Pilot Reuse in Cell-Free Massive MIMO Systems: A Diverse Clustering Approach

by   Salman Mohebi, et al.

Distributed or Cell-free (CF) massive Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (mMIMO), has been recently proposed as an answer to the limitations of the current network-centric systems in providing high-rate ubiquitous transmission. The capability of providing uniform service level makes CF mMIMO a potential technology for beyond-5G and 6G networks. The acquisition of accurate Channel State Information (CSI) is critical for different CF mMIMO operations. Hence, an uplink pilot training phase is used to efficiently estimate transmission channels. The number of available orthogonal pilot signals is limited, and reusing these pilots will increase co-pilot interference. This causes an undesirable effect known as pilot contamination that could reduce the system performance. Hence, a proper pilot reuse strategy is needed to mitigate the effects of pilot contamination. In this paper, we formulate pilot assignment in CF mMIMO as a diverse clustering problem and propose an iterative maxima search scheme to solve it. In this approach, we first form the clusters of User Equipments (UEs) so that the intra-cluster diversity maximizes and then assign the same pilots for all UEs in the same cluster. The numerical results show the proposed techniques' superiority over other methods concerning the achieved uplink and downlink average and per-user data rate.


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