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Downlink Power Control in Co-Channel Macrocell

Femtocell Overlay
Xiangfang Li

Lijun Qian

Deepak Kataria

WINLAB
Department of Electrical Engineering
Advanced Networking & Systems
Rutgers University
Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M Univ Sys
HCL America
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Prairie View, Texas 77446
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Email: xi@winlab.rutgers.edu
Email: liqian@pvamu.edu
Email: dkataria@hcl.in
Abstract In this paper, interference mitigation through downlink power control is considered for Macrocell Femtocell overlay.
Specically, the strong interference in the downlink from the
home base station to a nearby macrocell user should be properly
controlled such that the quality-of-service of both the macrocell
user and the Femtocell users can be guaranteed. In this work,
the fundamental capacity limitation of spatial spectrum sharing
among a macrocell user and a Femtocell user is identied. A
downlink power control problem is formulated to address the
co-channel interference, as well as provide quality-of-service to
both the macrocell user and the Femtocell users. The feasibility
condition of the problem is derived and both centralized and
distributed solutions are provided. Because the co-channel interference are from heterogeneous cells, a joint power control,
channel management and admission control procedure is suggested such that the priority of the macrocell users is always
ensured. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the
proposed schemes.

I. I NTRODUCTION
Femtocells are cellular access points that connect to a
mobile operators network using residential DSL or cable
broadband connections. They have been developed to work
with a range of different cellular standards including CDMA,
GSM and UMTS [1]. Studies show that more than 50%
of all voice calls and more than 70% of all data trafc
originate indoors [2]. A signicant part of these indoor voice
and trafc originates from the homes of the subscribers. By
installing a home base station, a cellular subscriber may use
any existing Internet access as a means to access the cellular
backbone infrastructure1 , and only very short range wireless
communications from the user device to the home base station
need to occur. Thus, the deployment of Femtocells within
existing macrocells in a cellular network accommodates a large
portion of existing trafc, as well as facilitates the capacity
requirements of new applications and services. It is expected
to provide better coverage and capacity, as well as improve
the cost effectiveness of current cellular services.
Femtocells are intended to enhance the coverage of a
macrocell in the home environment. There are many technical challenges associated with the successful operations of
macrocells and Femtocells when they coexist. Specically,
the radio interference between Femtocells and macrocells is
a major concern and interference mitigation techniques are
1 the capacity of a Femtocell is indeed upper bounded by the capacity of
its corresponding Internet access

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383

required. Interference mitigation techniques will impact the


system performance, which will present the Femtocell with
challenges in managing its radio resources and maintaining
Quality of Service (QoS) to its attached users.
While uplink power control of Femtocells has been considered in [3], downlink power control is a more critical issue [4].
There are intensive ongoing research activities on interference
mitigation and power control of Femtocells in the standard
bodies, such as the 3GPP TSG-RAN WR4 (please see [4] and
the references therein). However, most of the current works
focus on determining the dynamic range of the downlink
transmission power of Femtocells, rather than an analytical
framework and detailed power control schemes.
In this paper, the downlink interference scenario that exist
between a Femtocell and a macrocell is modeled and discussed
in detail. Specically, the fundamental limit of the achievable
QoS of the macrocell users and the Femtocell users is given in
terms of the achievable sum signal-to-interference-plus-noise
ratio (SINR) values of the users. Furthermore, a downlink
power control problem for Femtocells is formulated and both
centralized and distributed solutions are derived. Theoretical
analysis and simulation results show that the proposed power
control mitigates the interference between the two overlaid
systems effectively.
It worth noting that a mathematical framework for power
control in cognitive radio networks was developed by the
authors in their previous work [13]. It is interesting to nd
that this framework (with modications) also applies to spatial spectrum sharing in the context of macrocell Femtocell
overlay. In this work, we go one step further by providing
insights on relations between the achievable capacity of the
overlaid system and the geometric layout of the systems such
as the macrocell dead zone. Other contributions of this work
include establishing a downlink power control framework
for the overlaid system, as well as proposing a hierarchical
architecture for joint power control and dynamic channel reallocation.
The paper is organized as follows. Section II provides the
model of spatial spectrum sharing of a macrocell with a Femtocell, and the associated power control problem is formulated.
The fundamental limit on achievable SINR of a macrocell user
and a Femtocell user is given in Section III and the solution
of the power control problem is given for the case of a single
Femtocell. The results are generalized in Section IV to the case

of multiple Femtocells and both centralized and distributed


power control schemes are provided. The effectiveness of the
proposed schemes is tested through simulations in Section V.
Section VI contains the concluding remarks.
II. N ETWORK M ODEL AND P ROBLEM F ORMULATION
In this work, we follow the terminology dened by 3GPP
TSG-RAN WR4 [4]. Given an existing macrocell base station,
Macrocell NodeB (MNB), with downlink transmission power
pM N B , the distance from the MNB to a Macrocell User
Equipment (MUE) is D. It is assumed that the coverage area
of a Femtocell is a disk with radius lF . There are Nj (usually
Nj 4) users, or Home User Equipment (HUEs), supported
by each Femtocell j for voice and data services within its
coverage area. The home base station, Home NodeB (HNB),
of a Femtocell is d meters away from the nearest MUE. The
transmission power of the j th HNB is pj,HN B , with upper
max
limit pmax
HN B , and pHN B = 20 dBm [5] in this study. The
distances from the MNB and the j th HNB to the ith HUE are
(i)
(i)
mj and hj , respectively.
An example of the model is given in Fig. 1, where only one
HUE is shown (index j is dropped for simplicity of presentation). A number of different deployment congurations have
been considered by 3GPP TSG-RAN WR4 [4]. The aspects
are as follows:
1) Open access or Closed Subscriber Group (CSG): In
Open access, HNBs can serve any UE in the same
way as a normal NodeB; while in CSG, HNBs only
serve UEs which are a member of a particular Closed
Subscriber Group.
2) Dedicated channel or co-channel: This concerns whether
HNBs operate in their own separate channel, or they
share a channel with an existing UTRAN network.
3) Fixed or adaptive downlink maximum transmit power.
In this study, we consider the downlink co-channel interference
when Macrocell and Femtocell share the same spectrum. The
deployment congurations are CSG and co-channel. Specically, the downlink transmissions from the HNBs will cause
strong interference at a nearby MUE and may cause the
received macrocell signal at the MUE degraded and become
unacceptable. Hence, the co-channel interference is one of the
major barriers for the successful co-existence of Macrocell and
Femtocell.
In this paper, we address the downlink interference problem
by considering the QoS at both the MUEs and the HUEs in
terms of their received SINR. Dene the SINR at the mth
(m)
MUE as M U E , and the SINR at the ith HUE in the j th
(i)
Femtocell as j,HU E , the downlink power control problem for
energy efciency maximization and interference suppression
is formulated as follows
(P.1)

pj,HN B
(1)
min
j

subject to

(m)
M U E

tar
M
UE,

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(2)

384

Fig. 1.

An example of spectrum sharing of a Macrocell and a Femtocell.


(i)

(i)

j,HU E j,HU E tar , i = 1, , Nj , j.

(3)

max
pmin
HN B pj,HN B pHN B , j.

(4)

(i)

tar
tar
are the target SINR for the
where M
U E and j,HU E
max
MUEs and the HUEs, respectively. pmin
HN B and pHN B are the
minimum and maximum allowable transmission power of the
HNBs. These are hard limits including many considerations
such as safety and hardware limitations that set by the standard
organization or government agencies [5]. The objectives of the
proposed downlink power control of HNBs are to maximize
the energy efciency of the HNBs and suppress harmful interference to both the MUEs and the HUEs, as well as provide
QoS for all the users. This can be achieved by minimizing
the total transmission power of the HNBs (equation (1)) while
guarantee both the QoS of the MUEs (equation (2)) and the
QoS of the HUEs (equation (3)).

III. D OWNLINK P OWER CONTROL FOR A SINGLE


F EMTOCELL
In this section, a simple case where there is only one
Femtocell will be considered. We will rst check the feasibility
of the downlink power control problem (P.1). We assume that
the received power is only a function of the transmitted power
and path loss, i.e., the fading effects (shadowing and smallscale fading) are omitted for now. We further assume that the
path loss factor from the MNB is 1 , and the path loss factor
from the HNB is 2 . Because the antenna height of the MNB
is usually much higher than that of the HNB, it is expected
that the path loss factor from the MNB (1 ) will be better
(smaller) than the path loss factor from the HNB (2 ). The
downlink interference between the macrocell and the Femtocell depends on many factors such as modulation schemes and
synchronization, and we assume the orthogonality factors are
f1 and f2 , respectively.
Based on the above assumptions, the SINR of the MUE
receiver at the border of the macrocell dead zone is (please
refer to Fig. 1)
M U E =

pM N B /D1
f2 pHN B /d2 + 2

(5)

Parameters
pM N B
pHN B
2
D
1
2
f1
f2
tar
M
UE
tar
HU E

and the SINR of the ith HUE is


(i)

HU E =

pHN B /h(i)2
i.
f1 pM N B /m(i)1 + 2

(6)

where 2 is the background noise.


In order to satisfy the two constraints on the SINR values
of the MUE and the HUEs, inequality (2) and (3), we need
pM N B
(7)
pHN B [ 1 tar 2 ]d2 /f2 ,
D M U E

Value
40 dBm
variable
1014
1000 m
3.7
4.0
1
1
0 dB
0 dB

TABLE I

and

S IMULATION PARAMETERS

(8)

pHN B , pmax
max{pmin
HN B , pHN B } pHN B min{
HN B } (9)
B
where pHN B = [ Dp1MNtar

MUE

2 ]d2 /f2 and pHN B =

tar
(i)2
.
(f1 pM N B /m(i)1 + 2 )HU
Eh
If the feasibility condition (inequality (9)) is satised, the optimal transmission power of the HNB is max{pmin
HN B , pHN B }.
If the minimum allowable transmission power is 0, the optimal
transmission power of the HNB is pHN B . An example of
the feasible transmission power of a HNB is shown in Fig.2,
where the simulation parameters are listed in Table I [5]. It
is observed that there exists a reasonable range of feasible
transmission power for a HNB when the nearest MUE is at
least 10 meters away from the HNB and the HUE is not too
far away from the HNB. The feasible range of pHN B grows
when h reduces and/or d increases, as expected.
The results also provide a straightforward way to estimate
the Macrocell Dead Zone (MDZ) by letting pHN B = pHN B .
For instance, if the MUE and HUE both require 10 dB
received SINR for successful receptions, and if the HUE is
60 meters away from the HNB, the radius of the MDZ will
be approximately 20 meters. The MDZ will grow when the
receiver sensitivity of the UEs degrades. For instance, if the
MUE and HUE both require 0 dB received SINR for successful
receptions, and if the HUE is 60 meters away from the HNB,
the radius of the MDZ will grow to approximately 60 meters,
and the range of feasible transmission power for a HNB
shrinks.

30

(dBm)

20

HNB

If the downlink power control problem is feasible, equations (7), (8), and (4) have to be satised simultaneously.
Theorem 1: Given the transmission power of the primary
transmitter (pM N B ) and the background noise ( 2 ), the target
tar
tar
SINR values of the MUE and the HUE (M
U E and HU E ),
(i)
(i)
and the distances (D, d, h , m ), the feasibility condition
of the power control problem (P.1) for a single Femtocell is

Upper Bound and Lower Bound of p

tar
(i)2
.
pHN B (f1 pM N B /m(i)1 + 2 )HU
Eh

max
HNB

10

0
10
solid line: upper bound of p

HNB

20
30
h=5 m
h=5 m
h=10 m
h=10 m
h=20 m
h=20 m
h=60 m
h=60 m

40
50
dashed line: lower bound of p

HNB

60
70
80

0.01

0.02

0.03

0.04
0.05
0.06
d/D (D=1000 m)

0.07

0.08

0.09

0.1

Fig. 2. The feasible transmission power of a HNB (


pHN B is not a function
of h.

In other words, the sum of the achievable SINRs of the


MUE and the HUE depends mainly on the relative distances
m(i)
d
D and h(i) . This result shows a fundamental limitation on
the sum of the achievable SINRs of a macrocell user and a
Femtocell user when they share the same spectrum and open
access to HNB is prohibited. This result has very important
practical implication since CSG conguration is simple and
thus preferable, while open access may introduce a large
number of handoffs. In addition, spatial spectrum sharing is
desirable since the spectrum is licensed (and thus expensive).
It is observed that the sum of these two SINR values (in
dB) is only a function of the relative distances. One example
simulation result is plotted in Fig. 3. The parameters used
in the simulation are given in Table I and it is assumed that
d
and hd(i) ,
m(i) D + d. It is observed that the two ratios, D
have the dominant effects on the sum of the SINR values.
For example, under the current parameter setting, when hd(i)
A. Fundamental capacity limit
doubles (while other parameters are unchanged), there is a 18
If the interference is dominant, i.e., if f2 pHN B /d2  2 dB gain of the sum of the SINR values. The curve of the sum
and f1 pM N B /m(i)1  2 , which is usually the case, the of the SINR values follows the shape of logarithm of 1 + d
D
sum of the SINR (in dB) of a MUE and the SINR of a HUE when other parameters are xed. These observations are in
can be expressed as
agreement with the theoretical result, equation (10). It is also
(i)
interesting to observe that whenever d = h(i) , the sum of the
m
d
(dB)
(dB)
(dB)]+2 [ (i) (dB)][(f1 +f2 )(dB)] SINR
.
M U E +HU E 1 [
values remains roughly a constant. This is due to the
D
h
(10) fact that d  D in this simulation. The results suggest that the

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385

100

(1). The matrix Y is non-singular (thus invertible), where Y


is an N N matrix

tar
E
f3 j,HU
j = k

hjk3
;
(13)
Yjk =
1

j=k
2
h

SINRMUE+SINRHUE (dB)

h=2.5 m
h=5 m
h=10 m
h=20 m
h=40 m

50

jj

(2). The transmission power vector pHN B satises inequality (4) element-wise, where
0

pHN B = Y 1 u ,

50
2
10

10

The sum SINR values (in dB) vs.

d
D

and h.

downlink interference from HNB has signicant impact on the


service quality of the nearby MUE and thus it calls for proper
downlink power control of HNBs. We would like to point
out that although the transmission powers are not explicitly
included in the formula for the sum SINR, they indeed will
determine the proportion of the SINR that the MUE and the
HUE will get.
IV. P OWER C ONTROL FOR MULTIPLE F EMTOCELLS
In this section, we are going to provide both centralized and
distributed solutions to the power control problem (P.1). In
order to evaluate the interference and solve the power control
problem, we assume that the distances such as d and m(i)
can be estimated accurately. Indeed, geolocation devices such
as GPS may be applied to get an accurate estimate of the
distances. It is also assumed that each HNB will serve only
one HUE in the downlink at any given time and the user index
is dropped for simplicity of presentations.
A. Centralized Solution
The SINR of a MUE receiver is
M U E =

f2

pM N B /D1
2
2
j (pj,HN B /dj ) +

(11)

2
pj,HN B /h
jj

3
1
f3 k=j (pk,HN B /hjk ) + f1 pM N B /m
j

+ 2
(12)
where dj is the distance from the j th HNB to the MUE, hjk is
the distance from the k th HNB to the HUE served by the j th
HNB. f3 and 3 include additional considerations for Femtoto-Femto interference such as more penetration losses.
The following theorem gives the feasibility condition of the
power control problem (P.1).
Theorem 2: The power control problem (P.1) is feasible for
all N simultaneous operating HNBs within the same channel
as long as

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f2

pM N B /D1
tar
M
2
UE .

2
j (pj,HN B /dj ) +

386

(16)

Proof: A target SINR vector tar is achievable for all


HUEs within the same channel if the following conditions are
met [10], [6]
tar
j,HU E j,HU
E
p0

(17)
(18)

where p is the vector of transmitting powers of HNBs. Dene


u as in equation (15). Replacing j,HU E with equation (12)
and rewriting the above conditions in matrix form gives
Ypu
p0

(19)
(20)

where matrix Y and vector u are dened by equations (13)


and (15), respectively.
It is shown in [6] that if the system is feasible, the matrix
Y must be invertible and the inverse should be element-wise
positive, thus prove part (1) of the theorem.
It is also shown in [6] (Proposition 2.1) that if the system is
feasible, there exists a unique (Pareto optimal) solution which
minimize the transmitted power. This solution is obtained by
solving a system of linear algebraic equations
Y p = u

The SINR of the HUE served by the j th Femtocell is


j,HU E =

(15)

(3). The transmission power vector pHN B also satises the


following inequality

d/D (D=1000 m)

Fig. 3.

u is the vector with elements


f1 pM N B
tar
+ 2 ], j = 1, 2, ..., N
uj = j,HU
E[
1
m
j

(14)

(21)

In order to satisfy the constraints (2) and (4) in the power


control problem (P.1), the transmission power vector pHN B
must satisfy the inequality (4) element-wise and the inequality (16), thus prove the theorem.
The above proof highlighted the centralized solution to
the problem (P.1). Although it seems that the power control
problem (P.1) is similar to that in cellular systems [9] and
in wireless ad hoc networks [11], the power control problem
considered here addressed interference from overlaid systems
such that additional constraint (2) has to be satised and the
interference between HNBs and MUEs has to be taken into
account in the problem formulation. It also calls for joint

design of power control and dynamic channel re-allocation for


the Femtocell such that the QoS of the MUEs is ensured all
the time. The procedures of joint power control and dynamic
channel re-allocation is summarized below.
Joint power control and dynamic channel re-allocation
1) Solve the transmission power vector pHN B using equation (14).
2) Check whether the transmission powers are within limit,

max
i.e., pmin
HN B pj,HN B pHN B , j? If Yes, goes to the
next step; otherwise, the power control problem (P.1) is
not
feasible. Re-allocate the kth HNB that has the largest
N
| j=1,j=k [Yjk + Ykj ]| to a different channel and return
to Step 1 with reduced number of co-channel HNBs.
3) Check whether the transmission powers satisfy inequality (16). If Yes, set the transmission power vector as
pHN B ; otherwise, the power control problem (P.1) is not
feasible. Re-allocate the HNB that requires the largest
transmission power ( p = max{pj,HN B } j) to a
different channel and return to Step 1 with reduced
number of co-channel HNBs.
The above proposed procedures can be implemented in the
current cellular infrastructure2 . In the proposed joint power
control and channel re-allocation scheme, when the power
control problem (P.1) is not feasible, the HNB that caused the
worst interference should be silenced. The central controller in
the cellular backbone can verify the transmission power limits
in a straight forward way in Step 2 after solving pHN B using
equation (14). The worst interferer to the other Femtocells
is the one that has the largest absolute value of off-diagonal
row and column sum of matrix Y . In Step 3, the central
controller can verify the inequality (16) consulting the built-in
measurements at MNB. This time the worst interferer to the
MUEs is the one that has the largest transmission power.
B. Distributed Solution
The centralized solution (equation (14)) needs a central
controller and global information of all the link gains, and
centralized power control requires extensive control signaling
in the network and it is subject to delays and congestions of
wireline Internet access. Therefore, a distributed solution that
only using local information to make a control decision is
proposed for easier implementation.
Distributed power control schemes may be derived by applying iterative algorithms to solve equation (21). For example,
using the rst-order Jacobian iterations [7], the following
distributed power control scheme is obtained
tar
j,HU
E
pj,HN B (t), pmax
HN B } , j.
j,HU E (t)
(22)
Note that each HNB only needs to know its own received
SINR at its HUE to update its transmission power. This is
available by feedback from the HUE through a control channel. As a result, the algorithm is fully distributed. Convergence

pj,HN B (t + 1) = min{

2 the delay of control signaling due to the delay of wireline Internet access
is an interesting topic for future study

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387

properties of this type of algorithms were studied by Yates [8],


[9]. An interference function I(p) is standard if it satises
three conditions: positivity, monotonicity and scalability. It
is proved by Yates [8] that the standard iterative algorithm
p(t + 1) = I(p(t)) will converge to a unique equilibrium that
corresponds to the minimum use of power. The distributed
power control scheme (equation (22)) is a special case of the
standard iterative algorithm.
Since the Jacobi iteration is a xed-point iterative method,
it usually has slow convergence speed to the sought solution.
However, we select equation (22) as the power control algorithm due to its simplicity. Other advanced algorithms with
faster convergence speed can be found in [10], [12].
The distributed power control algorithm given in equation (22) does not enforce the QoS requirement of the MUE
represented by the inequality (16). Thus, the HNBs apply
equation (22) alone may violate the QoS requirement of the
MUE. In order to address this issue, we propose a hierarchical
control solution that contains an inner loop and an outer
loop. In the inner loop power control, each HNB follows the
distributed algorithm as described by equation (22). While in
the outer loop power control, the MNB will follow a similar
distributed algorithm as the HNBs to maintain the QoS of the
MUEs. However, when the MNB cannot maintain the QoS of
the MUEs, it will request the strongestly transmitted HNB to
switch channel, or as an alternative, to reduce its allowable
transmission power.
V. S IMULATION R ESULTS
In this section, the performance of the proposed power
control algorithm is examined. It is assumed that N = 500
simultaneously active Femtocells are overlaid with a macrocell
in a 1000 meter 1000 meter area, and they share the the
same spectrum in the downlink. The MNB is located at the
center of the area. The examined MUE is located close to the
border of the macrocell (D = 500 meters). The location of the
Femtocell is 2-D uniformly distributed and each Femtocell
is within a 10 meter 10 meter apartment. None of the
Femtocells are overlapping. The location of the HNB is 2D uniformly distributed within each Femtocell. The HUE is
10 meters away from its corresponding HNB and its location
is uniformly distributed. An example deployment scenario is
shown in Fig.4.
The initial transmission power of the HNBs are randomly
max
chosen between pmin
HN B and pHN B . The rest of the simulation
tar
min
parameters are: pM N B = 40 dBm; M
U E = 0 dB; pHU E =
max
tar
2
14
80 dBm; pHU E = 20 dBm; HU E = 0 dB; = 10 ; 1
= 3.7; 2 = 4, 3 = 4.3, f1 = f2 = f3 = 1.
In the following part of the simulation, the distributed power
control algorithm, equation (22), is applied. The convergence
of the mean square error of the HUEs SINR (e2HU E =
tar
2
E[(HU E HU
E ) ]) is given in Fig 5. It is observed that
the power control algorithm converges very fast (in about 4
steps). Similarly, the convergence of the transmission power
of some randomly chosen HNBs is shown in Fig 6.

1000

900
0

MNB
MUE
HNB
The received SINR of MUE in dB

800

700

Yaxis

600

500

400

300

10

15

20

200
25
100

Fig. 4.

100

200

300

400

500
Xaxis

600

700

800

900

30

1000

An example deployment of Femtocells overlaid with a macrocell.


80

10
steps

12

14

16

18

20

Fig. 7. The SINR value of the MUE during the power control process of
the HNBs.

Mean Square Error of SINRs of HUEs

70

provide QoS support for both MUEs and HUEs. In addition,


the feasibility condition is derived and a joint power control
and dynamic channel re-allocation procedure is suggested such
that the QoS of the MUEs is ensured all the time. The
performance of the joint power control and dynamic channel
re-allocation for the infeasible case will be included in an
extended version of the current manuscript. In addition, the
effects of inaccurate estimates of the distances will also be
justied.

60

50

40

30

20

10

Fig. 5.

10
steps

12

14

16

18

20

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The convergence of the mean square error of the HUEs SINR.

The minimum SINR value of the MUE during the power


control process of the HNBs is shown in Fig.7. It is conrmed
that the QoS of the MUE is not violated during the power
control process.
VI. C ONCLUSIONS
In this paper, we extend the mathematical framework in our
previous work [13] to the case of spectrum sharing in macrocell Femtocell overlay. A downlink power control problem is
formulated for HNBs that operates simultaneously in the same
frequency band with MNBs. Both centralized and distributed
solutions are given to mitigate the co-channel interference and
10
HNB1
HNB10
HNB50
HNB100
HNB200

Transmission Power of HNBs in dBm

10

15

20

Fig. 6.

10
steps

12

14

16

18

20

The convergence of the transmission power of the HNBs.

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388

This research work is supported in part by NSF under award


0531507.
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