Wireless communication is used in many different situations such as mobile telephony, radio and TV broadcasting, satellite communication, and military operations. In each of these situations a frequency assignment problem arises with application specific characteristics. Researchers have developed different modeling ideas for each of the features of the problem, such as the handling of interference among radio signals, the availability of frequencies, and the optimization criterion.
This survey gives an overview of the models and methods that the literature provides on the topic. We present a broad description of the practical settings in which frequency assignment is applied. We also present a classification of the different models and formulations described in the literature, such that the common features of the models are emphasized. The solution methods are divided in two parts. Optimization and lower bounding techniques on the one hand, and heuristic search techniques on the other hand. The literature is classified according to the used methods. Again, we emphasize the common features, used in the different papers. The quality of the solution methods is compared, whenever possible, on publicly available benchmark instances.
Updated version now available at Annals of Operations Research. ZIB-Report 01-40, Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum für Informationstechnik Berlin (ZIB), December 2001. Updated version published in 4OR 1 (2003), pp. 261-317