AI-Assisted MAC for Reconfigurable Intelligent-Surface-Aided Wireless Networks: Challenges and Opportunities

Xuelin Cao, Bo Yang, Chongwen Huang, Chau Yuen, Marco Di Renzo, Zhu Han, Dusit Niyato, H. Vincent Poor, Lajos Hanzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Recently, significant research attention has been devoted to the study of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs), which are capable of reconfiguring the wireless propagation environment by exploiting the unique properties of metamaterials-based integrated large arrays of inexpensive antennas. Existing research demonstrates that RISs significantly improve physical layer performance, including wireless coverage, achievable data rate, and energy efficiency. However, the medium access control (MAC) of multiple users accessing an RIS-enabled channel is still in its infancy, while many open issues remain to be addressed. In this article, we present four typical RIS-Aided multi-user scenarios with special emphasis on the MAC schemes. We then propose and elaborate on centralized, distributed, and hybrid artificial-in-Telligence-Assisted MAC architectures in RIS-Aid-ed multi-user communications systems. Finally, we discuss some challenges, perspectives, and potential applications of RISs as they are related to MAC design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9475159
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'AI-Assisted MAC for Reconfigurable Intelligent-Surface-Aided Wireless Networks: Challenges and Opportunities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this