Skip to Main Content
Next-generation cellular wireless communication networks aim to provide a variety of quality-of-service (QoS)-sensitive packet-based services to downlink users. Included among these are real-time multimedia services, which have stringent delay requirements. Downlink packet scheduling at the base station plays a key role in efficiently allocating system resources to meet the desired level of QoS for various users. In this paper, we employ dynamic programming (DP) to study the design of a downlink packet scheduler capable of supporting real-time multimedia applications. Under well-justified modeling reductions, we extensively characterize structural properties of the optimal control associated with the DP problem. We leverage intuition gained from these properties to propose a heuristic scheduling policy, namely, Channel-Aware Earliest Due Date (CA-EDD), which is based on a "quasi- static" approach to scheduling. The per-time-slot implementation complexity of CA-EDD is only O(K) for a system with K downlink users. Experimental results show that CA-EDD delivers up to 50 percent of performance gains over benchmark schedulers. CA-EDD achieves these performance gains by using channel and deadline information in conjunction with application layer information (relative importance of packets) in a systematic and unified way for scheduling.