Blind Signal Detection in Massive MIMO: Exploiting the Channel Sparsity

Jianwen Zhang, Xiaojun Yuan, Ying Jun, Zhang

In practical massive MIMO systems, a substantial portion of system resources are consumed to acquire channel state information (CSI), leading to a drastically lower system capacity compared with the ideal case where perfect CSI is available. In this paper, we show that the overhead for CSI acquisition can be largely compensated by the potential gain due to the sparsity of the massive MIMO channel in a certain transformed domain. To this end, we propose a novel blind detection scheme that simultaneously estimates the channel and data by factorizing the received signal matrix. We show that by exploiting the channel sparsity, our proposed scheme can achieve a DoF very close to the ideal case, provided that the channel is sufficiently sparse. Specifically, the achievable degree of freedom (DoF) has a fractional gap of only $1/T$ from the ideal DoF, where $T$ is the channel coherence time. This is a remarkable advance for understanding the performance limit of the massive MIMO system. We further show that the performance advantage of our proposed scheme in the asymptotic SNR regime carries over to the practical SNR regime. Numerical results demonstrate that our proposed scheme significantly outperforms its counterpart schemes in the practical SNR regime under various system configurations.

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