Reasoning over the Air: A Reasoning-based Implicit Semantic-Aware Communication Framework

Semantic-aware communication is a novel paradigm that draws inspiration from human communication focusing on the delivery of the meaning of messages. It has attracted significant interest recently due to its potential to improve the efficiency and reliability of communication and enhance users’ quality-of-experience (QoE). Most existing works focus on transmitting and delivering the explicit semantic meaning that can be directly identified from the source signal. This paper investigates the implicit semantic-aware communication in which the hidden information, e.g., hidden relations, concepts and implicit reasoning mechanisms of users, that cannot be directly observed from the source signal must be recognized and interpreted by the intended users. To this end, a novel implicit semantic-aware communication (iSAC) architecture is proposed for representing, communicating, and interpreting the implicit semantic meaning between source and destination users. A graph-inspired structure is first developed to represent the complete semantics, including both explicit and implicit, of a message. A projection-based semantic encoder is then proposed to convert the high-dimensional graphical representation of explicit semantics into a low-dimensional semantic constellation space for efficient physical channel transmission. To enable the destination user to learn and imitate the implicit semantic reasoning process of source user, a generative adversarial imitation learning-based solution, called G-RML, is proposed. Different from existing communication solutions, the source user in G-RML does not focus only on sending as much of the useful messages as possible; but, instead, it tries to guide the destination user to learn a reasoning mechanism to map any observed explicit semantics to the corresponding implicit semantics that are most relevant to the semantic meaning. By applying G-RML, we prove that the destination user can accurately imitate the reasoning process of the source user and automatically generate a set of implicit reasoning paths following the same probability distribution as the expert paths. Compared to the existing solutions, our proposed G-RML requires much less communication and computational resources and scales well to the scenarios involving the communication of rich semantic meanings consisting of a large number of concepts and relations. Numerical results show that the proposed solution achieves up to 92% accuracy of implicit meaning interpretation.