From immune cells to self-organizing ultra-dense small cell networks

Henrik Klessig, David Ohmann, Andreas I. Reppas, Haralampos Hatzikirou, Majid Abedi, Meryem Simsek, Gerhard P. Fettweis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In order to cope with the wireless traffic demand explosion within the next decade, operators are underlying their macrocellular networks with low power base stations in a more dense manner. Such networks are typically referred to as heterogeneous or ultra-dense small cell networks, and their deployment entails a number of challenges in terms of backhauling, capacity provision, and dynamics in spatio-temporally fluctuating traffic load. Self-organizing network (SON) solutions have been defined to overcome these challenges. Since self-organization occurs in a plethora of biological systems, we identify the design principles of immune system self-regulation and draw analogies with respect to ultra-dense small cell networks. In particular, we develop a mathematical model of an artificial immune system (AIS) that autonomously activates or deactivates small cells in response to the local traffic demand. The main goal of the proposed AIS-based SON approach is the enhancement of energy efficiency and improvement of cell-edge throughput. As a proof of principle, system level simulations are carried out in which the bio-inspired algorithm is evaluated for various parameter settings, such as the speed of small cell activation and the delay of deactivation. Analysis using spatio-temporally varying traffic exhibiting uncertainty through geo-location demonstrates the robustness of the AIS-based SON approach proposed.

Original languageBritish English
Article number7437352
Pages (from-to)800-811
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • heterogeneous networks
  • immune cells
  • mobile traffic


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