Throughput optimal beam alignment in millimeter wave networks

Muddassar Hussain, Nicolo Michelusi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

25 Scopus citations


Millimeter wave communications rely on narrow-beam transmissions to cope with the strong signal attenuation at these frequencies, thus demanding precise beam alignment between transmitter and receiver. The communication overhead incurred to achieve beam alignment may become a severe impairment in mobile networks. This paper addresses the problem of optimizing beam alignment acquisition, with the goal of maximizing throughput. Specifically, the algorithm jointly determines the portion of time devoted to beam alignment acquisition, as well as, within this portion of time, the optimal beam search parameters, using the framework of Markov decision processes. It is proved that a bisection search algorithm is optimal, and that it outperforms exhaustive and iterative search algorithms proposed in the literature. The duration of the beam alignment phase is optimized so as to maximize the overall throughput. The numerical results show that the throughput, optimized with respect to the duration of the beam alignment phase, achievable under the exhaustive algorithm is 88.3% lower than that achievable under the bisection algorithm. Similarly, the throughput achievable by the iterative search algorithm for a division factor of 4 and 8 is, respectively, 12.8% and 36.4% lower than that achievable by the bisection algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 Information Theory and Applications Workshop, ITA 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509052936
StatePublished - Aug 30 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 Information Theory and Applications Workshop, ITA 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2017Feb 17 2017

Publication series

Name2017 Information Theory and Applications Workshop, ITA 2017


Conference2017 Information Theory and Applications Workshop, ITA 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • beam alignment
  • initial access
  • Markov decision process
  • Millimeter Wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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