Decentralized Beamforming Design for Intelligent Reflecting Surface-Enhanced Cell-Free Networks

Shaocheng Huang, Yu Ye, Ming Xiao, H. Vincent Poor, Mikael Skoglund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Cell-free networks are considered to be a promising distributed network architecture to satisfy the increasing number of users and high rate expectations in beyond-5G systems. However, to further enhance network capacity, an increasing number of high-cost base stations (BSs) is required. To address this problem and inspired by the cost-effective intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) technique, we propose a fully decentralized design framework for cooperative beamforming in IRS-aided cell-free networks. We first transform the centralized weighted sum-rate maximization problem into a tractable consensus optimization problem, and then an incremental alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) algorithm is proposed to locally update the beamformer. The complexity and convergence of the proposed method are analyzed, and these results show that the performance of the new scheme can asymptotically approach that of the centralized one as the number of iterations increases. Results also show that IRSs can significantly increase the system sum-rate of cell-free networks and the proposed method outperforms existing decentralized methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9298843
Pages (from-to)673-677
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Beamforming
  • cell-free networks
  • decentralized optimization
  • intelligent reflecting surface


Dive into the research topics of 'Decentralized Beamforming Design for Intelligent Reflecting Surface-Enhanced Cell-Free Networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this