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About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 30 November 2022
Manuscript Submission Deadline 31 January 2023

In 6G, even more wireless devices for either sensing or communication purpose will be deployed for smart home, transportation, and city applications, which will inevitably result in an ever-rising economic cost and energy consumption. To alleviate this situation, integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) has been proposed as a key enabler for 6G, which allows sensing and communication functions to co-exist in single devices and benefit from each other to improve their respective performance. Moreover, with the rapidly evolving technologies on metamaterial surfaces, or so-called reconfigurable intelligent surfaces~(RISs), the ISAC can be brought to its next level. Composed of numerous densely arranged meta-material antenna elements, RISs are able to perform exceptionally strong beam-forming, potentially achieving high-precision sensing and high-rate communication while at significantly lower cost and power consumption compared with traditional phase-array antennas. Therefore, it is of eminent importance to investigate the possibility of ISAC with RISs.

The goal of this research topic is to solicit high-quality scholarly contributions on addressing the technical challenges of ISAC with RIS at the network layer. Since it has been experimentally proved that RIS can realize ISAC in the physical and link layers, it is now the right time to investigate the ISAC with RIS from a higher level. By gathering intelligence around the world, we are trying to identify, analyze, and address the challenges in the establishment of RIS-based ISAC networks.

For example, while the strong beamforming capability of RISs enhances the sensing and communication ranges, it also leads to high inter-cell interference and brings challenges in the inter-cell interference management. Such high inter-cell interference will also increase the difficulties in designing the medium-access protocols and hand-over mechanisms. Another significant open question is how the network might benefit from the cooperation among various RIS-based ISAC systems. To address this, technologies such as data fusion, crowd-sensing, federated learning, and multi-agent reinforcement learning can be promising solutions.

The scope of the research topic includes, but is not limited to:

1) Innovative ISAC technologies for RIS-based communication systems.

2) Inter-cell interference management of RIS-based ISAC networks.

3) Hand-over mechanism design between RIS-based ISAC systems.

4) RIS placement for enhancing communication and sensing coverage.

5) Crowd-sensing technique in RIS-assisted ISAC systems.

6) Deep, federated, transfer, and reinforcement learning methods and associated datasets or benchmarks for RIS-based ISAC networks.

7) Integration between RIS-based ISAC networks with existing communication and sensing infrastructures.

8) High-precision positioning/sensing methods for RIS-based communication systems.

9) Methods to provide seamless positioning/sensing/communication services in regions with low GPS signals.

10) Privacy and security issues, potential vulnerabilities, and solutions to RIS-based ISAC networks.

Keywords: Reconfigurable intelligent surface, integrated sensing and communication, communication network analysis and optimization, interference management, sensing and positioning


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In 6G, even more wireless devices for either sensing or communication purpose will be deployed for smart home, transportation, and city applications, which will inevitably result in an ever-rising economic cost and energy consumption. To alleviate this situation, integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) has been proposed as a key enabler for 6G, which allows sensing and communication functions to co-exist in single devices and benefit from each other to improve their respective performance. Moreover, with the rapidly evolving technologies on metamaterial surfaces, or so-called reconfigurable intelligent surfaces~(RISs), the ISAC can be brought to its next level. Composed of numerous densely arranged meta-material antenna elements, RISs are able to perform exceptionally strong beam-forming, potentially achieving high-precision sensing and high-rate communication while at significantly lower cost and power consumption compared with traditional phase-array antennas. Therefore, it is of eminent importance to investigate the possibility of ISAC with RISs.

The goal of this research topic is to solicit high-quality scholarly contributions on addressing the technical challenges of ISAC with RIS at the network layer. Since it has been experimentally proved that RIS can realize ISAC in the physical and link layers, it is now the right time to investigate the ISAC with RIS from a higher level. By gathering intelligence around the world, we are trying to identify, analyze, and address the challenges in the establishment of RIS-based ISAC networks.

For example, while the strong beamforming capability of RISs enhances the sensing and communication ranges, it also leads to high inter-cell interference and brings challenges in the inter-cell interference management. Such high inter-cell interference will also increase the difficulties in designing the medium-access protocols and hand-over mechanisms. Another significant open question is how the network might benefit from the cooperation among various RIS-based ISAC systems. To address this, technologies such as data fusion, crowd-sensing, federated learning, and multi-agent reinforcement learning can be promising solutions.

The scope of the research topic includes, but is not limited to:

1) Innovative ISAC technologies for RIS-based communication systems.

2) Inter-cell interference management of RIS-based ISAC networks.

3) Hand-over mechanism design between RIS-based ISAC systems.

4) RIS placement for enhancing communication and sensing coverage.

5) Crowd-sensing technique in RIS-assisted ISAC systems.

6) Deep, federated, transfer, and reinforcement learning methods and associated datasets or benchmarks for RIS-based ISAC networks.

7) Integration between RIS-based ISAC networks with existing communication and sensing infrastructures.

8) High-precision positioning/sensing methods for RIS-based communication systems.

9) Methods to provide seamless positioning/sensing/communication services in regions with low GPS signals.

10) Privacy and security issues, potential vulnerabilities, and solutions to RIS-based ISAC networks.

Keywords: Reconfigurable intelligent surface, integrated sensing and communication, communication network analysis and optimization, interference management, sensing and positioning


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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