Cross-Layer Design for Downlink Multihop Cloud Radio Access Networks with Network Coding

Liang Liu, Wei Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


There are two fundamentally different fronthaul techniques in the downlink communication of cloud radio access network (C-RAN): the data-sharing strategy and the compression-based strategy. Under the former strategy, each user's message is multicast from the central processor (CP) to all the serving remote radio heads (RRHs) over the fronthaul network, which then cooperatively serve the users through joint beamforming; while under the latter strategy, the user messages are first beamformed then quantized at the CP, and the compressed signal is unicast to the corresponding RRH, which then decompresses its received signal for wireless transmission. Previous works show that in general the compression-based strategy outperforms the data-sharing strategy. This paper, on the other hand, points out that in a C-RAN model where the RRHs are connected to the CP via multihop routers, data-sharing can be superior to compression if the network coding technique is adopted for multicasting user messages to the cooperating RRHs, and the RRH's beamforming vectors, the user-RRH association, and the network coding design over the fronthaul network are jointly optimized based on the techniques of sparse optimization and successive convex approximation. This is in comparison to the compression-based strategy, where information is unicast over the fronthaul network by simple routing, and the RRH's compression noise covariance and beamforming vectors, as well as the routing strategy over the fronthaul network are jointly optimized based on the successive convex approximation technique. The observed gain in overall network throughput is due to that information multicast is more efficient than information unicast over the multihop fronthaul of a C-RAN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7809154
Pages (from-to)1728-1740
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • beamforming
  • Cloud radio access network (C-RAN)
  • compression-based strategy
  • cross-layer design
  • data-sharing strategy
  • fronthaul constraints
  • network coding
  • routing
  • sparse optimization
  • Successive convex approximation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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