Non-Coherent Active Device Identification for Massive Random Access

Jyotish Robin, Elza Erkip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) is a key service category in the current generation of wireless networks featuring an extremely high density of energy and resource-limited devices with sparse and sporadic activity patterns. In order to enable random access in such mMTC networks, base station needs to identify the active devices while operating within stringent access delay constraints. In this paper, an energy efficient active device identification protocol is proposed in which active devices transmit On-Off Keying (OOK) modulated preambles jointly and base station employs non-coherent energy detection avoiding channel estimation overheads. The minimum number of channel-uses required by the active user identification protocol is characterized in the asymptotic regime of total number of devices ℓ when the number of active devices k scales as k=Θ (1) along with an achievability scheme relying on the equivalence of activity detection to a group testing problem. Several practical schemes based on Belief Propagation (BP) and Combinatorial Orthogonal Matching Pursuit (COMP) are also proposed. Simulation results show that BP strategies outperform COMP significantly and can operate close to the theoretical achievability bounds. In a partial-recovery setting where few misdetections are allowed, BP continues to perform well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5979-5991
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023


  • IoT
  • Massive machine-type communication (mMTC)
  • active device identification
  • group testing
  • massive random access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-Coherent Active Device Identification for Massive Random Access'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this