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Interference alignment is a revolutionary wireless transmission strategy that reduces the impact of interference. The idea of interference alignment is to coordinate multiple transmitters so that their mutual interference aligns at the receivers, facilitating simple interference cancellation techniques. Since interference alignment's inception, researchers have investigated its performance and proposed several improvements. Research efforts have been primarily focused on verifying interference alignment's ability to achieve the maximum degrees of freedom (an approximation of sum capacity), developing algorithms for determining alignment solutions, and designing transmission strategies that relax the need for perfect alignment but yield better performance. This article provides an overview of the concept of interference alignment as well as an assessment of practical issues including performance in realistic propagation environments, the role of channel state information at the transmitter, and the practicality of interference alignment in large networks.
Date of Publication: February 2013