The Price of Self-Sustainability for Block Transmission Systems

Marco Maso, Subhash Lakshminarayana, Tony Q.S. Quek, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In this work, the self-sustainability of block transmission systems is analyzed. In particular, orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) is taken as a reference, due to its popularity and rather simple signal model. More precisely, a generalized variant of this scheme in which the transmitted signal is obtained as the sum of an OFDMA and a cognitive interference alignment (CIA) component, acting as an energy bearer, is considered. In this scenario, the self-sustainability of the transmission is made possible by the flexibility of the adopted strategy and the introduction of a novel energy harvesting OFDMA receiver. Both the feasibility conditions for the self-sustainability and the optimal power allocation to maximize the effectiveness of the energy transfer performed through the CIA signal are derived. Numerical results show that full self-sustainability can be achieved for several system configurations and channel statistics. However, this comes at the cost of a rate penalty with respect to a standard classic OFDMA transmission, which is termed the price of self-sustainability. A study of the relationship between the performance of both the energy and the information transfer is carried out. A CP size that minimizes the price of self-sustainability can be found for all the considered configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7009992
Pages (from-to)1549-1562
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • CIA
  • Energy harvesting
  • block transmission
  • green communications
  • self-sustainability


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