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A Metaheuristic Approach for The Frequency Assignment Problem
Yuanyuan Zhang
Department of Communications EngineeringSoutheast University Nanjing, Chinahayyuanyuan@126.com
Ming Chen
Department of Communications EngineeringSoutheast University Nanjing, Chinachenming@seu.edu.cn 
 Abstract 
 — The Frequency Assignment Problem (FAP) isconsidered in this paper. As the co-site constraint (CSC) maycause more interference in the real-world situation, we have paidmore attention on CSC. The algorithm proposed here is ametaheuristic approach, which uses heuristic informationcombined with a modified PSO (Particle Swarm Optimization)algorithm to solve the FAP problem. Simulation results show thatour algorithm controls CSC in the frequency assignment.Furthermore, it achieves a very high rate of convergence tosolutions for eight benchmark problems and converges quickly.
 
 Keywords: FAP; CSC; Fitness function; Heuristicinformation; Modified PSO; Benchmarks; Convergence
I.
 
I
 NTRODUCTION
The channel assignment problem in a mobile cellular system is fairly well studied by researchers. A common way toincrease frequency spectrum utilization is to adopt the cellular structure approach, which spatially divides the geographicalregion into a number of cells. In such a frequency reuse system,MSs in different non-interfering cells may simultaneously usethe same frequency channel. A critical task in the design of such a cellular radio network is to determine aspectrum-efficient and conflict-free allocation of channelsamong the cells, thus resulting in Frequency AssignmentProblem (FAP).The FPA problem has been studied extensively[1][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]. It has been shown that this problem isequivalent to a generalized graph-coloring problem, which is NP-hard [7][8]. Such problems require the use of extremelytime-consuming algorithms to obtain exact solutions. It is,therefore, necessary to use more time-efficient algorithms that,however, cannot guarantee optimal solutions. Most of the previous efforts have focused on developing approximationalgorithms [10]. These include graph-theoretic [11], neuralnetwork [4][7], simulated annealing [12], and geneticalgorithms [9]. However, neural-network-based algorithmstypically yield only sub-optimal solutions [10]. The simulatedannealing approach, although it may be more flexible, is easilytrapped in a local minimum, which it cannot escape withoutexpending a lot of computation time [10]. In [13], Gamstderived some lower bounds for the minimal number of channels required. Other authors [10][14][15] provided other lower bounds, which are tighter in some cases.In this paper, we propose a metaheuristic approach tosolving the FAP problem. The remainder of this paper isorganized as follows. Section 2 provides backgroundinformation on the FAP problem. Previous to the description of our algorithm, some key parts are introduced in Section 3 andSection 4. The metaheuristic algorithm is described in Section5. And the computational results obtained for eight benchmarks problem instances are shown in Section 6. Section 7 concludesthis paper.II.
 
T
HE
F
REQUENCY
A
SSIGNMENT
P
ROBLEM
FAP
 It is assumed that there are
cells in the network whichwill be planed. Let
{ }
1,2,,
m
=
 
 be a set of availablechannels. The number of required frequencies for each cell inan n
-
cell network is described by an
n
-element vector, which iscalled demand vector 
. Each element
(
1
i
) in
represents the number of frequencies that must be assignedto cell
.We also use a
n
×
nonnegative symmetric matrix
,called a compatibility matrix, to represent the electromagneticcompatibility constraints (EMC).The EMC is composed of three constraints [1]:
 
the co-site constraint (CSC):each pair of frequenciesassigned to a cell should have a minimal distance between frequencies;
 
the adjacent channel constraint(ACC): the adjacentfrequencies in the frequency domain can not beassigned to adjacent cells simultaneously;
 
the co-channel constraint (CCC): for a certain pair of cells, the same frequency can not be usedsimultaneously.Each diagonal element
ii 
in
represents the CSC,and the rest of the elements,
ij 
 
(where
i
), represent theACC or CCC.
978-1-4244-3709-2/10/$25.00 ©2010 IEEE
 
The objective of the FAP in most documents is to find anassignment that minimizes the total number of violations in anassignment. Formally the objective is [1]:
1 1 1 1
Min ( , ) ( , , , ) ( , )
n m n m i a j b
p i a i a j b p j b
= = = =
ε
∑∑∑∑
(1)
Where
0ifthedistancebetweenchannelandisgreaterorequalto(,,,)()1otherwise
ijij
abiajbcabc
ε =>
 
1ifthechannelisassignedto(,)thecell0otherwise
th
a piai
=
 However, in real-world application, a CSC violation willcause much more serious interference than any other violation.If 
1
ik 
 f 
=
 
denotes the
th 
frequency is assigned to the
th 
 cell, under the condition that
(
1
i
) is satisfied bythe
th 
cell, we have a new objective:
Min( )
(2)Where
is the fitness function:
co1 1 1 1
= ( , ) ( , )
n m m il ik ad il ji l k
I f f c f f
= = = =
ρ + ρ
(3)
co
1if1and(,)0otherwise
ilikiiili
 fflkc f
= = <ρ =
 
1if1and(,)0otherwise
iljkijadilj
 fflkc f
= = <ρ =
 c and d are weight factors, and it is expected that
c
>
.III.
 
MODEL OF THE SOLUTION
 In our metaheuristic approach for the FPA problem, thecorrespondent solution is modeled as a
nm
×
matrix
 F 
:
111212122212
mmnnnm
 ff ff F  ff
=
(4)as mentioned above ,
1ifthefrequencyisassignedtocell0otherwise
thij
 ji f 
=
(5)
1
, 1
ij  j 
 f d i
=
=
(6)IV.
 
THE MODIFIED PSO ALGORITHM USED HERE
 PSO (Particle Swarm Optimization) simulates the behaviors of bird flocking and used it to solve the optimization problems. PSO is initialized with a group of random particles(solutions), and then searches for optima by updatinggenerations. In the standard PSO algorithm [2], In everygeneration, each particle is updated by following two "best"values. The first one is the best solution (fitness) it hasachieved so far. Another "best" value which is tracked by the particle swarm optimizer is the best value, obtained so far byany particle in the population.In our algorithm, we introduce “parallel PSO groups” toavoid local minima and obtain a global minimum for FAP problem [3]. After initialization, we divide the particles intotwo groups. And then in every generation, each particle isupdated by following three "best" values:
 
The first one is the best solution (fitness) it hasachieved so far.
 
The second "best" value that is tracked by the particleswarm optimizer is the best value, obtained so far byany particle in the particle swarm optimizer’s group.
 
Another "best" value that is tracked by the particleswarm optimizer is the best value, obtained so far byany particle in both groups.So the particles are manipulated according to the followingset of equations, (7) and(8):
1 12 23 3
( )( ) ( 1) ( ( 1) ( 1))( ( 1) ( 1))( ( 1) ( 1))
i i pl gl
v w t v t c r p t x c r p t x c r p t x
=+ + ∗ − −+ ∗ − −
(7)
( ) ( 1) ( )
i i
x t x t v
= +
(8)t represents the current iteration.
( )
w
is the inertia weight,and we have:
max minmaxmax
( )
w w t w
=
(9)Where
max
is the initial inertia weight and
min
is theinertia weight in the last iteration, with
max min
0
w
> >
,
max
is the maximum number of iterations.
 
( )
x
is the position of particle
at iteration
,whichdefines a potential solution;
( )
v
is the velocity of particle
 at iteration
;
1
2
and
3
are three positive constants;
1
2
and
3
are three uniform random numbers in therange [0,1];
( 1)
p
is the best position (solution) particle
has achieved so far;
( 1)
pl 
p
is the best position(solution) particles in particle
’s group have achieved sofar;
( 1)
gl 
p
is the best position (solution) all of the particles have achieved so far.After every
iterations, the two groups will conductinformation communication to each other, and then the PSOwill get a new
gl 
p
.The operators “+”
“-” and “
” in (7) and (8) are definedas follows:
1)
 
The operator “-”:
The expression
2 1
( )
x
where
2
and
1
are two positions(
n
×
matrix), represents the difference betweentwo positions and the velocity needed to go from
1
to
2
. Theresult of 
2 1
( )
x
is an “exchange sequence”, thecomponents of the exchange sequence are called “exchangeelements”.For example, let
2
0 11 0 0 11 0 0 0 1 0
=
and
1
0 1 0 1 0 11 0 0 0 0 1
=
, then the result of 
2 1
( )
x
will bethe “exchange sequence”: ((1,3),(1,4),(2,5),(2,6)),in which the“exchange element”(1,3) denotes that the value at Column 3Row 1 of 
1
has to change from 1 to 0 or from 0 to 1.According to (5) and (6), it is certain that there are pairs of 1-to-0 change and 0-to-1 change in each row, so the result of 
2 1
( )
x
is defined as “exchange sequence”: ((1,3,4),(2,5,6)),the “exchange element” (1,3,4) denotes that the values atColumn 3 Row 1 and Column 4 Row 1of 
1
have to beexchanged. It is manipulated as follows:
1
0 1 0 1 0 11 0 0 0 0 1
=
1
0 1 1 0 0 11 0 0 0 0 1
=
(1,3,4)
 
2)
 
The operator “+”
The result of 
1 2
( )
v
+
where
1
and
2
are twoexchange sequences, is simply the concatenation of theexchange elements of 
1
and
2
.The result of 
1 1
( )
x
+
where
1
is the position and
1
is the velocity, is sequentially applying each exchangeelement of the velocity to the position.
3)
 
The operator “
The expression “
1
c
”, which means a coefficient
ismultiplied by a velocity
1
, indicates the probability of eachexchange element of 
1
to be applied. For example, if wemultiply the coefficient 0.5 by the velocity ((1, 3, 4), (2, 5, 6)),two random numbers between 0 and 1 are generated for comparison with the value 0.5. If the random number is lower than 0.5, the exchange element is applied. Therefore, if thevalues of the random numbers are 0.4 and 0.7, exchangeelement (1, 3, 4) is applied, whereas exchange element (2, 5, 6)is not. The resulting velocity of the multiplication is therefore((1, 3, 4)), which, as previously stated, represents a list of exchange elements to be applied to a position.V.
 
A
METAHEURISTIC APPROACH FOR 
FAPRoughly, the algorithm works as follows:
 
First, all the particles are initialized, and thisinitializing procedure assigns a set of channels thatsatisfy the CSC and the demand vector 
to eachcell without considering ACC or CCC. The initialized position
(0)
of particle i is particle i’s
(0)
p
, wecan also obtain
(0)
gl 
p
. And then the particles aredivided into two groups, thus
(0)
pl 
p
for each groupis obtained;
 
For each iteration, update
and
of particle
 in both groups using (7)
(8) and (9), and then we couldupdate
p
and
pl 
p
for each group as well;
 
Every K iterations, two groups conduct informationcommunication to each other, and then the modifiedPSO will get a new
gl 
p
;
 
Once termination conditions satisfied, the algorithmwill be terminated.In our metaheuristic approach, the positions (potentialsolutions) of various particles are evaluated by(3). And the“termination conditions” are “the iteration
has reached
max
or the value of fitness function of 
gl 
p
is zero”. Thealgorithm of the metaheuristic approach is described in.
Figure 1
 

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