Backhaul-Aware Intelligent Positioning of UAVs and Association of Terrestrial Base Stations for Fronthaul Connectivity

Muhammad Karam Shehzad, Arsalan Ahmad, Syed Ali Hassan, Haejoon Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mushroom growth of cellular users requires novel advancements in the existing cellular infrastructure. One way to handle such tremendous increase is to densely deploy terrestrial small-cell base stations (TSBSs) with careful management of smart backhaul/fronthaul networks. Nevertheless, terrestrial backhaul hubs significantly suffer from dense fading environment and are difficult to install in a typical urban environment. Therefore, this paper considers the idea of replacing terrestrial backhaul network with an aerial network consisting of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to provide the fronthaul connectivity between the TSBSs and the ground core-network. To this end, we focus on the joint positioning of UAVs and association of TSBSs such that the sum-rate of the overall system is maximized. In particular, the association problem of TSBSs with UAVs is formulated under communication-related constraints, i.e., bandwidth, number of connections to a UAV, power limit, interference threshold, UAV heights, and backhaul data rate. To meet this joint objective, we take advantage of genetic algorithm (GA) due to the offline nature of our optimization problem. The performance of the proposed scheme is evaluated using the unsupervised learning-based k-means clustering algorithm. We observe that the proposed scheme is highly effective to satisfy the requirements of smart fronthaul networks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Bandwidth
  • Base stations
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Interference
  • Optimization
  • Pediatrics
  • Wireless communication


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