News Column

Patent Application Titled "Determining a Cluster Set of Mobile Devices" Published Online

July 16, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Telecommunications Weekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Seyedmehdi, Seyed Hossein (Toronto, CA); Boudreau, Gary D. (Kanata, CA), filed on February 5, 2013, was made available online on July 3, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (publ).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Spatial diversity in wireless communications involves the communication of the same data using multiple data paths. The quality of the wireless link, or channel, associated with each data path may differ because each channel may experience a different interference environment. Multiple transmissions of the same data may be combined at the receiver to improve signal reception.

"Certain types of wireless environments, such as Wi-Fi and cellular mobile device communications, typically involve one or more relatively fixed-location controller nodes, such as Wi-Fi access points, or cellular base stations, respectively, and multiple mobile devices that are serviced concurrently by the controller node. Some mobile devices, at least for a period of time, may be within wireless range of other mobile devices that are being serviced by the same controller node, and thus, if such mobile devices were suitably coordinated during such period of time, may be able to receive messages from another mobile device and re-transmit the messages to the controller node, thereby implementing spatial diversity for the message transmission and increasing a likelihood of successful wireless data communication with the controller node.

"However, multiple factors may affect whether or not any particular mobile device's participation in such coordinated efforts would be desirable, including, for example, the quality of the channel between the coordinating mobile device and the message-originating mobile device, the quality of the channel between the coordinating mobile device and the controller node, the availability or idle state of the coordinating mobile device at or substantially near the transmission time of the message-originating mobile device, whether or not re-transmissions by the coordinating mobile device increase interference with a neighboring controller node, and the like. A controller node may be unaware of one or more these factors. Moreover, even if these factors were known to a controller node, the mobile devices that would be useful in implementing spatial diversity would require knowledge of their role. Accordingly, there is a need for mechanisms by which a controller node can acquire information suitable for identifying a cluster set of mobile devices for implementing spatial diversity, as well as mechanisms for coordinating actions by such mobile devices."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present embodiments relate to the determination of a cluster set of mobile devices that is suitable for implementing spatial diversity among groups of mobile devices. In particular, a controller node, such as a Wi-Fi access point or a cellular base station, identifies a primary mobile device that has a scheduled transmission for the controller node at a first time. The controller node identifies a set of eligible assistant (EA) mobile devices from a plurality of mobile devices. The controller node directs each EA mobile device in the set to determine a corresponding mobile device-to-mobile device (MD-MD) channel indicator that identifies a quality of a channel between the respective EA mobile device and the primary mobile device. The controller node receives from at least one EA mobile device in the set the corresponding MD-MD channel indicator. The controller node then determines a cluster set that includes the primary mobile device and at least one of the EA mobile devices. The controller node directs each EA mobile device in the cluster set to receive the scheduled transmission and to retransmit the scheduled transmission to the controller node.

"In one embodiment, the controller node may identify the EA mobile devices based on a determination that each EA mobile device in the set of EA mobile devices is unscheduled for transmission at the first time.

"In another embodiment, mobile devices may determine whether they are eligible to assist the primary mobile device, and if so, send to the controller node an eligibility indicator that indicates the mobile device is eligible to assist the primary mobile device. The controller node identifies the set of EA mobile devices based on the receipt of the eligibility indicators from the mobile devices.

"In one embodiment, the controller node may determine the cluster set based on the received MD-MD channel indicators. In another embodiment, the controller node may determine, for each EA mobile device from which a MD-MD channel indicator was received, corresponding mobile device-to-controller node (MD-CN) channel indicators that identify a quality of a channel between each such EA mobile device and the controller node. The controller node may determine the cluster set based on the MD-CN channel indicators. In another embodiment, the controller node may determine the cluster set based on both the MD-MD channel indicators and the MD-CN channel indicators.

"The controller node may also receive interference information from one or more neighboring controller nodes that identifies an interference level associated with one or more of the EA mobile devices. The controller node may determine the cluster set based at least in part on such interference information.

"In another embodiment, multiple controller nodes may send cluster determination information regarding primary mobile devices and EA mobile devices to a central controller node for cluster set determination based on a system performance metric. In such embodiments, the central controller node receives, from each controller node, cluster determination information that identifies at least one primary mobile device that has a scheduled transmission for the respective controller node at a scheduled time, and at least one eligible assistant (EA) node that is unscheduled for transmission at the scheduled time. The cluster determination information may also include corresponding MD-CN channel indicators, MD-CN channel indicators that indicate a quality of a channel between the respective EA mobile device and the respective controller node, or interference information from one or more neighboring controller nodes that identifies an interference level associated with one or more of the EA mobile devices. The central controller node determines a system performance metric and forms cluster sets based on the system performance metric. The central controller node sends cluster information that identifies the cluster sets to the controller nodes. The system performance metric may comprise any desirable metric, such as, for example, a harmonic mean of the identified primary mobile devices, or an average throughput of the primary mobile devices.

"In another embodiment, an EA mobile device receives, from the controller node, a request to determine a MD-MD channel indicator that identifies a quality of a channel between the EA mobile device and a primary mobile device. In response to the request, the EA mobile device listens to a transmission from the primary mobile device. For example, the EA mobile device may listen to a reference signal transmitted by the primary mobile device. The EA mobile device determines a MD-MD channel indicator based on the transmission and sends the MD-MD channel indicator to the controller node. In one embodiment, the EA mobile device may send the MD-MD channel indicator to the controller node only if the MD-MD channel indicator complies with a threshold channel indicator.

"If the EA mobile device is selected by the controller node to be part of a cluster set for the primary mobile device, the EA mobile device receives, from the controller node, a request to retransmit a scheduled transmission from the primary mobile device to the controller node. The EA mobile device receives the scheduled transmission from the primary mobile device, and transmits the scheduled transmission to the controller node.

"Those skilled in the art will appreciate the scope of the present disclosure and realize additional aspects thereof after reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments in association with the accompanying drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The accompanying drawing figures incorporated in and forming a part of this specification illustrate several aspects of the disclosure, and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system in which embodiments may be practiced;

"FIG. 2 is a flowchart of a process for determining a cluster set according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 3 is a flowchart of a process for using mobile device-to-mobile device (MD-MD) channel indicators to determine the cluster set according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 4 is a flowchart of a process for using the MD-MD channel indicators in combination with mobile device-to-controller node (MD-CN) channel indicators to determine the cluster set according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 5 is a flowchart of a process for using interference information in the determination of a cluster set according to one embodiment;

"FIGS. 6A-6B are message flow diagrams illustrating an example message flow between devices during a discovery phase according to one embodiment;

"FIGS. 7A-7B are message flow diagrams illustrating an example message flow between devices during a discovery phase according to another embodiment;

"FIG. 8 is a message flow diagram illustrating an example message flow between devices during a cluster setup phase according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 9 is a message flow diagram illustrating an example message flow between devices in a cluster set implementing spatial diversity via a two-phase transmission according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 10 is a message flow diagram illustrating an example message flow between devices in a cluster set implementing spatial diversity via a one-phase transmission according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 11 is a block diagram of a system in which additional embodiments may be practiced;

"FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a system in which cluster determination may be centralized;

"FIG. 13 is a flow chart of a process for centralized cluster determination according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 14 is a block diagram illustrating a controller node according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 15 is a block diagram illustrating a central controller node according to one embodiment; and

"FIG. 16 is a block diagram illustrating a mobile device according to one embodiment."

For more information, see this patent application: Seyedmehdi, Seyed Hossein; Boudreau, Gary D. Determining a Cluster Set of Mobile Devices. Filed February 5, 2013 and posted July 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4576&p=92&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140626.PD.&OS=PD/20140626&RS=PD/20140626

Keywords for this news article include: Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (publ).

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Source: Telecommunications Weekly


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