A systematic study of Physical LAyer Network coding: from information-theoretic understanding to practical DSP algorithm design (P.L.A.N)

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Electrical, Electronic & Computer Eng

Abstract

High spectral efficiency is the holy grail of wireless networks due to the well-known scarcity of radio spectrum. While up to recently there seemed to be no way out of the apparent end of the road in spectral efficiency growth, the emerging approach of Network Coding has cast new light in the spectral efficiency prospects of wireless networks [1]. Initial results have demonstrated that the use of network coding increases the spectral efficiency up to 50% [2, 3]. Such a significant performance gain is crucial for many important bandwidth-hungry applications such as broadband cellular systems, wireless sensor networks, underwater communication scenarios, etc. Currently network coding has received a lot of attention from the wireless communication community; however, many existing works focused on the application of network coding to upper layers and the study of its impact on the physical layer (PHY) design only began recently. The aim of this proposal is to systematically study network coding at the physical layer, where we will not only characterize the fundamental limits of physical layer network coding, but also design practical digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms to realize the performance gain promised by those theoretic results. The novelty of the proposed project lies on the fact that this project will be the first UK effort to bridge information-theoretic studies and DSP algorithm design for PHY network coding. This will be done by first deriving the capacity region of network coding, which provides us the upper bound of the system performance. With such a better understanding, we will develop efficient transmission protocols and DSP algorithms to realize such optimal performance in practice. Interference alignment, a technology recently developed to cope with co-channel interference, will be applied to network coding transmissions for further performance improvement. Information-theoretic results, such as outage and symbol error probabilities, will be developed and testbed-based experimental evaluation will be carried out, so a more insightful understanding for our developed schemes can be obtained.

Planned Impact

This work is proposed at a time when network coding has been envisioned to bring the fundamental changes to the way communication systems are designed, operated and understood. Significant performance gain promised by network coding is important to broadband mobile communications, where both the uplink and downlink data rate can be improved dramatically. Other applications of network coding include real-time sensor networks which can be used for environmental monitoring of physical and biological indicators, tactical surveillance, disaster prevention, undersea exploration, assisted navigation, etc. However, compared to the significant progress in the application of network coding to the upper layer design, there is less progress reported to date on studying network coding at the physical layer, especially in the UK. The novelty of this project is four-fold: firstly characterize the data rates achieved by network coding for various multi-user scenarios; secondly devise spectrally efficient transmission protocols by utilizing the concept of interference alignment and efficiently combating co-channel interference; thirdly design new low-complexity mapping and receive DSP algorithms to realize the performance gain of network coding in practical systems; fourthly carry out experimental evaluations to investigate how the proposed algorithms perform in practice in conjunction with leading technology providers and end-users. The proposal systematically addresses the fundamental issues of network coding from the information-theoretic aspect to DSP-enabled communications, which is beneficial for the communications community to get a better understanding of network coding. Also such obtained insights provide a precise guideline for the efficient design of practical and reliable wireless systems. Following this, the outcomes of this research will also be of considerable value to UK companies involved in developing broadband communication systems or real-time wireless sensor networks for the purpose of infrastructure monitoring or military controlling, as well as robust vehicular networks to support diverse quality of service. Indeed, the potential of the project cannot be overstated and this is evidenced by strong industrial support from Bell-Lab, BP and Infineon.

Publications

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Chu Z (2015) Secrecy Rate Optimizations for a MIMO Secrecy Channel With a Cooperative Jammer in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology

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Cumanan K (2014) Secrecy Rate Optimizations for a MIMO Secrecy Channel With a Multiple-Antenna Eavesdropper in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology

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Cumanan K (2013) MMSE-Based Beamforming Techniques for Relay Broadcast Channels in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology

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Ding Z (2012) A General Relaying Transmission Protocol for MIMO Secrecy Communications in IEEE Transactions on Communications

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Ding Z (2013) Linear Detection for Cooperative Multiple-Access Transmission Protocols in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology

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Ding Z (2014) Power Allocation Strategies in Energy Harvesting Wireless Cooperative Networks in IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications

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Ding Z (2012) On the Application of Cooperative Transmission to Secrecy Communications in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications

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Ding Z (2013) A General Framework of Precoding Design for Multiple Two-Way Relaying Communications in IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/I037423/1 05/03/2012 30/09/2014 £239,625
EP/I037423/2 Transfer EP/I037423/1 01/10/2014 28/02/2015 £36,485
 
Description 1. Proposed an eigen-mode sharing approach to improve the system throughput of MIMO network coding systems where two users exchange information with each other.

Z. Ding, M. Xu, B. Sharif and J. Lu, "A General Transmission Scheme for Bi-directional Communication by Using Eigenmode Sharing", IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol.30, no.8, pp.1477-1488, September 2012.

2. Proposed an advanced scheduling algorithm for network coded communication networks, where the impact of such scheduling has also been fully characterized.

X. Zhang, Z. Ding, W. Wang and M. Peng, "Multi-user Scheduling for Network Coded Two-Way Relay Channel in Cellular Systems", IEEE Trans . on Wireless Communications, vol.11, no.7, pp.2542,2551, July 2012.

3. Applied network coding to security, where self interference caused by network coding can be used to confuse potential eavesdroppers and improve the secrecy rate in wireless networks.

Z. Ding, M. Peng and H. H. Chen, "A General Relaying Transmission Protocol for MIMO Secrecy Communications", IEEE Trans. on Communications, vol.60, no.11, pp.3461-3471, November 2012

4. Characterized the performance achieved by network coding for the scenario with Nakagami fading, which is more commonly found in wireless networks compared to Rayleigh fading.

J. Yang, P. Fan and Z. Ding, "Capacity of AF Two-way Relaying with Multiuser Scheduling in Nakagami-m Fading Communications", IET Electronic Letters, vol.48, no.22, pp.1432-1434, October 2012

5. Proposed a novel detection algorithm for the scenario where multiple sources send information to the destination via a relay helped with network coding.

Z. Ding, K. Cumanan, Z. Ma and P. Fan, "Linear Detection for Cooperative Multiple Access Transmission Protocols,", IEEE Trans. on Vehicular Technologies, vol.62, no.6, pp.2807,2812, July 2013.

6. Proposed a general framework of precoding for network coded two-way communications, where many existing works can be treated as its special case.

Z. Ding and H. V. Poor, "A General Framework of Precoding Design for Multiple Two-way Relaying Communications", IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing, vol.61, no.6, pp.153-,1535, March15, 2013

7. Applied analog network coding to MIMO cooperative networks.

M. Gan, Z. Ding and X. Dai, "Application of Analog Network Coding to MIMO Two-Way Relay Channel in Cellular Systems," IEEE Signal Processing Letters , vol.20, no.7, pp.641,644, July 2013.

8. Proposed a new form of network coding by applying the denoise-and-forward criterion to relaying networks.

Z. Zhao, M. Peng, Z. Ding, W. Wang and H. H. Chen, "Denoise-and-Forward Network Coding for Two-Way Relay MIMO Systems", IEEE Trans. on Vehicular Technologies, vol.63, no.2, pp.775-788, Feb. 2014

9. Network coding and signal alignment have been combined together to realize secure communications with and without the help from external helpers.

Z. Ding, K. K. Leung and H. V. Poor, "Interference Masking for Secure Wireless Broadcast Communications", IET Communications, Speicial issue on Secure Physical Layer Communications, to appear in 2014

10. Characterized the impact of antenna selection on relay communications where network coding is applied to the relay transmissions.

Z. Ding, Z. Ma and P. Fan, "Impact of Antenna Selection on Secure Two-way Relaying Communications with Artificial Noise", IEEE Trans. Wireless Communications, to appear in 2014
Exploitation Route The new forms of network coding and the low-complexity algorithms developed for network coding can be used to significantly improve the system throughputs and reception reliability of wireless networks.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

URL https://sites.google.com/site/zhiguoding/home
 
Description During the project, we have proposed a framework of solutions for wireless network coding, which not only characterize the fundamental limits of physical layer network coding, but also yield practical digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms for realizing the performance gain promised by those theoretic results. Most of the results obtained from this project have been disseminated at high profile international conferences, e.g., invited talks and keynote speeches, as well as at international leading journals, such as IEEE transactions, IET Proceedings, etc.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Societal