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User association in 5G heterogeneous networks exploiting multi-slope path loss model

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Abstract

Traffic offloading via small cells is important to realize the benefits of multi-tier heterogeneous networks (HetNets). Currently, the user association techniques are under the influence of single slope path loss model. The densification of networks and irregular cell patterns have increased the variations in both the link distances and interferences; making single slope path loss models less accurate. In this paper, we consider the downlink of a HetNet with picocells overlaid on a macrocell and propose a framework for user association with dual slope path loss model. Simulation results show that the dual slope model improves the system performance compared to the standard single slope model by offloading more traffic from macro-tier to pico-tier; the effect being more significant at higher edge user density. Furthermore, the user association is highly dependent on the path loss exponents in a dual slope model.