Cell-Free Massive MIMO in the Short Blocklength Regime for URLLC

Ali Arshad Nasir, Hoang Duong Tuan, Hien Quoc Ngo, Trung Q. Duong, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This paper considers cell-free massive MIMO (cfm-MIMO) for downlink ultra reliable and low-latency communication (URLLC). At the time of writing, cfm-MIMO has only been considered for communication in the long blocklength regime (LBR), whose throughput is determined by the Shannon capacity with the interference treated as Gaussian noise. Conjugate beamforming (CB) is often used as it requires only local channel state information (CSI) for implementation but its design is based on a large-scale nonconvex problem, which is computationally intractable. The rate function in URLLC is much more complex than the Shannon rate function. The paper proposes a special class of CB, which admits a low-scale optimization formulation for computational tractability. Accordingly, a new path-following algorithm, which generates a sequence of better feasible points and converges at least to a locally optimal solution, is developed for optimizing URLLC rates and cfm-MIMO energy efficiency. Furthermore, the paper also develops improper Gaussian signaling to improve both the Shannon rate and URLLC rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9399808
Pages (from-to)5861-5871
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Cell-free massive MIMO (cfm-MIMO)
  • conjugate beamforming (CB)
  • energy efficiency
  • nonconvex optimization
  • ultra reliable and low-latency communication (URLLC)


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