Physical Layer Network Codeing for 4G and Beyond

Visiting researchers:Prof. Alister Burr & Dr Agisilaos Papdogiannis (University of York)
Host researcher:Dr Meixia Tao (SJTU)
Visit length: 1.5 months

Biographies of visiting researchers

Alister Burr was born in London in 1957 and received the BSc degree from Southampton University in 1979 and the PhD from Bristol University in 1984, both in Electronic Engineering. He has been at University of York since 1985, since 2001 as Professor of Communications. His research interests are primarily in wireless communications, including FEC coding, turbo-codes and iterative techniques, MIMO systems, and cooperative wireless communications, and most recently physical layer network coding. He is currently chair of WG1 (on radio systems aspects) of the European collaborative project COST 2100 on wireless mobile systems, and Associate Editor of IEEE Communications Letters. He has given numerous invited conference presentations, and was awarded the IEE J. Langham Thompson Premium in 2002 for a paper on Turbocodes. 
Agisilaos Papadogiannis received a PhD in Wireless Communications from TELECOM ParisTech, France (2009), an MSc in Communications Engineering from the University of York, UK (2006) and an MEng in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece (2005). Since 2010 he has been with the Communications Research Group at the University of York as a Research Associate working on the EU funded FP7 BuNGee collaborative project towards ‘beyond next-generation wireless networks’. From 2006 to 2009 he worked for Orange Labs, Paris (former France Telecom Research) as a Research Engineer specialising in some key areas for 4G mobile communications, namely MIMO systems, radio interference mitigation through Network MIMO techniques, and cooperative relaying. The primary aim of his research was to render these technologies practically applicable. His work supported the standardisation activities of Orange Labs for 3GPP LTE-Advanced and resulted in the production of international patents. Whilst working for Orange Labs he participated in the CELTIC WINNER+ European collaborative project as well as in the company’s internal projects, all targeting at 4G. In November 2007 he was an invited researcher at UniK/University of Oslo, Norway. Agisilaos Papadogiannis has published about 15 papers in refereed journals and conferences. He also serves as a TPC member of the IEEE Broadband Wireless Access Workshop 2008-2010 and as a regular reviewer for several international journals and conferences.

Background and Motivation

The project investigated the application of physical layer network coding and Network MIMO techniques in the context of hierarchical networks in order to mitigate the effects of co-channel interference (CCI). Dual-hop hierarchical wireless networks have the potential to provide the needed capacity to a large number of mobile stations (MSs); this is a very promising cost-effective architecture for 4G systems and beyond. According to this system architecture, the MSs are served by a dense network of fixed relay nodes (RNs) fed by a small number of large hub base stations (HBSs). In such a deployment, high spectral efficiencies can be achieved if the RNs act as two-way relays; however this gives rise to CCI which needs to be mitigated.

Research Activities

In order to assess the impact of CCI to a dual-hop hierarchical network we studied a simple system scenario consisting of an HBS with two highly directional antennas communicating with two MSs via two interfering two-way RNs. Our considered metric was the achievable average maximum sum-rate (AMSR). In order to increase the achievable AMSR under the presence of CCI we proposed a cooperative strategy based on Decode-and-Forward (DF) with network coding and a strategy based on Amplify-and-Forward (AF) with Network MIMO. Furthermore we devised some cooperative protocols that utilise two, three or four time slots. We found out that the 2-slot schemes perform generally better and that the DF strategy achieves superior performance when CCI is low while AF with Network MIMO is superior when CCI is high.


  •  A. Papadogiannis, A. G. Burr, and M. Tao, “On the Maximum Achievable Sum-Rate of Interfering Two-Way Relay Channels,” submitted to IEEE Communication Letters, May 2011.
  • A. Papadogiannis, A. G. Burr, and M. Tao, “Efficient Interference Mitigating Strategies for Two-Way Relay Channels,” submitted to IEEE International Symposium on Wireless Communication Systems (ISWCS 2011), Aachen, Germany, June 2011.


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