Fifth-generation and beyond (5G+) systems will support novel cases, and hence, require new network architecture. In this paper, network flying platforms (NFPs) as aerial hubs are considered in future 5G+ networks to provide fronthaul connectivity to small cells (SCs). We aim to find the optimal association between the NFPs and SCs to maximize the total sum rate subject for quality of service, bandwidth, and supported number of link constraints. The formulated optimization problem is an integer linear program and the optimal association between the NFPs and SCs is found using numerical solvers at the expense of high computational complexity. We propose two algorithms (centralized and distributed) to reach a sub-optimal association at reduced complexity. Simulation results show that the performance of the proposed algorithms approaches the counterpart of its optimal solution and outperforms the state-of-the-art techniques from the literature.
- integer linear program
- network flying platforms (NFPs)
- small cells (SCs)
- unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)