Deep Learning Approach to Channel Sensing and Hybrid Precoding for TDD Massive MIMO Systems

Kareem M. Attiah, Foad Sohrabi, Wei Yu

This paper proposes a deep learning approach to channel sensing and downlink hybrid analog and digital beamforming for massive multiple-input multiple-output systems with a limited number of radio-frequency chains operating in the time-division duplex mode at millimeter frequency. The conventional downlink precoding design hinges on the two-step process of first estimating the high-dimensional channel based on the uplink pilots received through the channel sensing matrices, then designing the precoding matrices based on the estimated channel. This two-step process is, however, not necessarily optimal, especially when the pilot length is short. This paper shows that by designing the analog sensing and the downlink precoding matrices directly from the received pilots without the intermediate channel estimation step, the overall system performance can be significantly improved. Specifically, we propose a channel sensing and hybrid precoding methodology that divides the pilot phase into an analog and a digital training phase. A deep neural network is utilized in the first phase to design the uplink channel sensing and the downlink analog beamformer. Subsequently, we fix the analog beamformers and design the digital precoder based on the equivalent low-dimensional channel. A key feature of the proposed deep learning architecture is that it decomposes into parallel independent single-user DNNs so that the overall design is generalizable to systems with an arbitrary number of users. Numerical comparisons reveal that the proposed methodology requires significantly less training overhead than the channel recovery based counterparts, and can approach the performance of systems with full channel state information with relatively few pilots.

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