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Project: Advanced PHY/MAC design for Very Low Latency Network-assisted Machine Type Communications

Main Objective:
The support for sub millisecond extreme low latency (ELL) is an open issue for the emerging cellular Machine-Type Communication (MTC) networks, currently not supported by cellular networks. ELL is required for vehicular safety, autonomous driving applications and for other MTC that have arisen with the advent of the Internet of Things, and for new human-initiated (HI) communications, such as tactile Internet applications. This project addresses the design of the last mile of a wireless communication network capable of supporting end-to-end ELL for thousands of MTC and HI devices per access node with improved energy efficiency. A capillary network of small cells will be considered. The project will focus on the design of new physical (PHY) and medium access control (MAC) layer protocols, and of network services, to support MTC ELL communications. Several components will be integrated:
- Spectral efficient PHY-layer modulation schemes (MS) with reduced out-of-band (OOB) spectral leakage, that do not require synchronous reception and minimize MTC initial transmission delay;
- Asynchronous Multiple MultiPacket Reception (MPR) techniques, to maximize the capacity to handle load peaks, reducing the initial contention delay;
- Advanced sensing techniques that estimate the number of devices transmitting concurrently;
- Interference management (IM) through a radio resource management (RRM) service, which combines base station (BS) and device sensing;
- Coarse-synchronized MAC protocols designed to support a fast initial transmission and optimized subsequent ones, using the RRM service’s information;
- Power saving (PS) mechanisms compatible with ELL;
- Cloud-based radio access network (C-RAN), to support a flexible on-demand implementation of spatial based MPR techniques, capable of satisfying the strict ELL requirements.

The research team is organized into a PHY layer group and a MAC (and upper) layers group, which in the past collaborated in the design of cross-layer projects. Luis Bernardo from IT-Lisboa will lead the MAC research group, and Atílio Gameiro from IT-Aveiro will lead the PHY research group.
The project activities will encompass three phases:
- A preparatory phase where the scenarios, main requirements and overall architecture are defined, which involves both teams. An initial interface will be proposed between PHY/MAC protocols and IM/RRM algorithms;
- Proposal and validation of PHY/MAC layering algorithms and IM/RRM services. The PHY layer and MAC layer teams will run on specific tasks, and periodical meetings will refine the interface between layers and promote the exchange of simulation/analytical models;
- The proof of concept aims at the preparation of an integrated simulator and partial hardware prototypes of the proposed system. It will include a set of modules for existing network simulators covering the entire system. The prototypes will include one modulation scheme implemented using FPGA hardware; the multipoint reception service service will be implemented using a C-RAN running software defined networking (SDN) switching.
Reference: UID/EEA/50008/2013
Funding: IT
Start Date: 01-04-2016
End Date: 01-03-2018
Team: Luís Filipe Lourenço Bernardo, Atilio Manuel da Silva Gameiro, Nuno Manuel Branco Souto, Rui Miguel Henriques Dias Morgado Dinis, Rodolfo Alexandre Duarte Oliveira, Paulo da Costa Luis da Fonseca Pinto, Pedro Miguel Figueiredo Amaral, Americo Manuel Carapeto Correia, Francisco Antonio Bucho Cercas, Carlos Miguel Nogueira Gaspar Ribeiro, Eduardo Daniel Castañeda Trujillo, Sara Helena Marques Teodoro, Slavisa Tomic, Adão Paulo Soares da Silva, João Francisco Martinho Ledo Guerreiro
Groups: Radio Systems – Lx, Mobile Networks – Av
Local Coordinator: Luís Filipe Lourenço Bernardo
Associated Publications