Enhanced Multiuser Superposition Transmission Through Structured Modulation

Dong Fang*, Yu-Chih Huang, Giovanni Geraci, Zhiguo Ding, Holger Claussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The fifth-generation (5G) air interface, namely, dynamic multiple access (MA) based on multiuser superposition transmission (MUST) and orthogonal MA (OMA), may require a complicated scheduling and heavy signaling overhead. To address these challenges, we propose a unified MA scheme for future cellular networks, which we refer to as structured MUST (S-MUST). In S-MUST, we apply complex power allocation coefficients (CPACs) over multiuser legacy constellations to generate a composite constellation. In particular, the in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) components of the legacy constellation of each user are separately multiplied by those of the CPACs. As such, the CPACs offer an extra degree of freedom for multiplexing users and guarantee fairness in symmetric broadcast channels. This new paradigm of superposition coding allows us to design IQ separation at the user side, which significantly reduces the decoding complexity without degrading performance. Hence, it supports low-complexity frequency-selective scheduling that does not entail dynamical switching between MUST and OMA. We further propose to quantize the CPACs into complex numbers where I and Q components of each quantized coefficient are primes, facilitating parallel interference cancellation at each user via modulo operations; last but not least, we generalize the design of S-MUST to exploit the capabilities of multiantenna base stations. The proposed S-MUST exhibits an improved user fairness with respect to conventional MUST (134% spectral efficiency enhancement) and a lower system complexity compared with dynamically alternating MUST and OMA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2765-2776
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Multiuser superposition transmission
  • superposition coding
  • non-orthogonal multiple access

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