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Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access for 5G

Linglong Dai Zhiguo Ding Naofal Al-Dhahir Chih-Lin I George K Ioannis Krikidis Robert Schober

I n the fifth generation (5G) of wireless communication sys-

tems, hitherto unprecedented requirements such as high
spectral efficiency, massive connectivity, and low latency
must be satisfied. As a promising solution to address these
challenges, non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) has
popular multiple-antenna-aided NOMA structures, as well as
underlining resource management problems of both single-carri-
er and multi-carrier MIMO-NOMA networks.
In the third article, “Coordinated Multipoint Transmission
in Downlink Multi-Cell NOMA Systems: Models and Spectral
been actively investigated in recent years. Unlike convention- Efficiency Performance” by Md Shipon Ali, Ekram Hossain, and
al orthogonal multiple access (OMA) schemes, the key idea Dong In Kim, the authors describe a general framework to use
behind NOMA is to support multiple users by non-orthogonal CoMP transmission technology in downlink multi-cell NOMA
resource allocation and hence introduce a controllable amount systems considering distributed power allocation at each cell.
of inter-user interference that can be mitigated with the aid of After a brief review of the working principle of different CoMP
sophisticated multi-user detectors at the cost of increased receiv- schemes, their applicability and necessary conditions for their
er complexity. Recently, various novel NOMA schemes have use in a downlink multi-cell NOMA system are investigated.
been extensively investigated for 5G, such as power-domain In the fourth article, “Signal Processing for MIMO-NOMA: Pres-
NOMA and code-domain NOMA, including multiple access ent and Future Challenges” by Yongming Huang, Cheng Zhang,
solutions relying on low-density spreading, sparse code multi- Jiaheng Wang, Yindi Jing, and Luxi Yang, key concepts and basic
ple access, lattice partition multiple access, multi-user shared problems of MIMO-NOMA are first summarized. Then the main
access, as well as pattern division multiple access. Moreover, technical contributions and drawbacks of existing works in single/
standardization work on NOMA has been started in the Third multi-cluster MIMO-NOMA are explored from the perspectives
Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) under the name multi-us- of problem formulation, beamforming, user clustering, and power
er superposition transmission (MUST). The NOMA principle has allocation. Furthermore, the stability of successive interference
also been recently standardized by the next generation digital cancellation (SIC) is shown to be a key issue for the application
TV standard ATSC 3.0 under the term layered division multi- of MIMO-NOMA with practical modulation and coding schemes,
plexing (LDM), and related field test results have demonstrated which was neglected in existing works to some extent.
significant gains in spectral efficiency. The fifth article, “Resource Allocation for Downlink NOMA
This Special Issue aims to not only serve as a collection of Systems: Key Techniques and Open Issues” by S. M. Riazul
new ideas and recent developments addressing the challenges Islam, Ming Zeng, Octavia Dobre, and Kyungsup Kwak, presents
arising in future 5G cellular networks employing NOMA, but advances in resource allocation for downlink NOMA systems,
also inspire researchers to contribute to this promising field. focusing on user pairing and power allocation algorithms. The
This Special Issue consists of 15 articles, covering a wide range authors introduce the concept of cluster fairness and propose
of topics on resource allocation, signal processing, coordinated the divide-and-next largest difference-based user pairing algo-
multipoint (CoMP), and so on. rithm to distribute the capacity gain among the NOMA clusters
In the first article, “Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access: A Uni- in a controlled manner. Furthermore, performance comparison
fied Perspective” by Qi Wang, Rong Zhang, Lie-Liang Yang, between MIMO-NOMA and MIMO-OMA is conducted when
and Lajos Hanzo, a unified framework for NOMA schemes in users have pre-defined quality of service (QoS) levels.
different domains is proposed. Furthermore, a systematic perfor- In the sixth article, “Energy-Efficient Resource Allocation in
mance comparison of different NOMA schemes is provided for NOMA Heterogeneous Networks” by Haijun Zhang, Fang Fang,
different application scenarios. Relying on the proposed unified Julian Cheng, Keping Long, Wei Wang, and Victor Leung, to
framework, the authors generalize the current understanding of study the trade-off between data rate performance and ener-
the NOMA principle from the conventional code and power gy consumption in NOMA, the authors examine the problem
domains to the spatial domain as well as to their hybrids and to of energy-efficient user scheduling and power optimization
the networking domain. in NOMA heterogeneous networks. The energy-efficient user
The second article, “Multiple Antenna Assisted Non-Orthog- scheduling and power allocation schemes are introduced for the
onal Multiple Access” by Yuanwei Liu, Hong Xing, Cunhua Pan, downlink NOMA heterogeneous network for perfect and imper-
Arumugam Nallanathan, Maged Elkashlan, and Lajos Hanzo, fect channel state information (CSI), respectively.
focuses on exploiting multiple-antenna techniques in NOMA In the seventh article, “Pattern Division Multiple Access
networks, with an emphasis on investigating the rate region of (PDMA): A New Multiple Access Technology for 5G” by Xiao-
multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO)-NOMA, reviewing two ming Dai, Zhenyu Zhang, Baoming Bai, Shanzhi Chen, and

8 IEEE Wireless Communications • April 2018


Shaohui Sun, a non-orthogonal PDMA scheme is introduced. provide guidelines for domain researchers and designers to
The key feature of the PDMA scheme is joint design of the realize CRNs with NOMA.
transmitter and receiver, which enables low-complexity SIC- The 14th article, “Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access for Coop-
based multi-user detection with substantially improved perfor- erative Communications: Challenges, Opportunities, and Trends”
mance over conventional OMA schemes. Link-level simulations by Dehuan Wan, Miaowen Wen, Fei Ji, Hua Yu, and Fangjiong
illustrate that PDMA is capable of accommodating a 300 per- Chen, investigates NOMA-based cooperative relaying networks.
cent overload, while it still enjoys a transmission reliability close The authors divide the existing relay-assisted NOMA systems into
to conventional OMA schemes. three categories: uplink, downlink, and composite architectures.
The eighth article, “Spatial Modulation Assisted Multi-Anten- Furthermore, a novel strategy termed hybrid power allocation is
na Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access” by Caijun Zhong, Xiaoling discussed for the composite architecture, which can reduce the
Hu, Xiaoming Chen, Wing Kwan Ng, and Zhaoyang Zhang, computational complexity and signaling overhead at the expense
proposes a novel spatial modulation (SM) assisted multi-anten- of a marginal sum rate degradation.
na NOMA technique that avoids the use of SIC, and is able The 15th article, “Toward Cross-Layer Design for Non-Or-
to completely cancel intra-cluster interference. Furthermore, thogonal Multiple Access: A Quality-of-Experience Perspec-
simulation results are provided to validate the effectiveness of tive” by Wei Wang, Yuanwei Liu, Zhiqing Luo, Tao Jiang, Qian
the proposed novel technique compared to the conventional Zhang, and Arumugam Nallanathan, systematically investigates
multi-antenna NOMA. quality of experience (QoE)-aware NOMA designs that trans-
In the ninth article, “Trellis Coded Modulation for Non-Or- late the physical-layer benefits of NOMA to the enhancement
thogonal Multiple Access Systems: Design, Challenges, and of users’ perceived experiences in the upper networking layers.
Opportunities” by Boya Di, Lingyang Song, and Yonghui Li, Furthermore, a general architecture with a dynamic network
the authors propose a framework to apply multidimensional scheduling scheme is developed.
trellis coded modulation (MD-TCM) techniques in code-domain Finally, we thank all the authors who submitted their works
NOMA to jointly design the superposed codewords. Three to this Special Issue and many experts who participated in the
TCM-based NOMA applications are investigated: TCM-based review process. We are very grateful to the Editor-in-Chief for
NOMA for MIMO systems, TCM-based NOMA for cooperative bringing forth this Special Issue and for his enlightening guidance.
relay systems, and TCM-based NOMA for vehicular systems.
Open research issues in these applications are also discussed. Biographies
Linglong Dai [M’11, SM’14] received his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University,
The 10th article, “Coded Tandem Spreading Multiple Access Beijing, China, in 2011. He is currently an associate professor of Tsinghua University.
for Massive Machine Type Communication” by Guoyu Ma, Bo His current research interests include massive MIMO, millimeter-wave communications,
Ai, Fanggang Wang, Xia Chen, Zhangdui Zhong, Zhuyan Zhao, multiple access, and sparse signal processing. He has received four IEEE conference
and Hao Guan, introduces a spreading-based grant-free NOMA best paper awards (IEEE ICC ‘13, IEEE ICC ‘14, IEEE ICC ‘17, and IEEE VTC’-Fall ‘17).
approach, namely, coded tandem spreading multiple access Zhiguo Ding [S’03, M’05] is with Manchester University as a Chair Professor. From October
(CTSMA). The essence of this technique is collision resolution 2012 to September 2019, he has also been an academic visitor at Princeton University.
capability from the tandem spreading codebook and segment His research interests are 5G networks, game theory, cooperative and energy harvesting
coding. In addition to the transmitter and receiver designs, a networks, and statistical signal processing. He received the best paper award at the IET
Communications Conference on Wireless, Mobile and Computing ‘09, IEEE Communi-
closed-form expression of the collision resolution capability is cation Letter Exemplary Reviewer 2012, and the EU Marie Curie Fellowship 2012–2014.
derived in this article to reveal the trade-off among the connec-
tivity, the reliability, and the user data rate when using CTSMA. Naofal Al-Dhahir [F’07] received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from
In the 11th article, “Optical Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access Stanford University. He is an Erik Jonsson Distinguished Professor at UT-Dallas. He is
a co-inventor of 41 issued U.S. patents, co-author of over 385 papers with over 9700
for Visible Light Communication” by Hanaa Marshoud, Sami citations, and a co-recipient of 4 IEEE best paper awards, including the 2006 IEEE Don-
Muhaidat, Paschalis Sofotasios, Sajjad Hussain, Muhammad ald G. Fink Award. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Communications.
Imran, and Bayan Sharif, an optical-NOMA (O-NOMA) scheme
is presented. The authors provide a detailed overview and anal- Chih-Lin I is China Mobile’s chief scientist of wireless technologies. She has estab-
lished the Green Communications Research Center, spearheading major initiatives
ysis of the state-of-the-art integration of O-NOMA in visible including system architectures, technologies, and devices, green energy, C-RAN, and
light communication (VLC) networks. Furthermore, the authors soft base stations. She is currently an Executive Board Member of GreenTouch and
provide useful insights on the potential opportunities and chal- a Network Operator Council Member of ETSI NFV. Her research interests are green
lenges as well as some challenging open research problems communications, C-RAN, network convergence, and bandwidth active antenna arrays.
that are envisioned to pave the way for the future design and George K. Karagiannidis [M’96, SM’03, F’14] is a professor in the Electrical &
implementation of O-NOMA in VLC systems. Computer Engineering Deptartment and the director of Digital Telecommunications
The 12th article, “Power Domain Non-Orthogonal Transmis- Systems and Networks Laboratory, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He has
sion for Cellular Mobile Broadcasting: Basic Scheme, System been involved as General Chair, Technical Program Chair, and member of Technical
Program Committees in several IEEE and non-IEEE conferences. He is a highly cited
Design, and Coverage Performance” by Zhengquan Zhang, author across all areas of electrical engineering, recognized as a 2015, 2016 and
Zheng Ma, Xianfu Lei, Xiao Ming, Cheng-Xiang Wang, and Ping- 2017 Web-of-Science Highly-Cited Researcher.
zhi Fan, systematically studies the application of power-domain
NOMA in cellular mobile broadcasting. The authors propose a Ioannis Krikidis [S’03, M’07, SM’12] is an associate professor at the Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia. He serves as
general framework for superposition coded modulation to inte- an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on
grate existing schemes, and further study constellation rotation Green Communications and Networking, and IEEE Wireless Communications Letters.
to improve the modulation performance. He was the recipient of the Research Award Young Researcher from the Research
The 13th article, “State of the Art, Taxonomy, and Open Promotion Foundation, Cyprus, in 2013, as well as the recipient of the IEEE ComSoc
Best Young Professional Award in Academia in 2016.
Issues on NOMA in Cognitive Radio Networks” by Fuhui Zhou,
Yongpeng Wu, Ying-Chang Liang, Zan Li, Yuhao Wang, and Robert Schober [S’98, M’01, SM’08, F’10] is an Alexander von Humboldt Professor
Kai-Kit Wong, aims to survey the latest research results on and the Chair for Digital Communication at Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen,
cognitive radio networks (CRNs) with NOMA. A taxonomy is Germany. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of
the Engineering Institute of Canada. He serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee
devised to categorize the literature based on operation para- of IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological and Multiscale Communications, as a
digms, enabling techniques, design objectives, and optimization Member-at-Large on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communication Society
characteristics. Moreover, the key challenges are outlined to and as an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer.

IEEE Wireless Communications • April 2018 9