Supporting More Active Users for Massive Access via Data-assisted Activity Detection

Xinyu Bian, Yuyi Mao, Jun Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Massive machine-type communication (mMTC) has been regarded as one of the most important use scenarios in the fifth generation (5G) and beyond wireless networks, which demands scalable access for a large number of devices. While grant-free random access has emerged as a promising mechanism for massive access, its potential has not been fully unleashed. Particularly, the two key tasks in massive access systems, namely, user activity detection and data detection, were handled separately in most existing studies, which ignored the common sparsity pattern in the received pilot and data signal. Moreover, error detection and correction in the payload data provide additional mechanisms for performance improvement. In this paper, we propose a data-assisted activity detection framework, which aims at supporting more active users by reducing the activity detection error, consisting of false alarm and missed detection errors. Specifically, after an initial activity detection step based on the pilot symbols, the false alarm users are filtered by applying energy detection for the data symbols; once data symbols of some active users have been successfully decoded, their effect in activity detection will be resolved via successive pilot interference cancellation, which reduces the missed detection error. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm effectively increases the activity detection accuracy, and it is able to support ∼20% more active users compared to a conventional method in some sample scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICC 2021 - IEEE International Conference on Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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