Towards Context Information-based High-Performing Connectivity in Internet of Vehicle Communications

Abstract: Internet-of-vehicles (IoV) is one of the most important use cases in the fifth generation (5G) of wireless networks and beyond. Here, IoV communications refer to two types of scenarios: serving the in-vehicle users with moving relays (MRs); and supporting vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications for, e.g., connected vehicle functionalities. Both of them can be achieved by transceivers on top of vehicles with growing demand for quality of service (QoS), such as spectrum efficiency, peak data rate, and coverage probability. However, the performance of MRs and V2X is limited by challenges such as the inaccurate prediction/estimation of the channel state information (CSI), beamforming mismatch, and blockages. Knowing the environment and utilizing such context information to assist communication could alleviate these issues. This thesis investigates various context information-based performance enhancement schemes for IoV networks, with main contributions listed as follows. In order to mitigate the channel aging issue, i.e., the CSI becomes inaccurate soon at high speeds, the first part of the thesis focuses on one way to increase the prediction horizon of CSI in MRs: predictor antennas (PAs). A PA system is designed as a system with two sets of antennas on the roof of a vehicle, where the PAs positioned at the front of the vehicle are used to predict the CSI observed by the receive antennas (RAs) that are aligned behind the PAs. In PA systems, however, the benefit is affected by a variety of factors. For example, 1) spatial mismatch between the point where the PA estimates the channel and the point where the RA reaches several time slots later, 2) antenna utilization efficiency of the PA, 3) temporal evolution, and 4) estimation error of the PA-base station (BS) channel. First, in Paper A, we study the PA system in the presence of the spatial mismatch problem, and propose an analytical channel model which is used for rate adaptation. In paper B, we propose different approximation schemes for the analytical investigation of PA systems, and study the effect of different parameters on the network performance. Then, involving PAs into data transmission, Paper C and Paper D analyze the outage- and the delay-limited performance of PA systems using hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ), respectively. As we show in the analytical and the simulation results in Papers C-D, the combination of PA and HARQ protocols makes it possible to improve spectral efficiency and adapt the transmission parameters to mitigate the effect of spatial mismatch. Finally, a review of PA studies in the literature, the challenges and potentials of PA as well as some to-be-solved issues are presented in Paper E. The second part of the thesis focuses on using advanced technologies to further improve the MR/IoV performance. In Paper F, a cooperative PA scheme in IoV networks is proposed to mitigate both the channel aging effect and blockage sensitivity in millimeter-wave channels by collaborative vehicles and BS handover. Then, in Paper G, we study the potentials and challenges of dynamic blockage pre-avoidance in IoV networks.