Machine Learning for Millimeter Wave Wireless Systems: Network Design and Optimization

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Virginia Tech

Next-generation cellular systems will rely on millimeter wave (mmWave) bands to meet the increasing demand for wireless connectivity from end user equipment. Given large available bandwidth and small-sized antenna elements, mmWave frequencies can support high communication rates and facilitate the use of multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) techniques to increase the wireless capacity. However, the small wavelength of mmWave yields severe path loss and high channel uncertainty. Meanwhile, using a large number of antenna elements requires a high energy consumption and heavy communication overhead for MIMO transmissions and channel measurement. To facilitate efficient mmWave communications, in this dissertation, the challenges of energy efficiency and communication overhead are addressed. First, the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), intelligent signal reflector, and device-to-device (D2D) communications are investigated to improve the reliability and energy efficiency of mmWave communications in face of blockage. Next, to reduce the communication overhead, new channel modeling and user localization approaches are developed to facilitate MIMO channel estimation by providing prior knowledge of mmWave links. Using advance mathematical tools from machine learning (ML), game theory, and communication theory, this dissertation develops a suite of novel frameworks using which mmWave communication networks can be reliably deployed and operated in wireless cellular systems, UAV networks, and wearable device networks. For UAV-based wireless communications, a learning framework is developed to predict the cellular data traffic during congestion events, and a new framework for the on-demand deployment of UAVs is proposed to offload the excessive traffic from the ground base stations (BSs) to the UAVs. The results show that the proposed approach enables a dynamical and optimal deployment of UAVs that alleviates the cellular traffic congestion. Subsequently, a novel energy-efficient framework is developed to reflect mmWave signals from a BS towards mobile users using a UAV-carried intelligent reflector (IR). To optimize the location and reflection coefficient of the UAV-carried IR, a deep reinforcement learning (RL) approach is proposed to maximize the downlink transmission capacity. The results show that the RL-based approach significantly improves the downlink line-of-sight probability and increases the achievable data rate. Moreover, the channel estimation challenge for MIMO communications is addressed using a distributional RL approach, while optimizing an IR-aided downlink multi-user communication. The results show that the proposed method captures the statistic feature of MIMO channels, and significantly increases the downlink sum-rate. Moreover, in order to capture the characteristics of air-to-ground channels, a data-driven approach is developed, based on a distributed framework of generative adversarial networks, so that each UAV collects and shares mmWave channel state information (CSI) for cooperative channel modeling. The results show that the proposed algorithm enables an accurate channel modeling for mmWave MIMO communications over a large temporal-spatial domain. Furthermore, the CSI pattern is analyzed via semi-supervised ML tools to localize the wireless devices in the mmWave networks. Finally, to support D2D communications, a novel framework for mmWave multi-hop transmissions is investigated to improve the performance of the high-rate low-latency transmissions between wearable devices. In a nutshell, this dissertation provides analytical foundations on the ML-based performance optimization of mmWave communication systems, and the anticipated results provide rigorous guidelines for effective deployment of mmWave frequency bands into next-generation wireless systems (e.g., 6G).

Machine learning, Millimeter Wave Communications, Performance Optimization, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, MIMO Communications