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Section: Application Domains

Next-Generation Wireless Networks

Considerable interest has arisen from the seminal prediction that the use of multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technologies can lead to substantial gains in information throughput in wireless communications, especially when used at a massive level. In particular, by employing multiple inexpensive service antennas, it is possible to exploit spatial multiplexing in the transmission and reception of radio signals, the only physical limit being the number of antennas that can be deployed on a portable device. As a result, the wireless medium can accommodate greater volumes of data traffic without requiring the reallocation (and subsequent re-regulation) of additional frequency bands. In this context, throughput maximization in the presence of interference by neighboring transmitters leads to games with convex action sets (covariance matrices with trace constraints) and individually concave utility functions (each user's Shannon throughput); developing efficient and distributed optimization protocols for such systems is one of the core objectives of Theme 5.

Another major challenge that occurs here is due to the fact that the efficient physical layer optimization of wireless networks relies on perfect (or close to perfect) channel state information (CSI), on both the uplink and the downlink. Due to the vastly increased computational overhead of this feedback – especially in decentralized, small-cell environments – the ongoing transition to fifth generation (5G) wireless networks is expected to go hand-in-hand with distributed learning and optimization methods that can operate reliably in feedback-starved environments. Accordingly, one of POLARIS' application-driven goals will be to leverage the algorithmic output of Theme 5 into a highly adaptive resource allocation framework for next-géneration wireless systems that can effectively "learn in the dark", without requiring crippling amounts of feedback.