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Rate-Splitting Multiple Access for Downlink Multi-Antenna Communications: Physical Layer Design and Link-level Simulations

by   Onur Dizdar, et al.

Rate-Splitting Multiple Access (RSMA) is an emerging flexible, robust and powerful multiple access scheme for downlink multi-antenna wireless networks. RSMA relies on multi-antenna Rate-Splitting (RS) strategies at the transmitter and Successive Interference Cancellation (SIC) at the receivers, and has the unique ability to partially decode interference and partially treat interference as noise so as to softly bridge the two extremes of fully decoding interference (as in Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access, NOMA) and treating interference as noise (as in Space Division Multiple Access, SDMA or Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output, MU-MIMO). RSMA has been shown to provide significant room for spectral efficiency, energy efficiency, Quality-of-Service enhancements, robustness to Channel State Information (CSI) imperfections, as well as feedback overhead and complexity reduction, in a wide range of network loads (underloaded and overloaded regimes) and user deployments (with a diversity of channel directions, channel strengths and qualities). RSMA is also deeply rooted and motivated by recent advances in understanding the fundamental limits of multi-antenna networks with imperfect CSI at the Transmitter (CSIT). In this work, we leverage recent results on the optimization of RSMA and design for the first time its physical layer, accounting for modulation, coding (using polar codes), message split, adaptive modulation and coding, and SIC receiver. Link-level evaluations confirm the significant throughput benefits of RSMA over various baselines as SDMA and NOMA.


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