Performance analysis of cellular networks.
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Performance analysis in cellular networks is the determination of customer orientated grade-of-service parameters, such as call blocking and dropping probabilities, using the methods of stochastic theory. This stochastic theory analysis is built on certain assumptions regarding the arrival and service processes of user-offered calls in a network. In the past, cellular networks were analysed using the classical assumptions, Poisson call arrivals and negative exponential channel holding times, borrowed from earlier fixed network analysis. However, cellular networks are markedly different from fixed networks, in that, they afford the user a unique opportunity: the ability to communicate while on the move. User mobility and various other cellular network characteristics, such as customer-billing, cell· layout and hand·off mechanisms, generally invalidate the use of Poisson arrivals and negative exponential holding times. Recent measurements on live networks substantiate this view. Consequently, over the past few years, there has been a noticeable shift towards using more generalised arrival and service distributions in the performance analysis of cellular networks. However, two shortcomings with the resulting models are that they suffer from state space explosion and / or they represent hand off traffic as a state dependent mean arrival rate (thus ignoring the higher moments of the hand-off arrival process). This thesis's contribution to cellular network analysis is a moment-based approach that avoids full state space description but ensures that the hand-off arrival process is modelled beyond the first moment. The thesis considers a performance analysis model that is based on Poisson new call arrivals, generalised hand-off call arrivals and a variety of channel holding times. The thesis shows that the performance analysis of a cellular network may be loosely decomposed into three parts, a generic cell traffic characterising model, a generic cell traffic blocking model and a quality of service evaluation model. The cell traffic characterising model is employed to determine the mean and variance of hand-off traffic offered by a cell to its neighbour. The cell traffic-blocking model is used to detennine the blocking experienced by the various traffic streams offered to each cell. The quality of service evaluation part is essentially afued-point iteration of the cell traffic characterising and cell traffic blocking parts to determine customer orientated grade-of-service parameters such as blocking and dropping probabilities. The thesis also presents detailed mathematical models for user mobility modelling. Finally, the thesis provides extensive results to validate the proposed analysis and to illustrate the accuracy of the proposed analysis when compared to existing methods.