User Scheduling and Antenna Topology in Dense Massive MIMO Networks: An Experimental Study

Cheng Ming Wang, Qing Wang, Abdo Gaber, Andrea P. Guevara, Sofie Pollin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


A massive MIMO network can serve ten's of users simultaneously. However, in dense scenarios the users are potentially closely-spaced, potentially resulting in substantial inter-user interference. Scheduling can overcome this by selecting the users that lead to the highest combined spectral efficiency. As scheduling comes with a significant pilot overhead, an alternative strategy could minimize user correlation by distributing the antenna elements in space. In this paper, we propose a comprehensive system study including antenna topology and distribution, user scheduling and pilot overhead reduction. Our user scheduling and pilot reduction algorithms are evaluated using system level simulations relying on indoor line-of-sight channel measurements from a 64 antenna base station at 2.61GHz. To have a thorough evaluation of the proposed algorithm, we consider four different antenna topologies, including co-located and distributed placement of the base station arrays. Our evaluation shows that in a conference room with 64 densely deployed users, our proposed low complexity algorithm can improve the spectral efficiency by at least 14% compared to random user selection with the best antenna distribution strategy. Finally, our results show that by relying on channel hardening, we reduce the pilot overhead by 3.2 \times.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9119873
Pages (from-to)6210-6223
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • dense networks
  • distributed antenna arrays
  • Massive MIMO networks
  • testbed measurements
  • user scheduling


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