Optimal Selection of Heterogeneous Network Interfaces for High-Speed Rail Communications

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Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, 2020, 69, (12), pp. 15005-15018
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© 1967-2012 IEEE. Integrating millimeter Wave (mmWave) and long-term evolution (LTE) sub-6 GHz bands to provide wireless services for high-speed rails (HSRs) is a promising solution to balance the ever-rising service demand and operational cost. In this paper, we optimize the network interface selection of the mmWave and LTE interfaces for HSR communications, to minimize the operational cost while satisfying the service requests of passengers. The network interface selection problem is formulated as a finite-horizon discrete-time Markov decision process (MDP) problem. Based on the file requests and associated deadlines of a passenger and the train schedule, we solve the MDP problem ahead-of-time by using dynamic programming (DP) and achieve optimal interface selection for each waypoint along the railways. Further, by exploiting the subadditivity and superadditivity of the considered problem, we reveal that an optimal switch of interfaces is only triggered at the moment when the remaining undelivered data or the elapsed time reaches their specific thresholds. Based on the thresholds, the optimal interface selection can be directly achieved for every waypoint, hence eliminating the need for DP and substantially reducing the computational complexity. The proposed algorithms are evaluated with practical train schedules. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithms can substantially reduce the operational cost by 35% in our considered simulation setting, as compared to existing alternatives.
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