Distributed Rate Control in Downlink NOMA Networks with Reliability Constraints

Non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) has been identified as a promising technology for future wireless systems due to its performance gains in spectral efficiency when compared to conventional orthogonal schemes (OMA). This gain can be easily translated to an increasing number of served users, but imposes a challenge in the system reliability which is of vital importance for new services and applications of coming cellular systems. To cope with these issues we propose a NOMA rate control strategy that makes use only of topological characteristics of the scenario and the reliability constraint. We attain the necessary conditions so that NOMA overcomes the OMA alternative, while we discuss the optimum allocation strategies for the 2-user NOMA setup when operating with equal rate or maximum sum-rate goals. In such scenario we show that the user with the largest target error probability times the ratio between the average receive signal power and the average interference power, should be scheduled to be decoded first for optimum performance. We compare numerically the performance of our allocation scheme with its ideal counterpart requiring full CSI at the BSs and infinitely long blocklength, and show how the gap increases as the reliability constraint becomes more stringent. Results also evidence the benefits of NOMA when the co-interference can be efficiently canceled, specially when the goal is to maximize the sum-rate.