The last few years have witnessed a tremendous growth of the demand for wireless services and a significant increase of the number of mobile subscribers. A recent data traffic forecast from Cisco reported that the global mobile data traffic reached 1.2 zettabytes per year in 2016, and the global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years. Based on these predictions, a 127-fold increase of the IP traffic is expected from 2005 to 2021. It is also anticipated that the mobile data traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes per year by 2021, and that the number of mobile-connected devices will reach 3.5 per capita.
With such demands for higher data rates and for better quality of service (QoS), fifth generation (5G) standardization initiatives, whose initial phase was specified in June 2018 under the umbrella of Long Term Evolution (LTE) Release 15, have been under vibrant investigation. In particular, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has identified three usage scenarios (service categories) for 5G wireless networks: (i) enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), (ii) ultra-reliable and low latency communications (uRLLC), and (iii) massive machine type communications (mMTC). The vast variety of applications for beyond 5G wireless networks has motivated the necessity of novel and more flexible physical layer (PHY) technologies, which are capable of providing higher spectral and energy efficiencies, as well as reduced transceiver implementations.
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The significant advances of cellular systems and mobile Internet services have yielded a variety of computation intensive applications, resulting in great challenge to mobile terminals (MTs) with limited computation resources. Mobile edge computing, which enables MTs to offload their computation tasks to edge servers located at cellular base stations (BSs), has provided a promising approach to address this challenging issue. Considering the advantage of improving transmission efficiency provided by nonorthogonal multiple access (NOMA), we propose an NOMA-enabled computation offloading scheme, in which a group of MTs offload partial of their computation workloads to an edge server based on the NOMA transmission. After finishing all MTs’ offloaded computation workloads, the edge server sends the computation results back to the MTs based on NOMA. We aim at minimizing the overall delay for completing all MTs’ computation requirements, which is achieved by jointly optimizing the MTs’ offloaded computation workloads, and the uploading duration for the MTs to send their computation workloads to the BS, and the downloading-duration for the BS to send the computation results back to the MTs. Despite the nonconvexity of the joint optimization problem, we exploit its layered structure and propose an efficient algorithm to compute the optimal offloading solution. Numerical results are provided to validate the accuracy and efficiency of our proposed algorithm and show the performance advantage of our NOMA-enabled computation-offloading scheme.
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