Sparsely Self-Supervised Generative Adversarial Nets for Radio Frequency Estimation

Zhuo Li, Jiannong Cao, Hongwei Wang, Miao Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Radio frequency (RF) estimation plays a significant role in cellular network's planning and optimization. The conventional methods for RF estimation are mainly based on radio propagation models, which suffer from low accuracy and coarse granularity. Distinguished from existing methods, we propose sparsely self-supervised generative adversarial nets (SS-GAN), a novel data-driven model to generate the RF maps of an area from irregularly distributed measurement samples. SS-GAN meticulously adopts the standard GAN framework, where the generator learns the distribution of true observations under the guidance of the discriminator that discriminates whether the input data is from real samples or from generated outputs. Competition in the minmax game between generator and discriminator drives them to improve their capability, until the generator is indistinguishable from the true RF distribution. Specifically, on top of the GAN framework, SS-GAN carries out a variety of operations to enhance the estimation: (1) In addition to observations of the measured RF coverage and RF interference, SS-GAN also employs a collection of crucial auxiliary information (e.g., geographic data) as additional input features to the GAN framework so as to precisely characterize the RF environment; (2) To dampen the training instability, a new lightweight reconstruction loss is introduced to the objective function of SS-GAN rather than solely using the adversarial loss, which aims to impose a weak supervision on the generated RF maps according to estimation accuracy; (3) Moreover, SS-GAN designs an innovative sparsely self-supervised (SS) learning mechanism that facilitates the validation of the estimated results for a model lacking direct ground truth knowledge. Extensive experiments on a real-world 4G LTE dataset demonstrate that SS-GAN can substantially improve the estimation accuracy over the state-of-the-art baselines. Comparison results are presented through visualized case studies and quantitative statistics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8794603
Pages (from-to)2428-2442
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • generative adversarial nets (GAN)
  • RF estimation
  • sparsely self-supervised learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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