(Sub-)Optimality of Treating Interference as Noise in the Cellular Uplink With Weak Interference

Soheil Gherekhloo, Anas Chaaban, Chen Di, Aydin Sezgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Despite the simplicity of the scheme of treating interference as noise (TIN), it was shown to be sum-capacity optimal in the Gaussian interference channel (IC) with very-weak (noisy) interference. In this paper, the two-user IC is altered by introducing an additional transmitter that wants to communicate with one of the receivers of the IC. The resulting network thus consists of a point-to-point channel interfering with a multiple access channel (MAC) and is denoted by PIMAC. The sum-capacity of the PIMAC is studied with main focus on the optimality of TIN. It turns out that TIN in its naive variant, where all transmitters are active and both receivers use TIN for decoding, is not the best choice for the PIMAC. In fact, a scheme that combines both time division multiple access and TIN (TDMA-TIN) strictly outperforms the naive-TIN scheme. Furthermore, it is shown that in some regimes, TDMA-TIN achieves the sum-capacity for the deterministic PIMAC and the sum-capacity within a constant gap for the Gaussian PIMAC. In addition, it is shown that, even for very-weak interference, there are some regimes where a combination of interference alignment with power control and TIN at the receiver side outperforms TDMA-TIN. As a consequence, on the one hand, TIN in a cellular uplink is approximately optimal in certain regimes. On the other hand, those regimes cannot be simply described by the strength of interference.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-356
Number of pages35
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 9 2015

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank the reviewers and the editor
for invaluable comments which helped significantly improve
the quality of this paper.


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