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Wireless Communication Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): Optimal Transport Theory for Hover Time Optimization

Abstract : In this paper, the effective use of flight-time constrained unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as flying base stations that can provide wireless service to ground users is investigated. In particular, a novel framework for optimizing the performance of such UAV-based wireless systems in terms of the average number of bits (data service) transmitted to users as well as UAVs' hover duration (i.e. flight time) is proposed. In the considered model, UAVs hover over a given geographical area to serve ground users that are distributed within the area based on an arbitrary spatial distribution function. In this case, two practical scenarios are considered. In the first scenario, based on the maximum possible hover times of UAVs, the average data service delivered to the users under a fair resource allocation scheme is maximized by finding the optimal cell partitions associated to the UAVs. Using the powerful mathematical framework of optimal transport theory, this cell partitioning problem is proved to be equivalent to a convex optimization problem. Subsequently, a gradient-based algorithm is proposed for optimally partitioning the geographical area based on the users' distribution, hover times, and locations of the UAVs. In the second scenario, given the load requirements of ground users, the minimum average hover time that the UAVs need for completely servicing their ground users is derived. To this end, first, an optimal bandwidth allocation scheme for serving the users is proposed. Then, given this optimal bandwidth allocation, the optimal cell partitions associated with the UAVs are derived by exploiting the optimal transport theory. Simulation results show that our proposed cell partitioning approach leads to a significantly higher fairness among the users compared to the classical weighted Voronoi diagram. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that the average hover time of the UAVs can be reduced by 64% by adopting the proposed optimal bandwidth allocation as well as the optimal cell partitioning approach. In addition, our results reveal an inherent tradeoff between the hover time of UAVs and bandwidth efficiency while serving the ground users.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 1:38:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - 2:30:03 PM
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Mohammad Mozaffari, Walid Saad, Mehdi Bennis, Merouane Debbah. Wireless Communication Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): Optimal Transport Theory for Hover Time Optimization. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2017, 16 (12), pp.8052-8066. ⟨10.1109/twc.2017.2756644⟩. ⟨hal-02060423⟩

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