PhD Oral Exam - Omid Saatlou, Electrical & Computer Engineering
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Massive multiuser multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO) systems are being considered for the next generation wireless networks in view of their ability to increase both the spectral and energy efficiencies. For such systems, linear detectors such as zero-forcing (ZF) and maximum-ratio combining (MRC) detectors on the uplink (UL) transmission have been shown to provide near optimal performance. As well, linear precoders such as ZF and maximum-ratio transmission (MRT) precoders on the downlink (DL) transmission offer lower complexity along with a near optimal performance in these systems.
One of the most challenging problems in massive MU-MIMO systems is obtaining the channel state information (CSI) at the transmitter as well as the receiver. In such systems, the base station (BS) obtains CSI using pilot sequences, which are transmitted by the users. Due to the channel reciprocity between the UL and DL channels in the time-division duplex (TDD) mode, BS employs CSI obtained to precode the data symbols in DL transmission. To accurately decode the received symbols in the DL transmission, the users also need to acquire CSI. In view of this, a beamforming training (BT) scheme has been proposed in the literature to obtain the estimates of CSI at each user. In this scheme, BS transmits a short pilot sequence to the users in a way such that each user estimates the effective channel gain.
Conventionally, the power of the pilot symbols has been considered equal to the power of data symbols for all the users. In this thesis, we pose and answer a basic question about the operation of a base station: How much the spectral efficiency could be improved if the transmit power allocated to the pilot and data symbols of each user are chosen in some optimal fashion? In answering this question and in order to maximize the spectral efficiency for a given total energy budget, some methods of power allocation are proposed.
First, we derive a closed-form approximate expression for the achievable downlink rate for the maximum ratio transmission precoder based on small-scale fading in order to evaluate the spectral efficiency in the BT scheme. Then, we propose three methods of power allocation in order to maximize the spectral efficiency for a given total power budget among the users. In the first proposed method, we allocate equal pilot power as well as equal data power for all users in order to maximize the spectral efficiency. In the second proposed method, we allow for the allocation of different data powers among the users, whereas the pilot power for each user is kept the same and is specified. In the third method, we optimally allocate equal pilot power and a different data power for each user in such a way that the spectral efficiency is maximized. Numerical results are obtained showing that all the three proposed methods are superior to the existing methods in terms of spectral efficiency. In addition, they also show that the third proposed method of power allocation outperforms the other two proposed methods in terms of the spectral efficiency.
Next, we derive a closed-form approximate expression for the achievable downlink rate for the maximum ratio transmission precoder based on large-scale fading in order to evaluate the spectral efficiency in the BT scheme. Then, we propose four methods of power allocation in order to maximize the spectral efficiency for a given total power budget among the users.
In the first method, power is allocated among the pilot and data symbols in such a way that the pilot power as well as the data power for each user is the same. In the second method, power is allocated among the data symbols of the various users, whereas the pilot power for each user is the same and is specified. In this method, the data power for each user is optimally determined to maximize the spectral efficiency. In the third method, power is allocated among the pilot and data symbols of the various users, whereas the pilot power for each user is the same but determined. In this method, the same pilot power along with the various data powers is optimized to maximize the spectral efficiency. Finally, in the fourth method, power is allocated optimally among each of the pilot and data symbols of the various users so as to maximize the spectral efficiency. Numerical results are obtained showing that the performance of the first proposed method is approximately the same as that of the conventional approach. In addition, they also show that the second, third and fourth methods of power allocation yield similar performance in terms of spectral efficiency, and that the spectral efficiency of these methods is much superior to that of the first method or of the conventional method.
Finally, we investigate the spectral efficiency of massive MU-MIMO systems on an UL transmission with a very large number of antennas at the base station serving single-antenna users. A practical physical channel model is proposed by dividing the angular domain into a finite number of distinct directions. A lower bound on the achievable rate of the uplink data transmission is derived using a linear detector for each user and employed in defining the spectral efficiency. The lower bound obtained is further modified for the maximum-ratio combining and zero-forcing receivers. A power control scheme based on the large-scale fading is also proposed to maximize the spectral efficiency under the peak power constraint. Experiments are conducted to evaluate the lower bounds obtained and the performance of the proposed method. The numerical results show that the proposed power control method provides a spectral efficiency which is the same as that of the maximum power criterion using the ZF receiver. Further, the proposed method provides a spectral efficiency that is higher than that provided by the maximum power criterion using the MRC receiver.