Neural Networks Based Beam Codebooks: Learning mmWave Massive MIMO Beams That Adapt to Deployment and Hardware

Muhammad Alrabeiah, Yu Zhang, Ahmed Alkhateeb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Millimeter wave (mmWave) and massive MIMO systems are intrinsic components of 5G and beyond. These systems rely on using beamforming codebooks for both initial access and data transmission. Current beam codebooks, however, generally consist of a large number of narrow beams that scan all possible directions, leading to large training overhead. Further, these codebooks do not normally account for hardware impairments or possible non-uniform array geometries, and their calibration process is expensive. To overcome these limitations, this paper develops an efficient online machine learning framework that learns how to adapt the codebook beam patterns to the specific deployment, surrounding environment, user distribution, and hardware characteristics. This is done by designing a novel complex-valued neural network architecture in which the neuron weights directly model the beamforming weights of the analog phase shifters, accounting for the key hardware constraints. This model learns the codebook beams through online and self-supervised training avoiding the need for explicit channel state information. This respects the practical situations where the channel is imperfect or hard to obtain. Simulation results highlight the capability of the proposed solution in learning environment and hardware aware beam codebooks, which reduce the training overhead and improve the robustness against possible hardware impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3818-3833
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Beam codebook learning
  • Beyond 5G
  • Massive MIMO
  • Millimeter wave
  • Neural networks
  • Online learning
  • Self-supervised

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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