Journal ArticleDOI

# Exploiting Randomly Located Blockages for Large-Scale Deployment of Intelligent Surfaces

01 Apr 2021-IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE))-Vol. 39, Iss: 4, pp 1043-1056
TL;DR: In this article, the effect of large-scale deployment of RISs on the performance of cellular networks was studied using tools from stochastic geometry to derive the probability that a typical mobile user associates with a BS using an RIS.
Abstract: One of the promising technologies for the next generation wireless networks is the reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs). This technology provides planar surfaces the capability to manipulate the reflected waves of impinging signals, which leads to a more controllable wireless environment. One potential use case of such technology is providing indirect line-of-sight (LoS) links between mobile users and base stations (BSs) which do not have direct LoS channels. Objects that act as blockages for the communication links, such as buildings or trees, can be equipped with RISs to enhance the coverage probability of the cellular network through providing extra indirect LoS-links. In this article, we use tools from stochastic geometry to study the effect of large-scale deployment of RISs on the performance of cellular networks. In particular, we model the blockages using the line Boolean model. For this setup, we study how equipping a subset of the blockages with RISs will enhance the performance of the cellular network. We first derive the ratio of the blind-spots to the total area. Next, we derive the probability that a typical mobile user associates with a BS using an RIS. Finally, we derive the probability distribution of the path-loss between the typical user and its associated BS. We draw multiple useful system-level insights from the proposed analysis. For instance, we show that deployment of RISs highly improves the coverage regions of the BSs. Furthermore, we show that to ensure that the ratio of blind-spots to the total area is below $10^{-5}$ , the required density of RISs increases from just 6 RISs/km2 when the density of the blockages is 300 blockage/km2 to 490 RISs/km2 when the density of the blockages is 700 blockage/km2.
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Journal ArticleDOI

TL;DR: This paper provides a tutorial overview of IRS-aided wireless communications, and elaborate its reflection and channel models, hardware architecture and practical constraints, as well as various appealing applications in wireless networks.
Abstract: Intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) is an enabling technology to engineer the radio signal propagation in wireless networks. By smartly tuning the signal reflection via a large number of low-cost passive reflecting elements, IRS is capable of dynamically altering wireless channels to enhance the communication performance. It is thus expected that the new IRS-aided hybrid wireless network comprising both active and passive components will be highly promising to achieve a sustainable capacity growth cost-effectively in the future. Despite its great potential, IRS faces new challenges to be efficiently integrated into wireless networks, such as reflection optimization, channel estimation, and deployment from communication design perspectives. In this paper, we provide a tutorial overview of IRS-aided wireless communications to address the above issues, and elaborate its reflection and channel models, hardware architecture and practical constraints, as well as various appealing applications in wireless networks. Moreover, we highlight important directions worthy of further investigation in future work.

1,325 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) can be realized in different ways, which include (i) large arrays of inexpensive antennas that are usually spaced half of the wavelength apart; and (ii) metamaterial-based planar or conformal large surfaces whose scattering elements have sizes and inter-distances much smaller than the wavelength.
Abstract: Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) are an emerging transmission technology for application to wireless communications. RISs can be realized in different ways, which include (i) large arrays of inexpensive antennas that are usually spaced half of the wavelength apart; and (ii) metamaterial-based planar or conformal large surfaces whose scattering elements have sizes and inter-distances much smaller than the wavelength. Compared with other transmission technologies, e.g., phased arrays, multi-antenna transmitters, and relays, RISs require the largest number of scattering elements, but each of them needs to be backed by the fewest and least costly components. Also, no power amplifiers are usually needed. For these reasons, RISs constitute a promising software-defined architecture that can be realized at reduced cost, size, weight, and power (C-SWaP design), and are regarded as an enabling technology for realizing the emerging concept of smart radio environments (SREs). In this paper, we (i) introduce the emerging research field of RIS-empowered SREs; (ii) overview the most suitable applications of RISs in wireless networks; (iii) present an electromagnetic-based communication-theoretic framework for analyzing and optimizing metamaterial-based RISs; (iv) provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of research; and (v) discuss the most important research issues to tackle. Owing to the interdisciplinary essence of RIS-empowered SREs, finally, we put forth the need of reconciling and reuniting C. E. Shannon’s mathematical theory of communication with G. Green’s and J. C. Maxwell’s mathematical theories of electromagnetism for appropriately modeling, analyzing, optimizing, and deploying future wireless networks empowered by RISs.

1,158 citations

Posted Content

TL;DR: The emerging research field of RIS-empowered SREs is introduced; the most suitable applications of RISs in wireless networks are overviewed; an electromagnetic-based communication-theoretic framework for analyzing and optimizing metamaterial-based RISs is presented; and the most important research issues to tackle are discussed.
Abstract: What is a reconfigurable intelligent surface? What is a smart radio environment? What is a metasurface? How do metasurfaces work and how to model them? How to reconcile the mathematical theories of communication and electromagnetism? What are the most suitable uses and applications of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces in wireless networks? What are the most promising smart radio environments for wireless applications? What is the current state of research? What are the most important and challenging research issues to tackle? These are a few of the many questions that we investigate in this short opus, which has the threefold objective of introducing the emerging research field of smart radio environments empowered by reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, putting forth the need of reconciling and reuniting C. E. Shannon's mathematical theory of communication with G. Green's and J. C. Maxwell's mathematical theories of electromagnetism, and reporting pragmatic guidelines and recipes for employing appropriate physics-based models of metasurfaces in wireless communications.

663 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
, Xiao Liu1, Jiaqi Xu1
TL;DR: A comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art on RISs, with focus on their operating principles, performance evaluation, beamforming design and resource management, applications of machine learning to RIS-enhanced wireless networks, as well as the integration of RISs with other emerging technologies.
Abstract: Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs), also known as intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRSs), or large intelligent surfaces (LISs), 1 have received significant attention for their potential to enhance the capacity and coverage of wireless networks by smartly reconfiguring the wireless propagation environment. Therefore, RISs are considered a promising technology for the sixth-generation (6G) of communication networks. In this context, we provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art on RISs, with focus on their operating principles, performance evaluation, beamforming design and resource management, applications of machine learning to RIS-enhanced wireless networks, as well as the integration of RISs with other emerging technologies. We describe the basic principles of RISs both from physics and communications perspectives, based on which we present performance evaluation of multiantenna assisted RIS systems. In addition, we systematically survey existing designs for RIS-enhanced wireless networks encompassing performance analysis, information theory, and performance optimization perspectives. Furthermore, we survey existing research contributions that apply machine learning for tackling challenges in dynamic scenarios, such as random fluctuations of wireless channels and user mobility in RIS-enhanced wireless networks. Last but not least, we identify major issues and research opportunities associated with the integration of RISs and other emerging technologies for applications to next-generation networks. 1 Without loss of generality, we use the name of RIS in the remainder of this paper.

343 citations

Posted Content
Yuanwei Liu, Jiaqi Xu2
TL;DR: A comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art on RISs, with focus on their operating principles, performance evaluation, beamforming design and resource management, applications of machine learning to RIS-enhanced wireless networks, as well as the integration of RISs with other emerging technologies is provided in this article.
Abstract: Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs), also known as intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRSs), have received significant attention for their potential to enhance the capacity and coverage of wireless networks by smartly reconfiguring the wireless propagation environment. Therefore, RISs are considered a promising technology for the sixth-generation (6G) communication networks. In this context, we provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art on RISs, with focus on their operating principles, performance evaluation, beamforming design and resource management, applications of machine learning to RIS-enhanced wireless networks, as well as the integration of RISs with other emerging technologies. We describe the basic principles of RISs both from physics and communications perspectives, based on which we present performance evaluation of multi-antenna assisted RIS systems. In addition, we systematically survey existing designs for RIS-enhanced wireless networks encompassing performance analysis, information theory, and performance optimization perspectives. Furthermore, we survey existing research contributions that apply machine learning for tackling challenges in dynamic scenarios, such as random fluctuations of wireless channels and user mobility in RIS-enhanced wireless networks. Last but not least, we identify major issues and research opportunities associated with the integration of RISs and other emerging technologies for application to next-generation networks.

323 citations

##### References
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Book
18 Oct 2012
TL;DR: This rigorous introduction to stochastic geometry will enable you to obtain powerful, general estimates and bounds of wireless network performance and make good design choices for future wireless architectures and protocols that efficiently manage interference effects.
Abstract: Covering point process theory, random geometric graphs and coverage processes, this rigorous introduction to stochastic geometry will enable you to obtain powerful, general estimates and bounds of wireless network performance and make good design choices for future wireless architectures and protocols that efficiently manage interference effects. Practical engineering applications are integrated with mathematical theory, with an understanding of probability the only prerequisite. At the same time, stochastic geometry is connected to percolation theory and the theory of random geometric graphs and accompanied by a brief introduction to the R statistical computing language. Combining theory and hands-on analytical techniques with practical examples and exercises, this is a comprehensive guide to the spatial stochastic models essential for modelling and analysis of wireless network performance.

2,327 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide a detailed overview and historical perspective on state-of-the-art solutions, and elaborate on the fundamental differences with other technologies, the most important open research issues to tackle, and the reasons why the use of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces necessitates to rethink the communication-theoretic models currently employed in wireless networks.
Abstract: The future of mobile communications looks exciting with the potential new use cases and challenging requirements of future 6th generation (6G) and beyond wireless networks. Since the beginning of the modern era of wireless communications, the propagation medium has been perceived as a randomly behaving entity between the transmitter and the receiver, which degrades the quality of the received signal due to the uncontrollable interactions of the transmitted radio waves with the surrounding objects. The recent advent of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces in wireless communications enables, on the other hand, network operators to control the scattering, reflection, and refraction characteristics of the radio waves, by overcoming the negative effects of natural wireless propagation. Recent results have revealed that reconfigurable intelligent surfaces can effectively control the wavefront, e.g., the phase, amplitude, frequency, and even polarization, of the impinging signals without the need of complex decoding, encoding, and radio frequency processing operations. Motivated by the potential of this emerging technology, the present article is aimed to provide the readers with a detailed overview and historical perspective on state-of-the-art solutions, and to elaborate on the fundamental differences with other technologies, the most important open research issues to tackle, and the reasons why the use of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces necessitates to rethink the communication-theoretic models currently employed in wireless networks. This article also explores theoretical performance limits of reconfigurable intelligent surface-assisted communication systems using mathematical techniques and elaborates on the potential use cases of intelligent surfaces in 6G and beyond wireless networks.

2,021 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide an overview of the IRS technology, including its main applications in wireless communication, competitive advantages over existing technologies, hardware architecture as well as the corresponding new signal model.
Abstract: IRS is a new and revolutionizing technology that is able to significantly improve the performance of wireless communication networks, by smartly reconfiguring the wireless propagation environment with the use of massive low-cost passive reflecting elements integrated on a planar surface. Specifically, different elements of an IRS can independently reflect the incident signal by controlling its amplitude and/or phase and thereby collaboratively achieve fine-grained 3D passive beamforming for directional signal enhancement or nulling. In this article, we first provide an overview of the IRS technology, including its main applications in wireless communication, competitive advantages over existing technologies, hardware architecture as well as the corresponding new signal model. We then address the key challenges in designing and implementing the new IRS-aided hybrid (with both active and passive components) wireless network, as compared to the traditional network comprising active components only. Finally, numerical results are provided to show the great performance enhancement with the use of IRS in typical wireless networks.

1,897 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper overviews the current research efforts on smart radio environments, the enabling technologies to realize them in practice, the need of new communication-theoretic models for their analysis and design, and the long-term and open research issues to be solved towards their massive deployment.
Abstract: Future wireless networks are expected to constitute a distributed intelligent wireless communications, sensing, and computing platform, which will have the challenging requirement of interconnecting the physical and digital worlds in a seamless and sustainable manner. Currently, two main factors prevent wireless network operators from building such networks: (1) the lack of control of the wireless environment, whose impact on the radio waves cannot be customized, and (2) the current operation of wireless radios, which consume a lot of power because new signals are generated whenever data has to be transmitted. In this paper, we challenge the usual “more data needs more power and emission of radio waves” status quo, and motivate that future wireless networks necessitate a smart radio environment: a transformative wireless concept, where the environmental objects are coated with artificial thin films of electromagnetic and reconfigurable material (that are referred to as reconfigurable intelligent meta-surfaces), which are capable of sensing the environment and of applying customized transformations to the radio waves. Smart radio environments have the potential to provide future wireless networks with uninterrupted wireless connectivity, and with the capability of transmitting data without generating new signals but recycling existing radio waves. We will discuss, in particular, two major types of reconfigurable intelligent meta-surfaces applied to wireless networks. The first type of meta-surfaces will be embedded into, e.g., walls, and will be directly controlled by the wireless network operators via a software controller in order to shape the radio waves for, e.g., improving the network coverage. The second type of meta-surfaces will be embedded into objects, e.g., smart t-shirts with sensors for health monitoring, and will backscatter the radio waves generated by cellular base stations in order to report their sensed data to mobile phones. These functionalities will enable wireless network operators to offer new services without the emission of additional radio waves, but by recycling those already existing for other purposes. This paper overviews the current research efforts on smart radio environments, the enabling technologies to realize them in practice, the need of new communication-theoretic models for their analysis and design, and the long-term and open research issues to be solved towards their massive deployment. In a nutshell, this paper is focused on discussing how the availability of reconfigurable intelligent meta-surfaces will allow wireless network operators to redesign common and well-known network communication paradigms.

1,504 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: This article addresses the key challenges in designing and implementing the new IRS-aided hybrid (with both active and passive components) wireless network, as compared to the traditional network comprising active components only.
Abstract: Although the fifth-generation (5G) technologies will significantly improve the spectrum and energy efficiency of today's wireless communication networks, their high complexity and hardware cost as well as increasingly more energy consumption are still crucial issues to be solved. Furthermore, despite that such technologies are generally capable of adapting to the space and time varying wireless environment, the signal propagation over it is essentially random and largely uncontrollable. Recently, intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) has been proposed as a revolutionizing solution to address this open issue, by smartly reconfiguring the wireless propagation environment with the use of massive low-cost, passive, reflective elements integrated on a planar surface. Specifically, different elements of an IRS can independently reflect the incident signal by controlling its amplitude and/or phase and thereby collaboratively achieve fine-grained three-dimensional (3D) passive beamforming for signal enhancement or cancellation. In this article, we provide an overview of the IRS technology, including its main applications in wireless communication, competitive advantages over existing technologies, hardware architecture as well as the corresponding new signal model. We focus on the key challenges in designing and implementing the new IRS-aided hybrid (with both active and passive components) wireless network, as compared to the traditional network comprising active components only. Furthermore, numerical results are provided to show the potential for significant performance enhancement with the use of IRS in typical wireless network scenarios.

1,316 citations