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A simple line network model is proposed to study the downlink cellular network. Without base station cooperation, the system is interference-limited. The interference limitation is overcome when the base stations are allowed to jointly encode the user signals, but the capacity-achieving dirty paper coding scheme can be too complex for practical implementation. A new linear precoding technique called Soft Interference Nulling (SIN) is proposed, which performs at least as well as Zero-Forcing (ZF) beamforming under full network coordination. Unlike ZF, SIN allows the possibility of but over-penalizes interference. The SIN precoder is computed by solving a convex optimization problem, and the formulation is extended to multiple-antenna channels.
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