Comparison of distributed beamforming algorithms for MIMO interference networks

David A. Schmidt, Changxin Shi, Randall A. Berry, Michael L. Honig, Wolfgang Utschick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


This paper presents a comparative study of algorithms for jointly optimizing beamformers and receive filters in an interference network, where each node may have multiple antennas, each user transmits at most one data stream, and interference is treated as noise. We focus on techniques that seek good suboptimal solutions by means of iterative and distributed updates. Those include forward-backward iterative algorithms (max-signal-to-interference-plus- noise ratio (SINR) and interference leakage), weighted sum mean-squared error (MSE) algorithms, and interference pricing with incremental signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) adjustments. We compare their properties in terms of convergence and information exchange requirements, and then numerically evaluate their sum rate performance averaged over random (stationary) channel realizations. The numerical results show that the max-SINR algorithm achieves the maximum degrees of freedom (i.e., supports the maximum number of users with near-zero interference) and exhibits better convergence behavior at high SNRs than the weighted sum MSE algorithms. However, it assumes fixed power per user and achieves only a single point in the rate region whereas the weighted sum MSE criterion gives different points. In contrast, the incremental SNR algorithm adjusts the beam powers and deactivates users when interference alignment is infeasible. Furthermore, that algorithm can provide a slight increase in sum rate, relative to max-SINR, at the cost of additional iterations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6497666
Pages (from-to)3476-3489
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2013


  • MIMO interference channel
  • beamforming
  • interference alignment
  • precoder optimization
  • sum-rate maximization


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