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See detailExperimental evaluation of RF waveform designs for Wireless Power Transfer using Software Defined Radio
Gautam, Sumit UL; Kumar, Sumit UL; Chatzinotas, Symeon UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021), 9

The possibility to harvest energy from ambient radio-frequency (RF) sources has intrigued humankind for the past several decades. In this context, there has been a tremendously growing research interest ... [more ▼]

The possibility to harvest energy from ambient radio-frequency (RF) sources has intrigued humankind for the past several decades. In this context, there has been a tremendously growing research interest in the field of wireless power transfer (WPT) using the RF range of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. In this paper, we experimentally investigate the aspect of real-time energy harvesting (EH) via different types of waveform designs such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), square, triangular, sinusoidal, and sawtooth. We make use of a Software Defined Radio (SDR) and a Powercast P21XXCSR-EVB EH module to carry out the experiments on a practical device to assess performance. Specifically, we are interested in obtaining some insights based on the comparison between the aforementioned waveform designs from the perspectives of the separation distance between the USRP and P21XXCSR-EVB EH module, and power emission via USRP. In this vein, we perform additional subsequent experiments after reporting the practical effectiveness of the OFDM waveform, which also follows our intuitive analysis. Correspondingly, we study the effect on WPT with variable USRP transmit power, the separation distance between the USRP and EH antennas, number of OFDM sub-carriers, and multipath setting. As an application of OFDM, the effectiveness of fifth generation-new radio (5G-NR) and long-term evolution (LTE) waveforms are also tested for the WPT mechanism. The demonstration of the EH is provided in terms of the above-mentioned investigation metrics while seeking the best waveform to support WPT. [less ▲]

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See detailWideband OFDM-based Communications in Bus Topology as a Key Enabler for Industry 4.0 Networks
Gonzalez Rios, Jorge Luis UL; Torres Gómez, Jorge; Sharma, Rajesh Kumar et al

in IEEE Access (2021), 9

The Industry 4.0 paradigm conceives a cyber-physical supporting framework for the manufacturing processes in smart factories. In this context, solutions concerning the wired communications at the field ... [more ▼]

The Industry 4.0 paradigm conceives a cyber-physical supporting framework for the manufacturing processes in smart factories. In this context, solutions concerning the wired communications at the field-level have been reported which utilize either fieldbuses, which exhibit a huge distance range but a reduced data rate in a bus topology, or Ethernet-based technologies, which provide an increased data rate but reduced distance in a ring topology. To overcome this shortage, we propose the use of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) to significantly increase the achievable data rates over large distances in industrial bus systems. Also, we establish a novel methodology to compute the signal-to-noise ratio between arbitrary pairs of nodes, which in turn allows to compute the communication capacity. Our wideband system was validated by connecting up to 32 nodes in the distance range 100 m–1 km. Compared to fieldbuses, the results of the proposal exhibit an amazing improvement in data rate of about fifty times for 100m distance and more than ten times for 0.5 km. Moreover, with respect to Ethernet-based solutions, the results show a relevant improvement in the data rate of around five times for 100 m distance, but Ethernet-based systems cannot go beyond this distance, to which our proposal is not limited. [less ▲]

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See detailBlockPerf: A Hybrid Blockchain Emulator/Simulator Framework
Polge, Julien UL; Ghatpande, Sankalp UL; Kubler, Sylvain et al

in IEEE Access (2021), 9

Blockchain is increasingly used for registering, authenticating and validating digital assets (financial assets, real estate, etc.) and transactions, governing interactions, recording data and managing ... [more ▼]

Blockchain is increasingly used for registering, authenticating and validating digital assets (financial assets, real estate, etc.) and transactions, governing interactions, recording data and managing identification among multiple parties in a trusted, decentralized, and secure manner. Today, a large variety of blockchain technologies is expanding in order to fulfill technical and non-technical needs and requirements. Within this context, determining and most importantly evaluating the characteristics/performance of a given blockchain platform is crucial for system designers before deploying it. A number of blockchain simulators have been proposed in the literature over the past few years, as reviewed in this paper, but are often limited in several respects (lack of extensibility, do not allow for evaluating all aspects of a blockchain...). This paper extends and improves a state-of-the-art simulator (BlockSim) into a new simulator called ‘‘BlockPerf’’ to overcome those limitations. Both simulators are compared based on a real-life (benchmarking) Bitcoin scenario, whose results show that BlockPerf provides more realistic results than BlockSim, improving by around ≈50% (in average) the outcomes. [less ▲]

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See detailFrom Hume to Wuhan: An Epistemological Journey on the Problem of Induction in COVID-19 Machine Learning Models and its Impact Upon Medical Research
Vega Moreno, Carlos Gonzalo UL

in IEEE Access (2021), 9

Advances in computer science have transformed the way artificial intelligence is employed in academia, with Machine Learning (ML) methods easily available to researchers from diverse areas thanks to ... [more ▼]

Advances in computer science have transformed the way artificial intelligence is employed in academia, with Machine Learning (ML) methods easily available to researchers from diverse areas thanks to intuitive frameworks that yield extraordinary results. Notwithstanding, current trends in the mainstream ML community tend to emphasise <italic>wins</italic> over knowledge, putting the scientific method aside, and focusing on maximising metrics of interest. Methodological flaws lead to poor justification of method choice, which in turn leads to disregard the limitations of the methods employed, ultimately putting at risk the translation of solutions into real-world clinical settings. This work exemplifies the impact of the problem of induction in medical research, studying the methodological issues of recent solutions for computer-aided diagnosis of COVID-19 from chest X-Ray images. [less ▲]

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See detailRandom access procedure over non-terrestrial networks: From theory to practice
Kodheli, Oltjon UL; Abdalla, Abdelrahman UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021)

Non-terrestrial Networks (NTNs) have become an appealing concept over the last few years and they are foreseen as a cornerstone for the next generations of mobile communication systems. Despite opening up ... [more ▼]

Non-terrestrial Networks (NTNs) have become an appealing concept over the last few years and they are foreseen as a cornerstone for the next generations of mobile communication systems. Despite opening up new market opportunities and use cases for the future, the novel impairments caused by the signal propagation over the NTN channel, compromises several procedures of the current cellular standards. One of the first and most important procedures impacted is the random access (RA) procedure, which is mainly utilized for achieving uplink synchronization among users in several standards, such as the fourth and fifth generation of mobile communication (4 & 5G) and narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT). In this work, we analyse the challenges imposed by the considerably increased delay in the communication link on the RA procedure and propose new solutions to overcome those challenges. A trade-off analysis of various solutions is provided taking into account also the already existing ones in the literature. In order to broaden the scope of applicability, we keep the analysis general targeting 4G, 5G and NB-IoT systems since the RA procedure is quasi-identical among these technologies. Last but not least, we go one step further and validate our techniques in an experimental setup, consisting of a user and a base station implemented in open air interface (OAI), and an NTN channel implemented in hardware that emulates the signal propagation delay. The laboratory test-bed built in this work, not only enables us to validate various solutions, but also plays a crucial role in identifying novel challenges not previously treated in the literature. Finally, an important key performance indicator (KPI) of the RA procedure over NTN is shown, which is the time that a single user requires to establish a connection with the base station. [less ▲]

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See detailEnd-to-end Precoding Validation over a Live GEO Satellite Forward Link
Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL; Querol, Jorge UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021)

In this paper we demonstrate end-to-end precoded multi-user multiple-input singleoutput (MU-MISO) communications over a live GEO satellite link. Precoded communications enable full frequency reuse (FFR ... [more ▼]

In this paper we demonstrate end-to-end precoded multi-user multiple-input singleoutput (MU-MISO) communications over a live GEO satellite link. Precoded communications enable full frequency reuse (FFR) schemes in satellite communications (SATCOM) to achieve broader service availability and higher spectrum efficiency than with the conventional four-color (4CR) and twocolor (2CR) reuse approaches. In this scope, we develop an over-the-air test-bed for end-to-end precoding validations.We use an actual multi-beam satellite to transmit and receive precoded signals using the DVB-S2X standard based gateway and user terminals. The developed system is capable of end-to-end real-time communications over the satellite link including channel measurements and precompensation. It is shown, that by successfully canceling inter-user interference in the actual satellite FFR link precoding brings gains in terms of enhanced SINR and increased system goodput. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign Optimization for Low-Complexity FPGA Implementation of Symbol-Level Multiuser Precoding
Haqiqatnejad, Alireza UL; Krivochiza, Jevgenij UL; Merlano Duncan, Juan Carlos UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021), 9

This paper proposes and validates a low-complexity FPGA design for symbol-level precoding (SLP) in multiuser multiple-input single-output (MISO) downlink communication systems. In the optimal case, the ... [more ▼]

This paper proposes and validates a low-complexity FPGA design for symbol-level precoding (SLP) in multiuser multiple-input single-output (MISO) downlink communication systems. In the optimal case, the symbol-level precoded transmit signal is obtained as the solution to an optimization problem tailored for a given set of users’ data symbols. This symbol-by-symbol design, however, imposes excessive computational complexity on the system. To alleviate this issue, we aim to reduce the per-symbol complexity of the SLP scheme by developing an approximate yet computationally-efficient closed-form solution. The proposed solution allows us to achieve a high symbol throughput in real-time implementations. To develop the FPGA design, we express the proposed solution in an algorithmic way and translate it to hardware description language (HDL). We then optimize the processing to accelerate the performance and generate the corresponding intellectual property (IP) core. We provide the synthesis report for the generated IP core, including performance and resource utilization estimates and interface descriptions. To validate our design, we simulate an uncoded transmission over a downlink multiuser channel using the LabVIEW software, where the SLP IP core is implemented as a clock-driven logic (CDL) unit. Our simulation results show that a throughput of 100 Mega symbols per second per user can be achieved via the proposed SLP design. We further use the MATLAB software to produce numerical results for the conventional zero-forcing (ZF) and the optimal SLP techniques as benchmarks for comparison. Thereby, it is shown that the proposed FPGA implementation of SLP offers an improvement of up to 50 percent in power efficiency compared to the ZF precoding. Remarkably, it enjoys the same per-symbol complexity order as that of the ZF technique. We also evaluate the loss of the real-time SLP design, introduced by the algebraic approximations and arithmetic inaccuracies, with respect to the optimal scheme. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental Evaluation of a Team of Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Cooperative Construction
Real, Fran; Castaño, Angel; Torres-Gonzalez, Arturo et al

in IEEE Access (2021)

This article presents a team of multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to perform cooperative missions for autonomous construction. In particular, the UAVs have to build a wall made of bricks that need ... [more ▼]

This article presents a team of multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to perform cooperative missions for autonomous construction. In particular, the UAVs have to build a wall made of bricks that need to be picked and transported from different locations. First, we propose a novel architecture for multi-robot systems operating in outdoor and unstructured environments, where robustness and reliability play a key role. Then, we describe the design of our aerial platforms and grasping mechanisms to pick, transport and place bricks. The system was particularly developed for the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), where Challenge 2 consisted of building a wall cooperatively with multiple UAVs. However, our approach is more general and extensible to other multi-UAV applications involving physical interaction, like package delivery. We present not only our results in the final stage of MBZIRC, but also our simulations and field experiments throughout the previous months to the competition, where we tuned our system and assessed its performance. [less ▲]

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See detailMulti-layer Space Information Networks: Access Design and Softwarization
Al-Hraishawi, Hayder UL; Minardi, Mario UL; Chougrani, Houcine UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021)

In this paper, we propose an approach for constructing a multi-layer multi-orbit space information network (SIN) to provide high-speed continuous broadband connectivity for space missions (nanosatellite ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we propose an approach for constructing a multi-layer multi-orbit space information network (SIN) to provide high-speed continuous broadband connectivity for space missions (nanosatellite terminals) from the emerging space-based Internet providers. This notion has been motivated by the rapid developments in satellite technologies in terms of satellite miniaturization and reusable rocket launch, as well as the increased number of nanosatellite constellations in lower orbits for space downstream applications, such as earth observation, remote sensing, and Internet of Things (IoT) data collection. Specifically, space-based Internet providers, such as Starlink, OneWeb, and SES O3b, can be utilized for broadband connectivity directly to/from the nanosatellites, which allows a larger degree of connectivity in space network topologies. Besides, this kind of establishment is more economically efficient and eliminates the need for an excessive number of ground stations while achieving real-time and reliable space communications. This objective necessitates developing suitable radio access schemes and efficient scalable space backhauling using inter-satellite links (ISLs) and inter-orbit links (IOLs). Particularly, service-oriented radio access methods in addition to software-defined networking (SDN)-based architecture employing optimal routing mechanisms over multiple ISLs and IOLs are the most essential enablers for this novel concept. Thus, developing this symbiotic interaction between versatile satellite nodes across different orbits will lead to a breakthrough in the way that future downstream space missions and satellite networks are designed and operated. [less ▲]

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See detailAST-MTL : An Attention-based Multi- Task Learning Strategy for Traffic Forecasting
Buroni, Giovanni; Lebichot, Bertrand UL; Bontempi, Gianluca

in IEEE Access (2021)

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See detailOn the Random Access Procedure of NB-IoT Non-Terrestrial Networks
Kodheli, Oltjon UL; Maturo, Nicola UL; Chatzinotas, Symeon UL et al

in IEEE Access (2021), 9

The standardization of the 5G systems has recently entered in an advanced phase, where non-terrestrial networks will be a new key feature in the upcoming releases. Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT ... [more ▼]

The standardization of the 5G systems has recently entered in an advanced phase, where non-terrestrial networks will be a new key feature in the upcoming releases. Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is one of the technologies that will address the massive machine type communication (mMTC) traf- fic of the 5G. To meet the demanding need for global connectivity, satellite communications can provide an essential support to complement and extend the NB-IoT terrestrial infrastructure. However, the presence of the satellite channel comes up with new demands for the NB-IoT procedures. In this paper, we investigate the main challenges introduced by the satellite channel in the NB-IoT random access procedure, while pointing out valuable solutions and research directions to overcome those challenges. [less ▲]

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See detailTransfer Learning Strategies for Credit Card Fraud Detection.
Lebichot, Bertrand UL; Verheslt, Théo; Le Borgne, Yann-aël et al

in IEEE Access (2021)

Credit card fraud jeopardizes the trust of customers in e-commerce transactions. This led in recent years to major advances in the design of automatic Fraud Detection Systems (FDS) able to detect ... [more ▼]

Credit card fraud jeopardizes the trust of customers in e-commerce transactions. This led in recent years to major advances in the design of automatic Fraud Detection Systems (FDS) able to detect fraudulent transactions with short reaction time and high precision. Nevertheless, the heterogeneous nature of the fraud behavior makes it difficult to tailor existing systems to different contexts (e.g. new payment systems, different countries and/or population segments). Given the high cost (research, prototype development, and implementation in production) of designing data-driven FDSs, it is crucial for transactional companies to define procedures able to adapt existing pipelines to new challenges. From an AI/machine learning perspective, this is known as the problem of transfer learning. This paper discusses the design and implementation of transfer learning approaches for e-commerce credit card fraud detection and their assessment in a real setting. The case study, based on a six-month dataset (more than 200 million e-commerce transactions) provided by the industrial partner, relates to the transfer of detection models developed for a European country to another country. In particular, we present and discuss 15 transfer learning techniques (ranging from naive baselines to state-of-the-art and new approaches), making a critical and quantitative comparison in terms of precision for different transfer scenarios. Our contributions are twofold: (i) we show that the accuracy of many transfer methods is strongly dependent on the number of labeled samples in the target domain and (ii) we propose an ensemble solution to this problem based on self-supervised and semi-supervised domain adaptation classifiers. The thorough experimental assessment shows that this solution is both highly accurate and hardly sensitive to the number of labeled samples. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-Level Modular Autopilot Solution for Fast Prototyping of Unmanned Aerial Systems
Rodriguez de Cos, Carlos; Fernandez, Manuel Jesus; Sanchez Cuevas, Pedro Jesus UL et al

in IEEE Access (2020)

A redundant fast prototyping autopilot solution for unmanned aerial systems has been developed and successfully tested outdoors. While its low-level backbone is executed in a Raspberry Pi R 3 + NAVIO2 R ... [more ▼]

A redundant fast prototyping autopilot solution for unmanned aerial systems has been developed and successfully tested outdoors. While its low-level backbone is executed in a Raspberry Pi R 3 + NAVIO2 R with a backup autopilot, the computational power of an Intel R NUC mini-computer is employed to implement complex functionalities directly in Simulink R , thus including in-flight debugging, tuning and monitoring. Altogether, the presented tool provides a flexible and user-friendly high-level environment with enhanced computational capabilities, which drastically reduces the prototyping timespans of complex algorithms -between 50% and 75%, according to our long and proven experience in aerial robotics-, while preventing incidents thanks to its redundant design with a human-in-the-loop pilot on the reliable PX4. Three typical outdoor cases are carried out for validation in real-life scenarios, all mounted in a DJI © F550 platform. Full integration results and telemetry for more than 50 hours of outdoor flight tests are provided. [less ▲]

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See detailMulti-Channel Joint Forecasting-Scheduling for the Internet of Things
Rodoplu, Volkan; Nakip, Mert; Qorbanian, Roozbeh UL et al

in IEEE Access (2020), 8

We develop a methodology for Multi-Channel Joint Forecasting-Scheduling (MC-JFS) targeted at solving the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer Massive Access Problem of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication ... [more ▼]

We develop a methodology for Multi-Channel Joint Forecasting-Scheduling (MC-JFS) targeted at solving the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer Massive Access Problem of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication in the presence of multiple channels, as found in Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) systems. In contrast with the existing schemes that merely react to current traffic demand, Joint Forecasting-Scheduling (JFS) forecasts the traffic generation pattern of each Internet of Things (IoT) device in the coverage area of an IoT Gateway and schedules the uplink transmissions of the IoT devices over multiple channels in advance, thus obviating contention, collision and handshaking, which are found in reactive protocols. In this paper, we present the general form of a deterministic scheduling optimization program for MC-JFS that maximizes the total number of bits that are delivered over multiple channels by the delay deadlines of the IoT applications. In order to enable real-time operation of the MC-JFS system, first, we design a heuristic, called Multi-Channel Look Ahead Priority based on Average Load (MC-LAPAL), that solves the general form of the scheduling problem. Second, for the special case of identical channels, we develop a reduction technique by virtue of which an optimal solution of the scheduling problem is computed in real time. We compare the network performance of our MC-JFS scheme against Multi-Channel Reservation-based Access Barring (MC-RAB) and Multi-Channel Enhanced Reservation-based Access Barring (MC-ERAB), both of which serve as benchmark reactive protocols. Our results show that MC-JFS outperforms both MC-RAB and MC-ERAB with respect to uplink cross-layer throughput and transmit energy consumption, and that MC-LAPAL provides high performance as an MC-JFS heuristic. Furthermore, we show that the computation time of MC-LAPAL scales approximately linearly with the number of IoT devices. This work serves as a foundation for building scalable JFS schemes at IoT Gateways in the near future. [less ▲]

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