Full-Duplex Communications in Large-Scale Cellular Networks

  • Ahmad Alammouri

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In-band full-duplex (FD) communications have been optimistically promoted to improve the spectrum utilization and efficiency. However, the penetration of FD communications to the cellular networks domain is challenging due to the imposed uplink/downlink interference. This thesis presents a tractable framework, based on stochastic geometry, to study FD communications in multi-tier cellular networks. Particularly, we assess the FD communications effect on the network performance and quantify the associated gains. The study proves the vulnerability of the uplink to the downlink interference and shows that the improved FD rate gains harvested in the downlink (up to 97%) comes at the expense of a significant degradation in the uplink rate (up to 94%). Therefore, we propose a novel fine-grained duplexing scheme, denoted as α-duplex scheme, which allows a partial overlap between the uplink and the downlink frequency bands. We derive the required conditions to harvest rate gains from the α-duplex scheme and show its superiority to both the FD and half-duplex (HD) schemes. In particular, we show that the α-duplex scheme provides a simultaneous improvement of 28% for the downlink rate and 56% for the uplink rate. We also show that the amount of the overlap can be optimized based on the network design objective. Moreover, backward compatibility is an essential ingredient for the success of new technologies. In the context of in-band FD communication, FD base stations (BSs) should support HD users' equipment (UEs) without sacrificing the foreseen FD gains. The results show that FD-UEs are not necessarily required to harvest rate gains from FD-BSs. In particular, the results show that adding FD-UEs to FD-BSs offers a maximum of 5% rate gain over FD-BSs and HD-UEs case, which is a marginal gain compared to the burden required to implement FD transceivers at the UEs' side. To this end, we shed light on practical scenarios where HD-UEs operation with FD-BSs outperforms the operation when both the BSs and UEs are FD and we find a closed form expression for the critical value of the self-interference cancellation power required for the FD UEs to outperform HD UEs.
Date of AwardApr 2016
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMohamed-Slim Alouini (Supervisor)


  • Full duplex
  • half duplex
  • Stochastic Geometry
  • network interference
  • partial overlap
  • Error probability
  • outage probability
  • ergodic rate
  • network topology

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