Asymptotically optimal waterfilling in multiple antenna multiple access channels

P. Viswanath, D. N.C. Tse, V. Anantharam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper considers "vector multiple access channels" (VMAC) where each user has multiple "degrees of freedom" and studies the effect of power allocation as a function of the channel state on the "sum capacity" defined as the maximum sum of rates of users per unit degree of freedom at which the users can jointly reliably transmit, in an information theoretic sense. A concrete example of a VMAC is a MAC with multiple antennas at the receiver where the antennas provide spatial degrees of freedom. Our main result is the identification of a simple dynamic power allocation scheme that is optimal in a large system, i.e., in the regime of a large number of users and a correspondingly large number of antennas. A key feature of this policy is that, for any user, it depends only on the instantaneous amplitude of the slow fading component of the vector channel of that user alone and the structure of the policy is "waterfilling".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE International Symposium on Information Theory - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event2000 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory - Serrento, Italy
Duration: Jun 25 2000Jun 30 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


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