Tackling pilot contamination in cell-free massive MIMO by Joint channel estimation and linear multi-user detection

Gholami, Roya; Cottatellucci, Laura; Slock, Dirk TM
ISIT 2021, IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, 12-20 July 2021, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Virtual Conference)

In this paper we consider cell-free (CF) massive MIMO (MaMIMO) systems, which comprise a very large number of geographically distributed access points (APs) serving a much smaller number of users. We exploit channel sparsity to tackle pilot contamination, which originates from the reuse of pilot sequences. Specifically, we consider semi-blind methods for joint channel estimation and data detection. Under the challenging assumption of deterministic parameters, we determine sufficient conditions and necessary conditions for semi-blind identifiability, which guarantee the non-singularity of the Fisher Information Matrix (FIM) and the existence of the Cramer-Rao bound (CRB). We propose a message passing (MP) algorithm which determines the exact channel coefficients in the case of semiblind identifiability. We show that the system is identifiable if the Karp-Sipser algorithm yields an empty core. Additionally, we propose a Bayesian semi-blind approach which results in an effective algorithm for joint channel estimation and multi-user detection. This algorithm alternates between channel estimation
and linear multi-user detection. Numerical simulations verify the analytical derivations.

Communication systems
Eurecom Ref:
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