Analysis of Blockage Effects on Urban Cellular Networks


Tianyang Bai, Rahul Vaze, Robert W. Heath, Jr.


IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communication, Sep. 2014.


Large-scale blockages like buildings affect the performance of urban cellular networks, especially at higher frequencies. Unfortunately, such blockage effects are either neglected or characterized by oversimplified models in the analysis of cellular networks. Leveraging concepts from random shape theory, this paper proposes a mathematical framework to model random blockages and analyze their impact on cellular network performance. Random buildings are modeled as a process of rectangles with random sizes and orientations whose centers form a Poisson point process on the plane. The distribution of the number of blockages in a link is proven to be Poisson random variable with parameter dependent on the length of the link. A path loss model that incorporates the blockage effects is proposed, which matches experimental trends observed in prior work. The model is applied to analyze the performance of cellular networks in urban areas with the presence of buildings, in terms of connectivity, coverage probability, and average rate. Analytic results show while buildings may block the desired signal, they may still have a positive impact on network performance since they can block significantly more interference.

[Available on Arxiv]