SPARCs for Unsourced Random Access

by   Alexander Fengler, et al.

This paper studies the optimal achievable performance of compressed sensing based unsourced random-access communication over the real AWGN channel. "Unsourced" means, that every user employs the same codebook. This paradigm, recently introduced by Polyanskiy, is a natural consequence of a very large number of potential users of which only a finite number is active in each time slot. The idea behind compressed sensing based schemes is that each user encodes his message into a sparse binary vector and compresses it into a real or complex valued vector using a random linear mapping. When each user employs the same matrix this creates an effective binary inner multiple-access channel. To reduce the complexity to an acceptable level the messages have to be split into blocks. An outer code is used to assign the symbols to individual messages. This division into sparse blocks is analogous to the construction of sparse regression codes (SPARCs), a novel type of channel codes, and we can use concepts from SPARCs to design efficient random-access codes. We analyze the asymptotically optimal performance of the inner code using the recently rigorized replica symmetric formula for the free energy which is achievable with the approximate message passing (AMP) decoder with spatial coupling. An upper bound on the achievable rates of the outer code is derived by classical Shannon theory. Together this establishes a framework to analyse the trade-off between SNR, complexity and achievable rates in the asymptotic infinite blocklength limit. Finite blocklength simulations show that the combination of AMP decoding, with suitable approximations, together with an outer code recently proposed by Amalladinne et. al. outperforms state of the art methods in terms of required energy-per-bit at lower decoding complexity.


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