The Swedish Research Council has approved our project entitled energy-efficient massive random access for real time distributed autonomous systems. This 4MSEK project, which will run from 2022 to 2025 has the following premise: To support the Internet-of-Things (IoT) vision of enabling distributed autonomous systems able to operate in real time, we need a new wireless infrastructure, providing connectivity to a massive number of sporadically active and energy-limited devices, which access the wireless medium in an uncoordinated fashion. Indeed, current wireless systems are provably unable to provide low-latency, energy-efficient communications in the presence of massive uncoordinated interference.
The purposed of this project is to obtain an information-theoretic characterization of the maximum energy efficiency at which quality-of-service targets that are relevant for real-time decision making can be achieved. Guided by the insights provided by this characterization, we will then design novel, low-complexity, massive random-access protocols, able to operate close to the predicted theoretical limits. The project involves the following novel elements: we will
- explicitly account, via the use of nonasymptotic tools from information theory, for the small payload size of IoT packets;
- address practically relevant IoT scenarios, in which the devices have heterogeneous requirements in terms energy efficiency and quality of service;
- consider new metrics beyond packet error probability, which take into account the value of the information carried by each packet;
- use techniques from machine learning, to disentangle packet collisions by exploiting commonly-observed traffic patterns.