With the incitation to reduce power consumption and the aggressive reuse of spectral resources, there is an inevitable trend towards the deployment of small-cell networks by decomposing a traditional single-tier network into a multi-tier network with very high throughput per network area. However, this cell size reduction increases the complexity of network operation and the severity of cross-tier interference. In this paper, we consider a downlink two-tier network comprising of a multiple-antenna macrocell base station and a single femtocell access point, each serving multiples users with a single antenna. In this scenario, we treat the following beamforming optimization problems: i) Total transmit power minimization problem; ii) mean-square error balancing problem; and iii) interference power minimization problem. In the presence of perfect channel state information (CSI), we formulate the optimization algorithms in a centralized manner and determine the optimal beamformers using standard convex optimization techniques. In addition, we propose semi-decentralized algorithms to overcome the drawback of centralized design by introducing the signal-to-leakage plus noise ratio criteria. Taking into account imperfect CSI for both centralized and semi-decentralized approaches, we also propose robust algorithms tailored by the worst-case design to mitigate the effect of channel uncertainty. Finally, numerical results are presented to validate our proposed algorithms.
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