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Two IEEE Distinguished Lectures | Recent Advances in Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access in 6G Wireless Networks by Prof Zhiguo Ding, University of Manchester & Rate-Splitting Multiple Access for 6G by Prof Bruno Clerckx, Imperial College London

Distinguished Lecture 1 – Recent Advances in Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access in 6G Wireless Networks

Abstract: With the current rollout of 5G, the focus of the research community is shifting towards the design of the next generation of mobile systems, e.g., 6G mobile networks. Non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) has been recongized as an essential enabling technology for the forthcoming 6G networks to meet the heterogeneous demands on low latency, high reliability, massive connectivity, improved fairness, and high throughput. The principle of NOMA is to encourage users for spectrum sharing, where multiple users are served in the same resource block, such as a time slot, subcarrier, or spreading code.

The aim of this talk is to provide an overview of the latest research results and innovations in NOMA technologies as well as their emerging applications, including terahertz (THz) communications, ambient Internet of Things, intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRS), mobile edge computing (MEC), etc. Future research challenges regarding NOMA in B5G and 6G are also presented.

Distinguished Lecture 2 – Rate-Splitting Multiple Access for 6G

Rate-Splitting Multiple Access (RSMA), based on (linearly or nonlinearly) precoded Rate-Splitting (RS) at the transmitter and Successive Interference Cancellation (SIC) at the receivers, has emerged as a novel, general and powerful framework for the design and optimization of non-orthogonal transmission, multiple access, and interference management strategies in future MIMO wireless networks.

RSMA relies on the split of messages and the non-orthogonal transmission of common messages decoded by multiple users, and private messages decoded by their corresponding users. This enables RSMA to softly bridge and therefore reconcile the two extreme strategies of fully decode interference and treat interference as noise. RSMA has been shown to generalize, and subsume as special cases, four seemingly different strategies, namely Space Division Multiple Access (SDMA) based on linear precoding (currently used in 5G), Orthogonal Multiple Access (OMA), Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) based on linearly precoded superposition coding with SIC, and physical-layer multicasting. RSMA boils down to those strategies in some specific conditions, but outperforms them all in general.

Through information and communication theoretic analysis, RSMA is shown to be optimal (from a Degrees-of-Freedom region perspective) in a number of scenarios and provides significant room for spectral efficiency, energy efficiency, fairness, reliability, QoS enhancements in a wide range of network loads and user deployments, robustness against imperfect Channel State Information at the Transmitter (CSIT), as well as feedback overhead and complexity reduction over conventional strategies used in 5G. The benefits of RSMA have been demonstrated in a wide range of scenarios (MU-MIMO, massive MIMO, multi-cell/cell-free MIMO/CoMP, overloaded systems, NOMA, multigroup multicasting, mmwave communications, communications in the presence of RF impairments, superimposed unicast and multicast transmission, relay, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, etc), systems (terrestrial, cellular, satellite, …), and functionalities (integration of communication, sensing, power transfer, etc).

Thanks to its versatility, RSMA has the potential to tackle challenges of modern communication systems and is a gold mine of research problems for academia and industry, spanning fundamental limits, optimization, PHY and MAC layers, and standardization. This lecture will share key principles of RSMA, recent developments, emerging applications and opportunities of RSMA for 6G networks and will cover some of the topics currently investigated as part of the new IEEE special interest group on RSMA https://sites.google.com/view/ieee-comsoc-wtc-sig-rsma/home.

Speaker 1 – Prof Zhiguo Ding, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester

Zhiguo Ding (S’03-M’05-F’20) received his B.Eng from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 2000, and the PhD degree from Imperial College London in 2005. From Jul. 2005 to Apr. 2018, he was working in Queen’s University Belfast, Imperial College, Newcastle University and Lancaster University. Since Apr. 2018, he has been with the University of Manchester as a Professor in Communications. From Oct. 2012 to Sept. 2022, he has also been an academic visitor in Princeton University.

Prof Ding’s research interests are B5G networks, game theory, cooperative and energy harvesting networks and statistical signal processing.

He is serving as an Area Editor for the IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, an Editor for IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, and was an Editor for IEEE Wireless Communication Letters, IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Communication Letters from 2013 to 2016. He recently received the EU Marie Curie Fellowship 2012-2014, the Top IEEE TVT Editor 2017, IEEE Heinrich Hertz Award 2018, IEEE Jack Neubauer Memorial Award 2018, IEEE Best Signal Processing Letter Award 2018, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award 2020, and IEEE SPCC Technical Recognition Award 2021.

He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE ComSoc, and a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher in two categories 2021.

Speaker 2 – Prof Bruno Clerckx, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, Imperial College London

Prof Bruno Clerckx is Head of the Wireless Communications and Signal Processing Lab, and the Deputy Head of the Communications and Signal Processing Group within the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, Imperial College London. He received MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, in 2000 and 2005, respectively.

From 2006 to 2011, he was with Samsung Electronics, Suwon, South Korea, where he actively contributed to 4G (3GPP LTE/LTE-A and IEEE 802.16m) and acted as the Rapporteur for the 3GPP Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) Study Item. Since 2011, he has been with Imperial College London, first as a Lecturer from 2011 to 2015, Senior Lecturer from 2015 to 2017, Reader from 2017 to 2020, and now as a Full Professor. From 2014 to 2016, he also was an Associate Professor with Korea University, South Korea, and from 2021 to 2022, he is a visiting Professor at Seoul National University, South Korea.

He also held various long or short-term visiting research appointments at Stanford University, EURECOM, National University of Singapore, The University of Hong Kong, Princeton University, The University of Edinburgh, The University of New South Wales, and Tsinghua University.

He has authored two books on “MIMO Wireless Communications” and “MIMO Wireless Networks”, 250 peer-reviewed international research papers, and 150 standards contributions, and is the inventor of 80 issued or pending patents among which 15 have been adopted in the specifications of 4G standards and are used by billions of devices worldwide.

His research spans the general area of wireless communications and signal processing for wireless networks. He has been a TPC member, a symposium chair, or a TPC chair of many symposia on communication theory, signal processing for communication and wireless communication for several leading international IEEE conferences.

He was an Elected Member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society “Signal Processing for Communications and Networking” (SPCOM) Technical Committee. He served as an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications, the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing. He has also been a lead guest editor for special issues of the EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking, IEEE Access, the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, and the Proceedings of the IEEE. He was an Editor for the 3GPP LTE-Advanced Standard Technical Report on CoMP.

He received the prestigious Blondel Medal 2021 from France for exceptional work contributing to the progress of Science and Electrical and Electronic Industries and the EURASIP (European Association for Signal Processing) best paper award 2022. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer 2021-2022.

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