Skip to Main Content
The main contribution of this paper is the insight that the transmitters' knowledge of channel coherence intervals alone (without any knowledge of the values of channel coefficients) can be surprisingly useful in a multiuser setting, illustrated by the idea of blind interference alignment that is introduced in this work. Specifically, we explore five network communication problems where the possibility of interference alignment, and consequently the total number of degrees of freedom (DoF) with channel uncertainty at the transmitters, are unknown. These problems share the common property that in each case the best known outer bounds are essentially robust to channel uncertainty and represent the outcome with interference alignment, but the best inner bounds-in some cases conjectured to be optimal-predict a total collapse of DoF, thus indicating the infeasibility of interference alignment under channel uncertainty at transmitters. For each of these settings we show that even with no knowledge of channel coefficient values at the transmitters, under certain heterogeneous block fading models, i.e., when certain users experience smaller coherence time/bandwidth than others, blind interference alignment can be achieved. In each case we also establish the DoF optimality of the blind interference alignment scheme.