Secure Linear Precoding in Overloaded MU-MIMO Wireless Networks

Marwan Krunz, Peyman Siyari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We investigate signaling and linear precoding designs for secure downlink communications in a multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO) network. The network is tapped by an external eavesdropper (Eve) who is equipped with a large number of antennas. In addition to the transmission of several (unicast) information signals to downlink users (Bobs), the transmitter (Alice) generates friendly jamming (FJ), aiming to prevent Eve from decoding Alice's signals. To mitigate both multiuser interference (MUI) and FJ on Bobs, MU-MIMO systems often rely on zero-forcing (ZF) precoders. A condition for the application of such precoders is that the network must be underloaded, i.e., Alice has more antennas than all Bobs combined. For overloaded scenarios, ZF-based precoding cannot guarantee nullification of both MUI and FJ at legitimate receivers. Accordingly, we propose a combined signaling-and-precoding scheme that can also be applied to an overloaded MU-MIMO network. In an underloaded scenario, our technique is shown to impose a more stringent antenna requirement on Eve than a classical ZF-based precoding, i.e., Eve must utilize more antennas if she is to successfully eavesdrop on Alice's transmissions. Although our scheme is comparable to antenna selection (AS) approaches in terms of Eve's antenna requirement, it incurs much less delay and complexity by avoiding frequent on/off switching of the RF chains at Bobs. For underloaded scenarios, we provide security analysis that establishes the conditions under which our scheme is superior to the ZF scheme. Using computer simulations, we validate the advantages of our design and contrast it with ZF and AS schemes in terms of the symbol error rate, the EVM, and the achievable rate in both underloaded and overloaded scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4050-4061
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • Multiuser MIMO
  • friendly jamming
  • linear precoding
  • physical-layer security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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