Exploiting deep learning in limited-fronthaul cell-free massive MIMO uplink

Manijeh Bashar, Ali Akbari, Kanapathippillai Cumanan, Hien-Quoc Ngo, Alister G. Burr, Pei Xiao, Merouane Debbah, Josef Kittler

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A cell-free massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) uplink is considered, where quantize-and-forward (QF) refers to the case where both the channel estimates and the received signals are quantized at the access points (APs) and forwarded to a central processing unit (CPU) whereas in combine-quantize-and-forward (CQF), the APs send the quantized version of the combined signal to the CPU. To solve the non-convex sum rate maximization problem, a heuristic sub-optimal scheme is exploited to convert the power allocation problem into a standard geometric programme (GP). We exploit the knowledge of the channel statistics to design the power elements. Employing large-scale fading (LSF) with a deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) enables us to determine a mapping from the LSF coefficients and the optimal power through solving the sum rate maximization problem using the quantized channel. Four possible power control schemes are studied, which we refer to as i) small-scale fading (SSF)-based QF; ii) LSF-based CQF; iii) LSF use-and-then-forget (UatF)-based QF; and iv) LSF deep learning (DL)-based QF, according to where channel estimation is performed and exploited and how the optimization problem is solved. Numerical results show that for the same fronthaul rate, the throughput significantly increases thanks to the mapping obtained using DCNN.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1678-1697
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communication
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2020

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