Multi-Modal Beam Prediction Challenge 2022: Towards Generalization

Gouranga Charan, Umut Demirhan, João Morais, Arash Behboodi, Hamed Pezeshki, Ahmed Alkhateeb

Beam management is a challenging task for millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-terahertz communication systems, especially in scenarios with highly-mobile users. Leveraging external sensing modalities such as vision, LiDAR, radar, position, or a combination of them, to address this beam management challenge has recently attracted increasing interest from both academia and industry. This is mainly motivated by the dependency of the beam direction decision on the user location and the geometry of the surrounding environment -- information that can be acquired from the sensory data. To realize the promised beam management gains, such as the significant reduction in beam alignment overhead, in practice, however, these solutions need to account for important aspects. For example, these multi-modal sensing aided beam selection approaches should be able to generalize their learning to unseen scenarios and should be able to operate in realistic dense deployments. The "Multi-Modal Beam Prediction Challenge 2022: Towards Generalization" competition is offered to provide a platform for investigating these critical questions. In order to facilitate the generalizability study, the competition offers a large-scale multi-modal dataset with co-existing communication and sensing data collected across multiple real-world locations and different times of the day. In this paper, along with the detailed descriptions of the problem statement and the development dataset, we provide a baseline solution that utilizes the user position data to predict the optimal beam indices. The objective of this challenge is to go beyond a simple feasibility study and enable necessary research in this direction, paving the way towards generalizable multi-modal sensing-aided beam management for real-world future communication systems.

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