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Heterogeneous networks (HetNets) are expected to be a key feature of long-term evolution (LTE)-advanced networks and beyond and are essential for providing ubiquitous broadband user throughput. However, due to different coverage ranges of base stations (BSs) in HetNets, the handover performance of a user equipment (UE) may be significantly degraded, especially in scenarios where high-velocity UE traverse through small cells. In this article, we propose a context-aware mobility management (MM) procedure for small cell networks, which uses reinforcement learning techniques and inter-cell coordination for improving the handover and throughput performance of UE. In particular, the BSs jointly learn their long-term traffic loads and optimal cell range expansion and schedule their UE based on their velocities and historical data rates that are exchanged among the tiers. The proposed approach is shown not only to outperform the classical MM in terms of throughput but also to enable better fairness. Using the proposed learning-based MM approaches, the UE throughput is shown to improve by 80% on the average, while the handover failure probability is shown to reduce up to a factor of three.


© 2015 Simsek et al.; licensee Springer.

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