Hierarchical Multiple Access for Spectrum-Energy Opportunistic Ambient Backscatter Wireless Networks

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4648-4663
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number8
Online published11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


Recently, ambient backscatter communication has become a promising technology to support the low-power and low-cost Internet-of-Things (IoT). However, the nondeterministic and sporadic nature of ambient signals makes it a great challenge when designing multiple access in spectrum opportunistic ambient backscatter wireless networks (AmBWNs). Moreover, the stringent energy supply and ultra-low-cost design of the backscatter transmitter make most multiple access schemes no longer suitable for AmBWNs. To effectively share carrier frequency resources for backscattering, we propose a hierarchical multiple access scheme, which allows beamforming based spatial division multiple access among groups, and non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) for multiple users access within a group. Consequently, we formulate a multi-objective optimization problem to balance the sum rate and the fairness by exploiting grouping, beamforming, and reflection coefficients. To solve this problem, we employ the matching theory to tackle the grouping problem and achieve the corresponding beamforming. We then reformulate the non-convex reflection coefficient optimization and solve it with successive convex approximation and geometric programming. Our extensive evaluation results demonstrate that the spectrum and energy efficiency, latency, and fairness can be significantly improved with minimal overhead at the transmitter.

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Research Area(s)

  • Ambient backscatter communication, Array signal processing, Backscatter, beamforming, Decoding, hierarchical multiple access, Industrial Internet of Things, NOMA, non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA), Optimization, Throughput