On the Optimality of Treating Inter-Cell Interference as Noise in Uplink Cellular Networks

Hamdi Joudeh, Bruno Clerckx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we explore the information-theoretic optimality of treating interference as noise (TIN) in cellular networks. We focus on uplink scenarios modeled by the Gaussian interfering multiple access channel (IMAC), comprising K mutually interfering multiple access channels (MACs), each formed by an arbitrary number of transmitters communicating independent messages to one receiver. We define TIN for this setting as a scheme in which each MAC (or cell) performs a power-controlled version of its capacity-achieving strategy, with Gaussian codebooks and successive decoding, while treating interference from all other MACs (i.e., inter-cell interference) as noise. We characterize the generalized degrees-of-freedom (GDoF) region achieved through the proposed TIN scheme, and then identify conditions under which this achievable region is convex without the need for time-sharing. We then tighten these convexity conditions and identify a regime in which the proposed TIN scheme achieves the entire GDoF region of the IMAC and is within a constant gap of the entire capacity region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8700247
Pages (from-to)7208-7232
Number of pages25
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • capacity region
  • Gaussian networks
  • generalized degrees-of-freedom (GDoF)
  • interfering multiple access channel (IMAC)
  • Treating interference as noise (TIN)


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