Path Loss Predictions in the VHF and UHF Bands Within Urban Environments: Experimental Investigation of Empirical, Heuristics and Geospatial Models

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Deep knowledge of how radio waves behave in a practical wireless channel is required for effective planning and deployment of radio access networks in urban environments. Empirical propagation models are popular for their simplicity, but they are prone to introduce high prediction errors. Different heuristic methods and geospatial approaches have been developed to further reduce path loss prediction error. However, the efficacy of these new techniques in built-up areas should be experimentally verified. In this paper, the efficiencies of empirical, heuristic, and geospatial methods for signal fading predictions in the very high frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF) bands in typical urban environments are evaluated and analyzed. Electromagnetic field strength measurements are performed at different test locations within four selected cities in Nigeria. The data collected are used to develop path loss models based on artificial neural network (ANN), adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), and Kriging techniques. The prediction results of the developed models are compared with those of selected empirical models and field measured data. Apart from Egli and ECC-33, the root mean squared error (RMSE) produced by all other models under investigation are considered acceptable. Specifically, the ANN and ANFIS models yielded the lowest prediction errors. However, the empirical models have the lowest standard deviation errors across all the bands. The findings of this study will help radio network engineers to achieve efficient radio coverage estimation; determine the optimal base station location; make a proper frequency allocation; select the most suitable antenna; and perform interference feasibility studies.



ANFIS, artificial neural networks, backpropagation, path loss, Kriging, radio propagation.