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The authors study the impact of user association policies on flow-level performance in interference limited wireless networks. Most research in this area has used static interference models (neighboring base stations are always active) and resorted to intuitive objectives such as load balancing. In this paper, they show that this can be counterproductive in the presence of dynamic interference which couples the transmission rates to users at various base stations. They propose a methodology to optimize the performance of a class of coupled systems, and apply it to study the user association problem. They show that by properly inducing load asymmetries, substantial performance gains can be achieved relative to a load balancing policy (e.g., 15 times reduction in mean delay).
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