Device-to-Device Load Balancing for Cellular Networks

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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  • Lei Deng
  • Yinghui He
  • Ying Zhang
  • Zongpeng Li
  • Jack Y. B. Lee
  • Ying Jun Zhang
  • Lingyang Song


Original languageEnglish
Article number8594621
Pages (from-to)3040-3054
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number4
Online published28 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


Small-cell architecture is widely adopted by cellular network operators to increase spectral spatial efficiency. However, this approach suffers from low spectrum temporal efficiency. When a cell becomes smaller and covers fewer users, its total traffic fluctuates significantly due to insufficient traffic aggregation and exhibits a large 'peak-to-mean' ratio. As operators customarily provision spectrum for peak traffic, large traffic temporal fluctuation inevitably leads to low spectrum temporal efficiency. To address this issue, in this paper, we advocate device-to-device (D2D) load-balancing as a useful mechanism. The idea is to shift traffic from a congested cell to its adjacent under-utilized cells by leveraging inter-cell D2D communication, so that the traffic can be served without using extra spectrum, effectively improving the spectrum temporal efficiency. We provide theoretical modeling and analysis to characterize the benefit of D2D load balancing, in terms of total spectrum requirements and the corresponding cost, in terms of incurred D2D traffic overhead. We carry out empirical evaluations based on real-world 4G data traces and show that D2D load balancing can reduce the spectrum requirement by 25% as compared to the standard scenario without D2D load balancing, at the expense of negligible 0.7% D2D traffic overhead.

Research Area(s)

  • Cellular networks, D2D communication, load balancing, small-cell architecture

Citation Format(s)

Device-to-Device Load Balancing for Cellular Networks. / Deng, Lei; He, Yinghui; Zhang, Ying; Chen, Minghua; Li, Zongpeng; Lee, Jack Y. B.; Zhang, Ying Jun; Song, Lingyang.

In: IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol. 67, No. 4, 8594621, 04.2019, p. 3040-3054.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review