Skip to Main Content
In Costa's dirty-paper channel, Gaussian random binning is able to eliminate the effect of interference which is known at the transmitter, and thus achieve capacity. We examine a generalization of the dirty-paper problem to a multiple access channel (MAC) setup, where structured (lattice-based) binning seems to be necessary to achieve capacity. In the dirty-MAC, two additive interference signals are present, one known to each transmitter but none to the receiver. The achievable rates using Costa's Gaussian binning vanish if both interference signals are strong. In contrast, it is shown that lattice-strategies (“lattice precoding”) can achieve positive rates, independent of the interference power. Furthermore, in some cases-which depend on the noise variance and power constraints-high-dimensional lattice strategies are in fact optimal. In particular, they are optimal in the limit of high SNR-where the capacity region of the dirty MAC with strong interference approaches that of a clean MAC whose power is governed by the minimum of the users' powers rather than their sum. The rate gap at high SNR between lattice-strategies and optimum (rather than Gaussian) random binning is conjectured to be 1/2 log2(πe/6) ≈ 0.254 bit. Thus, the doubly dirty MAC is another instance of a network setting, like the Körner-Marton problem, where (linear) structured coding is potentially better than random binning.