Intelligent Reflecting Surface Aided Multicasting with Random Passive Beamforming

Qin Tao, Shuowen Zhang, Caijun Zhong, Rui Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this letter, we consider a multicast system where a single-antenna transmitter sends a common message to multiple single-antenna users, aided by an intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) equipped with {N} passive reflecting elements. Prior works on IRS have mostly assumed the availability of channel state information (CSI) for designing its passive beamforming. However, the acquisition of CSI requires substantial training overhead that increases with {N}. In contrast, we propose in this letter a novel random passive beamforming scheme, where the IRS performs independent random reflection for {Q} geq 1 times in each channel coherence interval without the need of CSI acquisition. For the proposed scheme, we first derive a closed-form approximation of the outage probability, based on which the optimal {Q} with best outage performance can be efficiently obtained. Then, for the purpose of comparison, we derive a lower bound of the outage probability with traditional CSI-based passive beamforming. Numerical results show that a small {Q} is preferred in the high-outage regime (or with high rate target) and the optimal {Q} becomes larger as the outage probability decreases (or as the rate target decreases). Moreover, the proposed scheme significantly outperforms the CSI-based passive beamforming scheme with training overhead taken into consideration when {N} and/or the number of users are large, thus offering a promising CSI-free alternative to existing CSI-based schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9186127
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Intelligent reflecting surface
  • multicast
  • outage probability
  • random passive beamforming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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