A D2D-Based Protocol for Ultra-Reliable Wireless Communications for Industrial Automation

Liang Liu, Wei Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


As an indispensable use case for the 5G wireless systems on the roadmap, ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC) is a crucial requirement for the coming era of wireless industrial automation. The key performance indicators for URLLC stand in sharp contrast to the requirements of enhanced mobile broadband: low-latency and ultra-reliability are paramount but high data rates are often not required. This paper aims to develop communication techniques for making a paradigm shift from the conventional human-type broadband communications to the emerging machine-type URLLC. One fundamental task for URLLC is to deliver short commands from a controller to a group of actuators within the stringent delay requirement and with high reliability. Motivated by the factory automation setting in which the tasks are assigned to groups of devices that work in close proximity to each other and can thus form clusters of reliable device-to-device (D2D) networks, this paper proposes a novel two-phase transmission protocol for achieving URLLC. In the first phase, within the latency requirement, the multi-antenna base station (BS) combines the messages of all devices within each group together and multicasts them to the corresponding groups; messages for different groups are spatially multiplexed. In the second phase, the devices that have decoded the messages successfully, herein defined as the leaders, help relay the messages to the other devices in their groups. Under this protocol, we design an innovative leader selection-based beamforming strategy at the BS by utilizing the sparse optimization technique. The proposed strategy leads to a desired sparsity pattern in user activity with at least one leader being able to decode its message in each group in the first phase, thus ensuring full utilization of the reliability enhancing D2D transmissions in the second phase. Simulation results are provided to show that the proposed two-phase transmission protocol considerably improves the reliability of the entire system within the stringent latency requirement as compared with existing schemes for URLLC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8362788
Pages (from-to)5045-5058
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 5G
  • beamforming
  • device-to-device (D2D) communications
  • industrial automation
  • machine-type communications (MTC)
  • multicasting
  • sparse optimization
  • Ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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