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Adaptive Cell Tower Location Using Geostatistics

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In this article, we address the problem of allocating an additional cell tower (or a set of towers) to an existing cellular network, maximizing the call completion probability. Our approach is derived from the adaptive spatial sampling problem using kriging, capitalizing on spatial correlation between cell phone signal strength data points and accounting for terrain morphology. Cell phone demand is reflected by population counts in the form of weights. The objective function, which is the weighted call completion probability, is highly nonlinear and complex (nondifferentiable and discontinuous). Sequential and simultaneous discrete optimization techniques are presented, and heuristics such as simulated annealing and Nelder–Mead are suggested to solve our problem. The adaptive spatial sampling problem is defined and related to the additional facility location problem. The approach is illustrated using data on cell phone call completion probability in a rural region of Erie County in western New York, and accounts for terrain variation using a line-of-sight approach. Finally, the computational results of sequential and simultaneous approaches are compared. Our model is also applicable to other facility location problems that aim to minimize the uncertainty associated with a customer visiting a new facility that has been added to an existing set of facilities.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Strategy and Operations, Deloitte Consulting India Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, India 2: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Center for Applied Geographic Information Systems (CAGIS), University of North Carolina—Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 3: Center for Transportation Injury Research, Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center (CUBRC), Buffalo, NY

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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