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Simulation code for “Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: Three Myths and Two Critical Questions,” by Emil Björnson, Özgecan Özdogan, Erik G. Larsson, IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 58, no. 12, pp. 90-96, December 2020.

emilbjornson/RIS-myths

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Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: Three Myths and Two Critical Questions

This is a code package is related to the follow scientific article:

Emil Björnson, Özgecan Özdogan, Erik G. Larsson, “Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: Three Myths and Two Critical Questions,” IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 58, no. 12, pp. 90-96, December 2020.

The package contains a simulation environment, based on Matlab, that reproduces some of the numerical results and figures in the article. We encourage you to also perform reproducible research!

Abstract of the Article

The search for physical-layer technologies that can play a key role in beyond-5G systems has started. One option is reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS), which can collect wireless signals from a transmitter and passively beamform them towards the receiver. The technology has exciting prospects and is quickly gaining traction in the communication community, but in the current hype we have witnessed how several myths and overstatements are spreading in the literature.

In this article, we take a neutral look at the RIS technology. We first review the fundamentals and then explain specific features that can be easily misinterpreted. In particular, we debunk three myths: 1) Current network technology can only control the transmitter and receiver, not the environment in between; 2) A better asymptotic array gain is achieved than with conventional beamforming; 3) The pathloss is the same as with anomalous mirrors.

To inspire further research, we conclude by identifying two critical questions that must be answered for RIS to become a successful technology: 1) What is a convincing use case for RIS?; 2) How can we estimate channels and control an RIS in real time?

Content of Code Package

The article contains 3 simulation figures, numbered 2-4. plotFigure2.m generates Figure 2, plotFigure3.m generates Figure 3, and plotFigure4.m generates Figure 4. There are also two functions from Reference 11.

See each file for further documentation.

Acknowledgements

The paper was supported by ELLIIT and the Swedish Research Council.

License and Referencing

This code package is licensed under the GPLv2 license. If you in any way use this code for research that results in publications, please cite our original article listed above.

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Simulation code for “Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces: Three Myths and Two Critical Questions,” by Emil Björnson, Özgecan Özdogan, Erik G. Larsson, IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 58, no. 12, pp. 90-96, December 2020.

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