PhD Student Bichai Wang Recognized as a Marconi Society 2019 Paul Baran Young Scholar

Tsinghua University Student Improves Capacity and Efficiency of 5G Networks

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 30, 2019 – The Marconi Society, dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and the Internet, will honor Bichai Wang, a PhD candidate at Tsinghua University, with a 2019 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award for her work to help increase capacity and cost benefits of 5G networks and their applications.

As service providers around the world test and launch 5G networks to deliver next generation communications services to billions, it is clear that conventional network access schemes cannot meet the radical spectrum efficiency and connectivity requirements of 5G. Many in the industry are looking to Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) to meet these needs. The standard-setting body for 5G, the 3GPP, currently has 15 NOMA schemes before it, making it difficult to standardize on how to deliver specific use cases. Wang proposed the first-ever unified framework to systematically compare the different schemes by looking at features, spectral efficiency, receiver complexity and other key criteria to help the industry understand the tradeoffs between different schemes and where to focus.

“David Tse’s book, Fundamentals of Wireless Communication, attracted me to this line of research,” says Wang. “His analysis of multiple access channels indicated that orthogonal multiple access (OMA) cannot achieve the capacity needed for 5G. This inspired me to focus on NOMA, which has a potential to satisfy the rapidly increased spectral efficiency and connectivity density requirements in 5G.”

In addition to enabling comparisons of competing NOMA schemes that will facilitate selection of the right specifications for the right applications, Wang has proposed a concept for software defined multiple access (SoDeMA) that allows systems to adaptively configure available multiple access schemes to support diverse services and applications for future 5G networks. Her proposed SoDeMA concept has provided important support for the performance evaluation of multiple access in the 5G standard specification 3GPP TR 38.802 (Section 9.1) and has stimulated the software defined air interface (SDAI) proposed by China Mobile.

Wang has also proposed a spectrum and energy-efficient mmWave transmission scheme to integrate NOMA with beamspace MIMO. This innovation allows multiple users to be simultaneously supported in one beam, which is a significant improvement over the current one user per beam MIMO limitation.

According to Fumiyuki Adachi, a professor at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, Wang’s research impact has already spread far beyond academia. “Apart from the substantial impact in academia, she has devoted herself to directing her research results to industry applications,” says Adachi. “Her work has provided the guidance to the industry on how to achieve certain convergence of different NOMA schemes in 3GPP via a unified framework for 5G.”

“Bichai has won several very prestigious and challenging awards, including the IEEE ComSoc Asia-Pacific Outstanding Paper Award in 2018,” says her Tsinghua University advisor, Professor Linglong Dai. “I hope that her excellent achievements will attract more outstanding female researchers to participate in research on wireless communications.”

Wang’s upcoming work will focus on machine learning for NOMA, as she tries to validate the theoretical framework on specific hardware platforms. “Since machine learning has recently exhibited unprecedented success in various fields, it should be a powerful way to solve some challenging problems for NOMA, e.g., how to achieve the capacity with affordable complexity for practical applications,” says Wang. “Furthermore, it will be important to implement and verify the new solutions on a real-time hardware platform, which will promote the commercialization of NOMA for 5G and beyond.”

Wang earned her Bachelor of Electronic Engineering degree from Tsinghua University, where she was awarded a Freshman Scholarship in 2011, Academic Merit Scholarships in 2012 – 2014 and the Excellent Thesis Award in 2015.

“We seek Young Scholars who exemplify the technical excellence and entrepreneurial spirit of Guglielmo Marconi,” says Dr. Vinton Cerf, Chairman of the Marconi Society. “Bichai’s outstanding work into access models for delivering 5G and her practical approach to bringing it into the industry will help deliver services that we cannot yet imagine for billions of people.”

Wang says, “I am really honored to have been selected as a Marconi Society Young Scholar. While my current achievements are just a start, I will continue working hard to make more fundamental contributions in wireless communications so that I can improve the lives of many.”

Young Scholar candidates are nominated by their academic advisors. Winners are selected by an international panel comprised of engineers from leading universities and companies and receive a $5000 prize plus expenses to attend the annual awards event. Two other Young Scholars were also selected this year.

All will receive their awards on May 17th in California, at the same event where cryptographers Taher Elgamal and Paul Kocher, key contributors to Internet security, will be honored with the $100,000 Marconi Prize.

About the Marconi Society

Established in 1974 by the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel Laureate who invented radio, the Marconi Society promotes awareness of key technology and policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet and recognizes significant individual achievements through the Marconi Prize and Young Scholar Awards. More information may be found at www.marconisociety.orgSubscribe. Follow: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook