optimal beamforming-based communication. The proposed predictive scheme efficiently exploits spatiotemporal channel correlations with current and past networkwide Received Signal Strength (RSS), the latter being invariant to relay cluster size, measured sequentially during the operation of the system. Our numerical results confirm that our proposed relay selection strategy outperforms any randomized selection policy that does not exploit channel correlations, whereas, at the same time, it performs very close to an ideal scheme that uses complete, cluster size dependent RSS, and offers significant savings in terms of channel estimation overhead, providing substantially better network utilization, especially in dense topologies, typical in mmWave networks.


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