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INCHNET works to design and validate new PHY transmission schemes, with a focus on coding for short packet communications, on ultra-reliable and low latency and massive machine-type communications, on multi-user communications, as well as on the interplay between the PHY and MAC layers.  The project aims to develop innovative and low-complexity transmission schemes for new use cases and services. Moreover INCHNET works to foster green IoT through very low power coding schemes and to explore AI-based solutions for code/decoding design.

INCHNET is part of Spoke 5 – Industrial and Digital Transition Networks

The activities so far completed include:
  • a state-of-the-art review of mMTC and URLLC,
  • the definition of a set of use cases and requirements,
  • the identification of suitable channel models.
Moreover, the technical activities carried out so far have been focused on innovative transmission schemes for mMTC and URLLC.

Regarding mMTC, new grant-free NOMA transmission schemes have been investigated, along with low-complexity signal processing techniques that allow the receiver decoding of messages received in the same time-frequency resources. In terms of URLLC, innovative coding schemes for short block lengths, based on the concatenation of a convolutional code and a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) code and decoded via list Viterbi decoding, have been investigated.

Currently, convergence of these two directions of investigation is under analysis, with the goal of developing a unified framework where services with diverse requirements (in between mMTC and URLLC) can be accommodated.
The direction of investigation currently pursued by the project is potentially of great interest for stakeholders operating in the IoT domain, spanning mission-critical, industrial, monitoring, and vehicle-to-infrastructure applications.

Emerging industrial, smart city, or low-power IoT services are in fact often characterized by mixed mMTC/URLLC requirements, closer to one of the two end points or to the other.

The development of flexible communication schemes for short packet communications, with capability of supporting different services, can certainly meet these future needs.
R. Schiavone, R. Garello and G. Liva
"Performance Improvement of Space Missions Using Convolutional Codes by CRC-Aided List Viterbi Algorithms,"
in IEEE Access, vol. 11, pp. 55925-55937, 2023, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3283473. This paper studies the convolutional and CRC codes for short packet communications. Comparisons with turbo codes and low-density parity check codes highlight the effectiveness of the proposed solution, due to the reduced encoder complexity and excellent error rate performance.

V. Tralli, E. Paolini
"IRSA-based Unsourced Random Access over Gaussian Channel,"
in Proc. 2023 International Symposium on Topics in Coding, Brest, France, Sep. 2023. (Invited paper.). This paper proposes a new framework for analysis of a class of grant-free access schemes in terms of their tradeoff between energy efficiency and spectral efficiency.

M.U. Khan, E. Testi, E. Paolini, M. Chiani
“Preamble Detection in Asynchronous Random Access using Deep Learning,”
to appear in IEEE Wireless Communications Letters. This paper addresses the problem of detecting packets in asynchronous grant-free uplink systems, proposing an innovative and effective solution based on deep learning.

L. Valentini, E. Bernardi, E. Paolini,
Exploiting pilot mixtures in coded random access,
IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 27, no. 12, pp. 3330-3334, Dec. 2023. This paper investigates a technique to improve the wireless communication between a very large number of smart IoT objects (smart sensors, smart meters, sensors for precision agriculture, sensors in smart cities, etc.) and the mobile network.

A. Mirri, D. Forlivesi, L. Valentini, M. Chiani, E. Paolini,
"An SCMA-based grant-free access scheme,"
2024 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, Workshop on Modern Random Access for Massive Connectivity in 6G, to be presented. This paper investigates a technique to improve the wireless communication between a very large number of smart IoT objects (smart sensors, smart meters, sensors for precision agriculture, sensors in smart cities, etc.) and the mobile network.

V. Tralli, E. Paolini,
IRSA-based Random Access over the Gaussian Channel,
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, to appear. This paper develops a new framework to analyze the energy efficiency and the efficiency in the use of the wireless spectrum of IoT systems with a very large number of connected nodes.
  1. Publications/Joint publications.
    • Expected: 9 papers submitted to journals or international conferences through the whole project. In particular, 6 papers from a single partner and 3 papers in cooperation between partners.
    • Accomplished: Six papers accepted from single partners and 0 papers in cooperation between partners.
    • Readiness level: 6/(6*15/36)=2.4 and 0.0.

  2. Talks/Dissemination events.
    • Expected: At least 9 talks (either invited or contributed) given in the framework of conference technical sessions or special sessions, workshops, seminars, RESTART events, or other events; at least one international workshop proposal or special session proposal submitted to an IEEE conference through the project.
    • Accomplished: 1 talk given at the Huawei JIC and RESTART Workshop (March 2023), 1 invited talk given, on invitation, in a special session of the international conference ISTC 2023 (Sep. 2023), 2 posters presented at the RESTART plenary dissemination workshop in Bologna (Jan. 2024), 1 talk to be given at WCNC 2024 (Apr. 2024), 1 special session proposal submitted (and accepted) at IEEE RTSI 2024.
    • Readiness level: 6/(10*15/36)=1.44.

  3. Demo/PoC. Expected:
    • The project aims at 1 software demo to demonstrate some of the developed transmission and reception schemes. There is a dedicated task for this, task T4.1, and a dedicated task has been foreseen in the cascade call.
    • Accomplished: Task T4.1 is not yet active, although some software (to be incorporated in the demo) has been already developed.
    • Readiness level: 0.0.

  4. Project Meetings.
    • Expected: 30 project meetings.
    • Accomplished: 15 project meetings.
    • Readiness level: 15/(30*15/36)=1.2.

  5. Patents/Innovations.
    • No patents are foreseen.
    • Readiness level: N/A.

  6. Open source contributions.
    • No open source contributions are foreseen.
    • Readiness level: N/A.

  7. Standardization contributions.
    • No standardization contributions are foreseen.
    • Readiness level: N/A.
M1: Year 1 activities review.
  • Expected: M12.
  • Accomplished: M12.
  • Readiness level: 12/12/(15/36)=36/15=2.4.

Project PI: Enrico Paolini

Collaboration proposals:

The project is seeking for new partners through an open cascade call.
For any proposal of collaboration within the project please contact the project PI.