Distributed Real-time Implementation of Interference Alignment with Analog Feedback


Seogoo Lee, Andreas Gerstlauer, and Robert W. Heath, Jr.


To appear in the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, Information Theory.


Interference alignment (IA) is a precoding technique that aligns interfering signals at receivers. It is known that IA achieves the maximum degrees of freedom over an interference channel under ideal assumptions. The real-world performance of IA depends on a range of practical issues, such as imperfect synchronization, channel estimation, and feedback. Practical issues have been studied in simulations and prototypes, but fully-distributed operation of IA network nodes has not been considered. In this paper, we present the first investigation of real-time IA performance on a fully-distributed 2x2 multiple input and multiple-output (MIMO) prototype system with three physically independent user pairs. Over-the-air algorithms for time and frequency synchronization, as well as analog feedback, are studied and implemented. Sum rates are illustrated as a function of complexity and accuracy of different alignment, synchronization, and feedback algorithms. Corresponding tradeoffs are evaluated using an iterative IA method, the injection of residual frequency offset into synchronization, and analog versus quantization-based limited feedback approaches.We demonstrate that, while considering all possible error sources in estimation, synchronization, and feedback, the theoretical multiplexing gain of IA can be reached in practical systems with a constant sum rate loss that remains within 5 bits/Hz/s compared to an ideal simulation.

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