Reinforcement Learning-Based NOMA Power Allocation in the Presence of Smart Jamming

Liang Xiao, Yanda Li, Canhuang Dai, Huaiyu Dai, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Nonorthogonal multiple access (NOMA) systems are vulnerable to jamming attacks, especially smart jammers who apply programmable and smart radio devices such as software-defined radios to flexibly control their jamming strategy according to the ongoing NOMA transmission and radio environment. In this paper, the power allocation of a base station in a NOMA system equipped with multiple antennas contending with a smart jammer is formulated as a zero-sum game, in which the base station as the leader first chooses the transmit power on multiple antennas, while a jammer as the follower selects the jamming power to interrupt the transmission of the users. A Stackelberg equilibrium of the antijamming NOMA transmission game is derived and conditions assuring its existence are provided to disclose the impact of multiple antennas and radio channel states. A reinforcement learning-based power control scheme is proposed for the downlink NOMA transmission without being aware of the jamming and radio channel parameters. The Dyna architecture that formulates a learned world model from the real antijamming transmission experience and the hotbooting technique that exploits experiences in similar scenarios to initialize the quality values are used to accelerate the learning speed of the Q-learning-based power allocation, and thus, improve the communication efficiency of the NOMA transmission in the presence of smart jammers. Simulation results show that the proposed scheme can significantly increase the sum data rates of users, and thus, the utilities compared with the standard Q-learning-based strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3377-3389
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Nonorthogonal multiple access (NOMA)
  • game theory
  • power allocation
  • reinforcement learning
  • smart jamming


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