Spectrum management for interference-limited multiuser communication systems

Shunsuke Hayashi, Zhi Quan Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Consider a multiuser communication system in a frequency selective environment whereby users share a common spectrum and can interfere with each other. Assuming Gaussian signaling and no interference cancelation, we study optimal spectrum sharing strategies for the maximization of sum-rate under separate power constraints for individual users. Since the sum-rate function is nonconcave in terms of the users' power allocations, there can be multiple local maxima for the sum-rate maximization problem in general. In this paper, we show that, if the normalized crosstalk coefficients are larger than a given threshold (roughly equal to 1/2), then the optimal spectrum sharing strategy is frequency division multiple access (FDMA). In case of arbitrary positive crosstalk coefficients, if each user's power budget exceeds a given threshold, then FDMA is again sum-rate optimal, at least in a local sense. In addition, we show that the problem of finding the optimal FDMA spectrum allocation is NP-hard, implying that the general problem of maximizing sum-rate is also NP-hard, even in the case of two users. We also propose several simple distributed spectrum allocation algorithms that can approximately maximize sum-rates. Numerical results indicate that these algorithms are efficient and can achieve substantially larger sum-rates than the existing Iterative Waterfilling solutions, either in an interference-rich environment or when the users' power budgets are sufficiently high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1175
Number of pages23
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Frequency-division multiple-access (FDMA) optimality
  • Multiuser communication system
  • Spectrum management
  • Sum-rate maximization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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