Learning to Beamform for Intelligent Reflecting Surface with Implicit Channel Estimate

09/30/2020
by   Tao Jiang, et al.
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Intelligent reflecting surface (IRS), consisting of massive number of tunable reflective elements, is capable of boosting spectral efficiency between a base station (BS) and a user by intelligently tuning the phase shifters at the IRS according to the channel state information (CSI). However, due to the large number of passive elements which cannot transmit and receive signals, acquisition of CSI for IRS is a practically challenging task. Instead of using the received pilots to estimate the channels explicitly, this paper shows that it is possible to learn the effective IRS reflection pattern and beamforming at the BS directly based on the received pilots. This is achieved by parameterizing the mapping from the received pilots to the optimal configuration of IRS and the beamforming matrix at the BS by properly tuning a deep neural network using unsupervised training. Simulation results indicate that the proposed neural network can efficiently learn to maximize the system sum rate from much fewer received pilots as compared to the traditional channel estimation based solutions.

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