Decoupling beam steering and user selection for MU-MIMO 60-GHz WLANs

Yasaman Ghasempour, Muhammad Kumail Haider, Edward W. Knightly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Multi-user transmission at 60 GHz promises to increase the throughput of next-generation WLANs via both analog and digital beamforming. To maximize the capacity, analog beams need to be jointly configured with user selection and digital weights; however, joint maximization requires prohibitively large training and feedback overhead. In this paper, we scale multi-user 60-GHz WLAN throughput via design of a low-complexity structure for decoupling beam steering and user selection such that analog beam training precedes user selection. We introduce a two-class framework comprising: 1) single-shot selection of users by minimizing overlap of their idealized beam patterns obtained from analog training and 2) interference-aware incremental addition of users via sequential training to better predict inter-user interference. We implement a programmable testbed using software-defined radios and commercial 60-GHz transceivers and conduct over-the-air measurements to collect channel traces for different indoor WLAN deployments. Measurements are conducted using a 12-element phased antenna array as well as horn antennas with different directivity gains to evaluate the performance of practical 60-GHz systems. Using trace-based emulations and high resolution 60-GHz channel models, we show that our decoupling structure experiences less than 5% performance loss compared with maximum achievable rates via joint user-beam selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8457527
Pages (from-to)2390-2403
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • 60 GHz
  • IEEE 802.11ay
  • beam steering
  • digital beamforming
  • user selection


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