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Symbiotic Radio: Cognitive Backscattering Communications for Future Wireless Networks
IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking  (IF4.341),  Pub Date : 2020-12-01, DOI: 10.1109/tccn.2020.3023139
Ying-Chang Liang, Qianqian Zhang, Erik G. Larsson, Geoffrey Ye Li

The heterogenous wireless services and exponentially growing traffic call for novel spectrum- and energy-efficient wireless communication technologies. Recently, a new technique, called symbiotic radio (SR), is proposed to exploit the benefits and address the drawbacks of cognitive radio (CR) and ambient backscattering communications (AmBC), leading to mutualism spectrum sharing and highly reliable backscattering communications. In particular, the secondary transmitter (STx) in SR transmits messages to the secondary receiver (SRx) over the RF signals originating from the primary transmitter (PTx) based on cognitive backscattering communications, thus the secondary system shares not only the radio spectrum, but also the power, and infrastructure with the primary system. In return, the secondary transmission provides beneficial multipath diversity to the primary system, therefore the two systems form mutualism spectrum sharing. More importantly, joint decoding is exploited at SRx to achieve highly reliable backscattering communications. In this article, to exploit the full potential of SR, we provide a systematic view for SR and address three fundamental tasks in SR: (1) enhancing the backscattering link via active load; (2) achieving highly reliable communications through joint decoding; and (3) capturing PTx’s RF signals using reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. Emerging applications, design challenges and open research problems will also be discussed.