Skip to Main Content
Hierarchical wireless overlay networks have been proposed as an attractive alternative and extension of cellular network architectures to provide the necessary cell capacities to effectively support next-generation wireless data applications. In addition, they allow for flexible mobility management strategies and quality-of-service differentiation. One of the crucial problems in hierarchical overlay networks is the assignment of wireless data users to the different layers of the overlay architecture. In this paper, we present a framework and several analytical results pertaining to the performance of two assignment strategies based on the user's velocity and the amount of data to be transmitted. The main contribution is to prove that the minimum average number of users in the system, as well as the minimum expected system load for an incoming user, are the same under both assignment strategies. We provide explicit analytical expressions as well as unique characterizations of the optimal thresholds on the velocity and amount of data to be transmitted. These results are very general and hold for any distribution of user profiles and any call arrival rates. We also show that intelligent assignment strategies yield significant gains over strategies that are oblivious to the user profiles. Adaptive and on-line strategies are derived that do not require any a priori knowledge of the user population and the network parameters. Extensive simulations are conducted to support the theoretical results presented and conclude that the on-line strategies achieve near-optimal performance when compared with off-line strategies.