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Trade-off between Energy Efficiency and Spectral

Efficiency in the Uplink of a Linear Cellular

System with Uniformly Distributed User Terminals
Oluwakayode Onireti, Fabien Héliot, and Muhammad Ali Imran,
Centre for Communication System Research (CCSR),
University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
Email: {o.onireti, f.heliot, m.imran}

Abstract—In this paper, we propose a tight closed-form approx- relay terminal in cellular networks. Moreover, the available
imation of the Energy Efficiency vs. Spectral Efficiency (EE-SE) spectrum resource needs to be efficiently used for the trans-
trade-off for the uplink of a linear cellular communication system mission of information bits and, consequently, the SE also
with base station cooperation and uniformly distributed user
terminals. We utilize the doubly-regular property of the channel needs to be taken into account in the design of communication
to obtain a closed form approximation using the Marčenko networks. However, the two objectives of minimising the en-
Pasture law. We demonstrate the accuracy of our expression ergy consumed in the network and maximizing the bandwidth
by comparing it with Monte-Carlo simulation and the EE-SE efficiency, i.e. SE, are not achievable simultaneously and,
trade-off expression based on low-power approximation. Results hence, this creates the need for a trade-off.
show the great tightness of our expression with Monte-Carlo
simulation. We utilize our closed form expression for assessing the The Shannon’s capacity theorem illustrates that there exists
EE performance of cooperation for both theoretical and realistic a trade-off between bandwidth, transmit power and the coding
power models. The theoretical power model includes only the strategy implemented to achieve a certain rate R, in other
transmit power, whereas the realistic power model incorporates words, the trade-off between EE and SE. The low-power
the backhaul and signal processing power in addition to the approximation technique introduced in [3] has been used to
transmit power. Results indicate that for both power models,
increasing the number of antennas leads to an improvement in investigate the EE-SE trade-off for single user, multi user [4],
EE performance, whereas, increasing the number of cooperating single relay networks [5], multiple relay networks [6] and
BSs results in a loss in EE when considering the realistic power BS cooperation [7]. As far as the power consumption model
model. for the uplink of cellular system is concerned, three main
power components can be distinguished: the users transmit
power, BSs signal processing power and backhauling power.
In the past, communication network evolution has mainly For instance, a theoretical power model that only takes into
been driven by spectral efficiency (SE) improvement. In re- account the users transmit power has been utilized in the low-
cent years, the reduction in network energy consumption has power approximation technique of [3]. Meanwhile in [8], [9],
become of great importance for network operators. So has the authors considered the circuit power (signal processing
the importance of the energy efficiency (EE) as a metric for power) in addition to the transmit power in their model for
network performance evaluation. improving the EE of sensor networks, however, they did not
The SE is the traditional metric for measuring the efficiency consider the spectrum efficiency. Moreover, in [6], the authors
of communication systems. It measures how efficiently a considered the EE-SE trade-off of relay networks based on
limited frequency resource (spectrum) is utilized, however, it both the circuit and transmit powers but without including the
fails to give any insight on how efficiently energy is utilized. backhauling power.
A new metric that provides this insight, i.e. the bits-per-Joule In this paper, we derive a closed-form approximation (CFA)
(bits/J), was introduced in [1]. Then, the bits/J capacity of of the EE-SE trade-off for the uplink of a linear cellular system
an energy limited wireless network was defined in [2] as the with uniformly distributed user terminals (UTs) by considering
maximum amount of bits that can be delivered by the network a realistic power model and full BS cooperation. We revisit
per Joule it consumed to do so. our previous work in [10], in which we derived a CFA of
Research work on EE was initially motivated by limited the EE-SE trade-off based on the Wyner cellular model, and
power applications [1] such as underwater acoustic telemetry, extend it to a more realistic and generic model with uniformly
sensor networks and home networks. Since most of these distributed UTs, as it is shown in Fig. 1. Our CFA is based on
systems are operated on batteries, EE is a paramount factor random matrix theory for limiting eigenvalue distribution of
for designing such networks. The global trend towards energy large random matrices and exploits the doubly-regular property
consumption reduction has led to the extension of the EE of the channel via the Marčenko Pasture law. Our approach
concept to unlimited power applications, e.g. devices with has a considerable advantage over the approximation method
constant power supply such as base station (BS) and fixed in [3] and Monte-Carlo simulation. It is more accurate than
where i is the time index, xm k [i] is the transmitted vector of
the k th UT in the mth cell, Hnm
k is the MIMO channel matrix
between the k th UT in cell m and the nth BS, wn [i] is
the additive white Gaussian noise at the nth BS with zero
mean and σ 2 variance. In addition, the signal transmitted
by the k th UT must satisfy the following power constraint
: tr(E(xk xhk )) ≤ Pk . The interference scaling factors αknm
for the transmission path between the k th UT of the mth cell
Fig. 1. Linear Cellular architecture with uniformly distributed UTs. and the nth BS are obtained from the modified power-law path
loss model given in [12] as
s  η
the former and over a wider range of SE values. It requires far nm dnm
αk = L0 1 + k , (2)
less computational complexity than the latter and can be used d0
for getting insight about the behavior of the EE-SE trade-off
at low or high SE. where dnm
k is the distance between the k th UT of the mth
In Section II, we introduce the uplink cellular model with cell and the nth BS, η is the path loss exponent, L0 is the
uniformly distributed UTs. In Section III, we first derive our power loss at a reference distance d0 . To simplify notation,
tight CFA of the EE-SE trade-off for the uplink of cellular we assume that all UTs transmit with equal power, i.e. Pk =
system with BS cooperation and joint decoding at the central P ∀ {k = 1, . . . , K}, and that the UTs transmit power is
processor by considering that UTs are uniformly distributed normalized by the noise power such that γ = P/σ 2 . Thus,
within cells, a multi-input multi-output (MIMO) Rayleigh the per-cell transmit power normalized by the receiver noise
fading channel between each user and the BS, as well as power is represented by γˉ where γˉ = Kγ. Omitting the time
a theoretical power model. We numerically show its high index i, when the BSs cooperate to receive data from UTs,
accuracy by comparing it with Monte-Carlo simulation and the overall system model can be illustrated by
the approximation method of [3]. We then derived the low- y = H̃x + w, (3)
SE approximation of our CFA and numerically compared it
with the minimum energy-per-bit to noise spectral density where y = [y(1) ∙ ∙ ∙ y(M ) ]T is the joint received signal vector,
(1) (1) (2) (M −1) (M ) (M )
ratio of [3]. Next, Section IV presents the realistic power x = [x(1) ∙ ∙ ∙ x(K) x(1) ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ x(K) x(1) ∙ ∙ ∙ x(K) ]T is the
model of [11] for the uplink of cellular system and utilize our transmitted signal vector and w = [w ∙ ∙ ∙ w(M ) ]T is the
CFA for analyzing the impact of the power model, number joint received noise vector . The aggregate channel matrix can
of cooperating BS and the number of antennas on the EE. be expressed as:
We show that for both the theoretical and realistic power
H̃ = ΩV HV , (4)
models, the EE-SE trade-off for BS cooperation improves as
the number of antennas at the nodes increases. In addition, our where HV is a M r × KM t with independent and identically
results indicate that the EE performance is highly dependent distributed random variables with zero mean and unit variance,
on the number of cooperating BSs when the realistic power ΩV is a M r × KM t deterministic matrix. As a result of the
model is considered. Finally, Section V concludes the paper. collocation of the multiple antennas at the UT and BS, ΩV =
In this paper, we use boldface letters to denote matrices Ω ⊗ J, where J is a r × t matrix with all its elements equal
and vectors and refer to the set of complex numbers as C. to one and Ω is a M × KM deterministic matrix given by
Let Z be a matrix, then tr(Z) denotes its trace, Z∗ denotes its  
complex conjugate, ZT denotes its transpose, Z† denotes its α0 α1 α2 ∙ ∙ ∙ αM −1
complex conjugate transpose, det(Z) denotes its determinant,  .. 
 α−1 α0 α1 . 
k Z k denotes its frobenius norm. In addition, log(∙) denotes  
 . . 
Ω =  α−2 α−1 α0 . α2  , (5)
the logarithm to base 2, E[∙] denotes the expectation, ⊗ denotes  
the Kronecker product, denotes the Hadamard product and,  .. .. .. 
 . . . α1 
IM is an identity matrix with size M . α−M +1 ∙ ∙ ∙ α−2 α−1 α0
II. S YSTEM M ODEL with αm = [α1m ∙ ∙ ∙ αKm
] being a 1 × K vector, containing the
interference scaling coefficients between all users in the mth
We consider the uplink of a linear cellular system with K
cell and a reference BS. Assuming equal power allocation for
UTs uniformly distributed in each cell and M BSs (Fig. 1).
all users, the optimal per-cell sum capacity when the number
Each UT and each BS is equipped with t and r antennas
of cells tends to infinity is given by [13]
respectively. The received signal at the nth BS is given by
X K Copt = lim I(x; y | H̃),
y [i] = αknm Hnm m n M →∞ M
k [i]xk [i] + w [i], (1)
m=1 k=1
= rν 1 H̃H̃† (γ̃/Kt) = Ktν 1 H̃† H̃ (γ̃/Kt), (6)
where νz (y) is the Shannon transform of the random square POWER MODEL PARAMETERS [18]
Hermitian matrix Z such that
Z ∞ Parameter Value
νZ (y) , E[log(1 + yZ)] = log(1 + yλ)dFZ (λ), (7) psp 58W
0 cc 0.29
cbu 0.14
with Fz (λ) being the cumulative function of the asymptotic Cbh 100M bit/s
eigenvalue distribution of Z. pb 50W
W 5M Hz
η 3.5
In this section, we utilize the doubly-regular property of d0 1
our channel model to obtain the EE-SE trade-off. According
to [13] a M × KM matrix Z, which is both asymptotically
row regular and asymptotically column regular, is referred to By following our same reasoning as in [10] and replacing γ0 in
as asymptotically doubly-regular. Such a matrix satisfies that [10] with y = q(Ω) Mβγˉ , where the cell signal to noise ratio is
M KM given by γˉ = NRE b
, we can approximate the EE-SE trade-off
1 X 1 X as follows

lim Zi,j = lim Zi,j , (8)    

M →∞ M KM →∞ KM 1 1
i=1 j=1 Eb βW 1 + W0 (f (t,C t ))
1 + W0 (f (r,Cr ))
& , (14)
i.e. the column average and row average are the same. For N0 2M Rq(Ω)(1 + β)
instance, uplink cellular models that meet the doubly-regular where R ≤ CP is the achievable rate, Ct and Cr are functions
condition include: the Wyner model (linear-circular and the of R, Eb is the energy-per-bit and N0 is the noise spectral
planar) [14], Letzepis model [15] and the scenario with density. The energy efficiency Cj which is equal to E1b can
uniformly distributed UTs given in (5) when the linear cellular equivalently be expressed as
architecture is modelled as circular.
For the Gaussian channel H with CN (0, I), the asymptotic 2M Rq(Ω)(1 + β)
Cj .  1
W0 (f (t,Ct )) 1 + W0 (f (r,Cr )) − 1
eigenvalue distribution of M H† H converges to the non- βN0 W 1+
random asymptotic eigenvalue distribution of the Marcenko- (15)
Pastur law [16] with Shannon transform given by; A. Low-SE Approximation of EE-SE Trade-off
ν M1 H† H (y) −−→ νM P (y, β), (9) In order to analyze the EE of BS cooperation in the uplink
where of cellular system at the low-SE, we derive a simplified version
 of (14) and compare it with the result from the approximation
νM P (y, β) = log 1 + y − Γ(y, β) of [3]. In the case that β = 1, it can easily proved that (14)
1  1 , (10) simplifies as
+ log 1 + yβ − Γ(y, β) − Γ(y, β)
β βy "  #
  −1 2
p √ p √ 2 W −1 + 1 + W0 −2
−( 2r +1) − 12
Γ(y, β) = 14 1 + y(1 + β)2 − 1 + y(1 − β)2 , Eb
& .
with β = Ktr representing the ratio of the horizontal dimension N0 4M Rq(Ω)
to the vertical dimension of the matrix H. From [17], if H̃ (16)
is doubly-regular, the Marcenko-Pastur law and the Shannon Then, by assuming that the spectral efficiency, C = W ∼0
transform of the limiting eigenvalue distribution of M H̃† H̃ is in (16) and using a similar approach as in [11], we obtain
given in [12] as N0 min,c as
    Eb ln (2)
ν 1 H̃† H̃
γ̃ γ̃
' νM P q(Ω) , β , (11) & , (17)
M Kt β N0 min,c q(Ω)M r

where q(Ω) =k Ω k2 /(KM 2 ). The per-cell sum-rate can which is the minimum achievable energy per bit. Based on the
thus be expressed as low-power regime approximation [3], N 0 min
is given by
 Eb KM t ln(2)
CP = Kt log 1 + y − Γ(y, β) ≥ h n oi . (18)
 r (12) N0 min E tr H̃† H̃
+ r log 1 + yβ − Γ(y, β) − Γ(y, β),
where y = q(Ω) βγ̃ . We have proved in [10] that the per-cell B. Numerical Results
sum-rate CP in bit/s can be re-expressed as
We fix the number of cooperating BSs to M = 10 , number
W of UTs per cell to K = 50 and σ 2 = N0 W unless otherwise
CP = (Cr + Ct ) , (13)
2 ln 2 stated. The variance profile is obtained from (2) while other
where Cr and Ct are given in [10], and W is the bandwidth. parameters used in our evaluation are listed in Table I.
7×4 3×2
20 76
Eb/N0min CFA in (17)
10 × 2
18 E /N in (18)
74 b 0min
Spectral Efficiency (bits/s/Hz)


Eb/N0min dB
12 70


6 66

4 1×2
CFA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 LP approx Number of antenna elements at BS

60 70 80 90 100 110 120 Fig. 3. Comparison of the low-SE approximation of our CFA with
E /N (dB) Eb
b 0
N0 min
of [3], t = 1.

Fig. 2. Comparison of our CFA, Monte-Carlo simulation and Low-

power approximation (LP approx) based on the theoretical power
model for various r × t antenna configurations.
power PM as

PM = aPsp + Pbh + KPms , (19)

Figure 2 depicts the trade-off between EE and SE for various
antenna combinations when using the theoretical power model. instead of PM = KPms in the theoretical model. This real-
It could be observed that our CFA results closely match those istic model incorporates the per-cell signal processing power
obtained through Monte-Carlo simulation, whereas the low- Psp , the backhaul power Pbh in addition to the total power
power approximation approach of [3] is only accurate in the consumed by the UT Pms . We assume that Pms ≈ P in (19),
low-SE regime. Increasing the number of antennas at the UT which is an underestimation of Pms . The effects of cooling
or BS node results in an increase in the EE and SE of the and battery backup are also taken into account via the factors
system since the slope of the trade-off curve becomes steeper cc and cbu respectively, such that a = r(1 + cc )(1 + cbu ).The
in this case. In Fig. 3, we show the great tightness between backhaul power Pbh is given as Pbh = C bh
.pb Watts, where
our low-SE approximation of the EE-SE trade-off in (17) with Ccr is the average backhaul requirement per base station, Cbh
Eb is the capacity of the backhaul link with dissipation power pb .
N0 min of [3] given in (18) for various number of antennas at
the BS. Results in Figs. 2 and 3 emphasize that our CFA in Note that Psp is given as
(14) is as accurate as the previous existing approximation of 
Psp = psp 0.8 + 0.1Nc + 0.1Nc2 , (20)
[3] in the low-SE regime and far more accurate for other SE
where psp is the base line signal processing power per-
In Fig. 4, we utilized our CFA to obtain the EE of BS BS and Nc is the number of cooperating BS. The effective
cooperation based on the theoretical power model. Increasing energy efficiency Cjef of the uplink cellular system with BS
the number of antennas at the nodes results in an increase in cooperation and joint user detection is given by
the EE as a result of the diversity gain. However, increasing
the number of cooperating BS beyond three does not produce Cj KP
Cjef = , (21)
any significant improvement in terms of the EE. This is due to PM
the fact that the first tier interference signal dominates other
tiers, hence little gain is achieved in terms EE when Nc > 3. where Cj is expressed in (15).
Figure 5 shows the effective EE-SE trade-off which has
IV. EE-SE TRADE - OFF FOR THE LINEAR CELLULAR been obtained via our CFA in (15) when the realistic power
ARCHITECTURE WITH A REALISTIC POWER MODEL model of [18] is considered. In contrast with the result in
Fig. 4 for the theoretical model, it can be observed in Fig. 5
As an application for our CFAs in (14) and (15), we that increasing Nc leads to a reduction in EE, which is due
analyze the EE of BS cooperation for the uplink of cellular to an increase in backhaul and signal processing consumed
system when a realistic power model is considered. We have powers without any significant increase in the per-cell sum-
derived our EE-SE trade-off expression in Section III by rate. However, increasing the number of antennas at the nodes
considering only the transmit power. Whereas in this Section, results in an increase of EE as in Fig. 4. Thus, the EE can
we incorporate in our closed-form the realistic power model of be improved via antenna diversity but not via macro diversity
[18] for BS cooperation, which defines the average consumed when a realistic power model is considered.
4 4
10 10
Nc = 3, 2 × 1 Nc = 3, 2 × 1
Nc = 10, 2 × 1 2 Nc = 10, 2 × 1
Nc = 20, 2 × 1 10
Average energy efficiency (bits/J)

Average energy efficiency (bits/J)

2 Nc = 20, 2 × 1
10 Nc = 3, 1 × 1 Nc = 3, 1 × 1
Nc = 3, 4 × 2 10
Nc = 3, 4 × 2

0 -2
10 10


-4 -8
10 0 1 2 3
10 0 1 2 3
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
Inter site distance (m) Inter site distance (m)

Fig. 4. EE for various number of cooperating BS and antenna con- Fig. 5. EE for various number of cooperating BS and antenna
figuration (r × t) in the linear cellular system based on the theoretical configuration (r × t) in the linear cellular system based on the realistic
power model with transmit power of 27dBm. power model with transmit power of 27dBm.

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