Joint power and blocklength optimization for URLLC in a factory automation scenario

Hong Ren, Cunhua Pan, Yansha Deng, Maged Elkashlan, Arumugam Nallanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


Ultra-reliable and low-latency communication (URLLC) is one of three pillar applications defined in the fifth generation new radio (5G NR), and its research is still in its infancy due to the difficulties in guaranteeing extremely high reliability (say 10-9 packet loss probability) and low latency (say 1 ms) simultaneously. In URLLC, short packet transmission is adopted to reduce latency, such that conventional Shannon's capacity formula is no longer applicable, and the achievable data rate in finite blocklength becomes a complex expression with respect to the decoding error probability and the blocklength. To provide URLLC service in a factory automation scenario, we consider that the central controller transmits different packets to a robot and an actuator, where the actuator is located far from the controller, and the robot can move between the controller and the actuator. In this scenario, we consider four fundamental downlink transmission schemes, including orthogonal multiple access (OMA), non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA), relay-assisted, and cooperative NOMA (C-NOMA) schemes. For all these transmission schemes, we aim for jointly optimizing the blocklength and power allocation to minimize the decoding error probability of the actuator subject to the reliability requirement of the robot, the total energy constraints, as well as the latency constraints. We further develop low-complexity algorithms to address the optimization problems for each transmission scheme. For the general case with more than two devices, we also develop a low-complexity efficient algorithm for the OMA scheme. Our results show that the relay-assisted transmission significantly outperforms the OMA scheme, while the NOMA scheme performs well when the blocklength is very limited. We further show that the relay-assisted transmission has superior performance over the C-NOMA scheme due to larger feasible region of the former scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8933345
Pages (from-to)1786-1801
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • 5G NR
  • IIoT
  • mission-critical IoT
  • MTC


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