This paper deals with the development of several strategies for associating users to base stations (BSs) in heterogeneous networks. These strategies are able to balance the rate among users and BSs and increase the overall network utility. Constraints related to the energy availability at BSs are considered explicitly in the design, assuming that the BSs are equipped with batteries that are recharged through energy harvesting. We develop a general association strategy, and then we present several suboptimum but less complex solutions suitable for scenarios with high mobility or deployments of BSs with low computational capabilities. We also present an implementation that is to be executed in a distributed way among users and BSs without the need of having a central entity gathering all the information. The performance of the proposed strategies is evaluated through simulations in terms of rate balancing and the effect of the energy harvesting capabilities on the network throughput is shown. We also compare the proposed strategies with the traditional max-SINR user association approach.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.