Ultra-dense small cell networks (UD-SCNs) have been identified as a promising scheme for next-generation wireless networks capable of meeting the ever-increasing demand for higher transmission rates and better quality of service. However, UD-SCNs will inevitably suffer from severe interference among the small cell base stations, which will lower their spectral efficiency. In this paper, we propose a software-defined networking (SDN)-based hierarchical agglomerative clustering (SDN-HAC) framework, which leverages SDN to centrally control all sub-channels in the network, and decides on cluster merging using a similarity criterion based on a suitability function. We evaluate the proposed algorithm through simulation. The obtained results show that the proposed algorithm performs well and improves system payoff by 18.19% and 436.34% when compared with the traditional network architecture algorithms and non-cooperative scenarios, respectively.
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