Sixth-generation (6G) mobile communication networks are expected to have dense infrastructures, large-dimensional channels, cost-effective hardware, diversified positioning methods, and enhanced intelligence. Such trends bring both new challenges and opportunities for the practical design of 6G. On one hand, acquiring channel state information (CSI) in real time for all wireless links becomes quite challenging in 6G. On the other hand, there would be numerous data sources in 6G containing high-quality location-tagged channel data, making it possible to better learn the local wireless environment. By exploiting such new opportunities and for tackling the CSI acquisition challenge, there is a promising paradigm shift from the conventional environment-unaware communications to the new environment-aware communications based on the novel approach of channel knowledge map (CKM). This article aims to provide a comprehensive tutorial overview on environment-aware communications enabled by CKM to fully harness its benefits for 6G. First, the basic concept of CKM is presented, and a comparison of CKM with various existing channel inference techniques is discussed. Next, the main techniques for CKM construction are discussed, including both the model-free and model-assisted approaches. Furthermore, a general framework is presented for the utilization of CKM to achieve environment-aware communications, followed by some typical CKM-aided communication scenarios. Finally, important open problems in CKM research are highlighted and potential solutions are discussed to inspire future work.
Recent work on Neural Radiance Fields (NeRF) has demonstrated significant advances in high-quality view synthesis. A major limitation of NeRF is its low rendering efficiency due to the need for multiple network forwardings to render a single pixel. Existing methods to improve NeRF either reduce the number of required samples or optimize the implementation to accelerate the network forwarding. Despite these efforts, the problem of multiple sampling persists due to the intrinsic representation of radiance fields. In contrast, Neural Light Fields (NeLF) reduce the computation cost of NeRF by querying only one single network forwarding per pixel. To achieve a close visual quality to NeRF, existing NeLF methods require significantly larger network capacities which limits their rendering efficiency in practice. In this work, we propose a new representation called Neural Radiance Distribution Field (NeRDF) that targets efficient view synthesis in real-time. Specifically, we use a small network similar to NeRF while preserving the rendering speed with a single network forwarding per pixel as in NeLF. The key is to model the radiance distribution along each ray with frequency basis and predict frequency weights using the network. Pixel values are then computed via volume rendering on radiance distributions. Experiments show that our proposed method offers a better trade-off among speed, quality, and network size than existing methods: we achieve a ~254x speed-up over NeRF with similar network size, with only a marginal performance decline. Our project page is at yushuang-wu.github.io/NeRDF.
3D lane detection from monocular images is a fundamental yet challenging task in autonomous driving. Recent advances primarily rely on structural 3D surrogates (e.g., bird's eye view) built from front-view image features and camera parameters. However, the depth ambiguity in monocular images inevitably causes misalignment between the constructed surrogate feature map and the original image, posing a great challenge for accurate lane detection. To address the above issue, we present a novel LATR model, an end-to-end 3D lane detector that uses 3D-aware front-view features without transformed view representation. Specifically, LATR detects 3D lanes via cross-attention based on query and key-value pairs, constructed using our lane-aware query generator and dynamic 3D ground positional embedding. On the one hand, each query is generated based on 2D lane-aware features and adopts a hybrid embedding to enhance lane information. On the other hand, 3D space information is injected as positional embedding from an iteratively-updated 3D ground plane. LATR outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods on both synthetic Apollo, realistic OpenLane and ONCE-3DLanes by large margins (e.g., 11.4 gain in terms of F1 score on OpenLane). Code will be released at https://github.com/JMoonr/LATR .
The high-accuracy and resource-intensive deep neural networks (DNNs) have been widely adopted by live video analytics (VA), where camera videos are streamed over the network to resource-rich edge/cloud servers for DNN inference. Common video encoding configurations (e.g., resolution and frame rate) have been identified with significant impacts on striking the balance between bandwidth consumption and inference accuracy and therefore their adaption scheme has been a focus of optimization. However, previous profiling-based solutions suffer from high profiling cost, while existing deep reinforcement learning (DRL) based solutions may achieve poor performance due to the usage of fixed reward function for training the agent, which fails to craft the application goals in various scenarios. In this paper, we propose ILCAS, the first imitation learning (IL) based configuration-adaptive VA streaming system. Unlike DRL-based solutions, ILCAS trains the agent with demonstrations collected from the expert which is designed as an offline optimal policy that solves the configuration adaption problem through dynamic programming. To tackle the challenge of video content dynamics, ILCAS derives motion feature maps based on motion vectors which allow ILCAS to visually ``perceive'' video content changes. Moreover, ILCAS incorporates a cross-camera collaboration scheme to exploit the spatio-temporal correlations of cameras for more proper configuration selection. Extensive experiments confirm the superiority of ILCAS compared with state-of-the-art solutions, with 2-20.9% improvement of mean accuracy and 19.9-85.3% reduction of chunk upload lag.
Generative Diffusion Models (GDMs) have emerged as a transformative force in the realm of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), demonstrating their versatility and efficacy across a variety of applications. The ability to model complex data distributions and generate high-quality samples has made GDMs particularly effective in tasks such as image generation and reinforcement learning. Furthermore, their iterative nature, which involves a series of noise addition and denoising steps, is a powerful and unique approach to learning and generating data. This paper serves as a comprehensive tutorial on applying GDMs in network optimization tasks. We delve into the strengths of GDMs, emphasizing their wide applicability across various domains, such as vision, text, and audio generation.We detail how GDMs can be effectively harnessed to solve complex optimization problems inherent in networks. The paper first provides a basic background of GDMs and their applications in network optimization. This is followed by a series of case studies, showcasing the integration of GDMs with Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL), incentive mechanism design, Semantic Communications (SemCom), Internet of Vehicles (IoV) networks, etc. These case studies underscore the practicality and efficacy of GDMs in real-world scenarios, offering insights into network design. We conclude with a discussion on potential future directions for GDM research and applications, providing major insights into how they can continue to shape the future of network optimization.
Limited by expensive pixel-level labels, polyp segmentation models are plagued by data shortage and suffer from impaired generalization. In contrast, polyp bounding box annotations are much cheaper and more accessible. Thus, to reduce labeling cost, we propose to learn a weakly supervised polyp segmentation model (i.e., WeakPolyp) completely based on bounding box annotations. However, coarse bounding boxes contain too much noise. To avoid interference, we introduce the mask-to-box (M2B) transformation. By supervising the outer box mask of the prediction instead of the prediction itself, M2B greatly mitigates the mismatch between the coarse label and the precise prediction. But, M2B only provides sparse supervision, leading to non-unique predictions. Therefore, we further propose a scale consistency (SC) loss for dense supervision. By explicitly aligning predictions across the same image at different scales, the SC loss largely reduces the variation of predictions. Note that our WeakPolyp is a plug-and-play model, which can be easily ported to other appealing backbones. Besides, the proposed modules are only used during training, bringing no computation cost to inference. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed WeakPolyp, which surprisingly achieves a comparable performance with a fully supervised model, requiring no mask annotations at all.
Extremely large-scale multiple-input-multiple-output (XL-MIMO), which offers vast spatial degrees of freedom, has emerged as a potentially pivotal enabling technology for the sixth generation (6G) of wireless mobile networks. With its growing significance, both opportunities and challenges are concurrently manifesting. This paper presents a comprehensive survey of research on XL-MIMO wireless systems. In particular, we introduce four XL-MIMO hardware architectures: uniform linear array (ULA)-based XL-MIMO, uniform planar array (UPA)-based XL-MIMO utilizing either patch antennas or point antennas, and continuous aperture (CAP)-based XL-MIMO. We comprehensively analyze and discuss their characteristics and interrelationships. Following this, we examine exact and approximate near-field channel models for XL-MIMO. Given the distinct electromagnetic properties of near-field communications, we present a range of channel models to demonstrate the benefits of XL-MIMO. We further motivate and discuss low-complexity signal processing schemes to promote the practical implementation of XL-MIMO. Furthermore, we explore the interplay between XL-MIMO and other emergent 6G technologies. Finally, we outline several compelling research directions for future XL-MIMO wireless communication systems.
This paper studies the over-the-air computation (AirComp) in an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) system with imperfect channel state information (CSI), in which multiple single-antenna wireless devices (WDs) simultaneously send uncoded signals to a multi-antenna access point (AP) for distributed functional computation over multiple subcarriers. In particular, we consider two scenarios with best-effort and error-constrained computation tasks, with the objectives of minimizing the average computation mean squared error (MSE) and the computation outage probability over the multiple subcarriers, respectively. Towards this end, we jointly optimize the transmit coefficients at the WDs and the receive beamforming vectors at the AP over subcarriers, subject to the maximum transmit power constraints at individual WDs. First, for the special case with a single receive antenna at the AP, we propose the semi-closed-form globally optimal solutions to the two problems using the Lagrange-duality method. It is shown that at each subcarrier, the WDs' optimized power control policy for average MSE minimization follows a regularized channel inversion structure, while that for computation outage probability minimization follows an on-off regularized channel inversion, with the regularization dependent on the transmit power budget and channel estimation error. Next, for the general case with multiple receive antennas at the AP, we present efficient algorithms based on alternating optimization and convex optimization to find converged solutions to both problems.
In this paper, we introduce a realistic and challenging domain adaptation problem called Universal Semi-supervised Model Adaptation (USMA), which i) requires only a pre-trained source model, ii) allows the source and target domain to have different label sets, i.e., they share a common label set and hold their own private label set, and iii) requires only a few labeled samples in each class of the target domain. To address USMA, we propose a collaborative consistency training framework that regularizes the prediction consistency between two models, i.e., a pre-trained source model and its variant pre-trained with target data only, and combines their complementary strengths to learn a more powerful model. The rationale of our framework stems from the observation that the source model performs better on common categories than the target-only model, while on target-private categories, the target-only model performs better. We also propose a two-perspective, i.e., sample-wise and class-wise, consistency regularization to improve the training. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on several benchmark datasets.