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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4796474, 11 pages
Research Article

Hierarchical Precoding in a Realistic Ultradense Heterogeneous Environment Exceeding the Degrees of Freedom

1Information Engineering and Technology, German University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
2Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin, Germany
3Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), Erlangen, Germany

Received 19 February 2016; Revised 14 July 2016; Accepted 21 July 2016

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Castaldi

Copyright © 2016 Mohamed Shehata et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cell densification is a widely used approach to increase the spectral efficiency per area of cellular networks. Such Ultradense Networks (UDNs) consisting of small cells are often coordinated by macro base stations (BSs). With universal frequency reuse interference from the macro BS limits the system spectral efficiency. In this work we exploit the degrees of freedom at the macro BS to apply interference coordination. We propose a hierarchical precoding strategy in the spatial domain in order to project interference from the macro BS into the subspace of small cell users enabling linear cancellation. The macro BS interference towards small cell users is aligned within the joint null space of users served by the macro BS. Compared to classical interference alignment, our scheme does not require coordination between macrocells and small cells. We present three algorithms: in the first the interference is minimized by iterative alignment, in the second the uncoordinated interference from the small cells is considered, and in the third iterative Minimum Mean Square Error (MMSE) technique is used. We provide numerical evaluation, complexity analysis, and robustness analysis of these algorithms based on a realistic channel model showing the benefit of hierarchical precoding compared to the uncoordinated case.