2019-01570 - PhD Position F/M Simultaneous Information and Energy Transmission
Le descriptif de l’offre ci-dessous est en Anglais

Type de contrat : CDD de la fonction publique

Niveau de diplôme exigé : Bac + 2 ou équivalent

Fonction : Doctorant

A propos du centre ou de la direction fonctionnelle

Grenoble Rhône-Alpes Research Center groups together a few less than 800 people in 35 research teams and 9 research support departments.

Staff is localized on 5 campuses in Grenoble and Lyon, in close collaboration with labs, research and higher education institutions in Grenoble and Lyon, but also with the economic players in these areas.

Present in the fields of software, high-performance computing, Internet of things, image and data, but also simulation in oceanography and biology, it participates at the best level of international scientific achievements and collaborations in both Europe and the rest of the world.

Contexte et atouts du poste

This PhD position is opened within the collaboration between INRIA and Princeton University in the areas of Information Sciences and Systems. The Phd Student is fully funded by INRIA and hosted in France by the Laboratoire CITI in the scientific campus of Lyon. 

The PhD student will be supervised by Prof. Samir M. Perlaza (INRIA). The research topic lies in the broad intersection of information theory, signal processing and system implementation.  The starting date of the PhD is September 2019.

Mission confiée

A central challenge in the development of the Internet of things (IoT) and cyber-physical systems (CPSs) arises from the fact that sensors that are deployed all over the physical system (infrastructure) depend on local energy sources, often batteries or energy harvesting systems. This battery dependency becomes a critical issue when the systems are deployed in hard-to-reach locations, e.g., remote geographical areas, concrete structures, human bodies, or disaster/war zones. An effective remedy is using energy harvesting technologies. Specifically, energy can be harvested from different ambient sources such as light, vibrations, heat, chemical reactions, physiological processes, or the radio frequency (RF) signals produced by communications systems.

Among all choices, RF signals stand as a solid alternative for energy harvesting in the IoT and CPSs. From this perspective, sensors, actuators and other network components might harvest energy from the surrounding wireless communications. More interestingly, the transmission of information can be performed in such a way that the energy transmission task is invigorated. This is essentially the key idea of a new paradigm in communications: simultaneous information and energy transmission (SIET), which is at the core of the development of CPS and the IoT in 6G communications systems [1].

In the context of the IoT and CPSs, using SIET faces two critical challenges: (i) Ultra low tolerance to latency (delay) in communications; and (ii) Very high need of reliability in terms of error-decoding probability and energy-shortage probability.

Latency is one of the major challenges due the sensitivity of the CPSs to the communication delays. Such sensitivity stems from the fact that after any change in a CPS, there exists a very narrow time-window during which the CPS must respond to the change and dynamically adapt its operations. Such adaptations are crucial for avoiding failures or disruptions in the physical system.

Reliability is another central challenge in CPS due to implications of any communication error. In applications in which human lifes are at risk, such as autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, etc., CPSs must operate under high reliability constraints.

Context: SIET is unanimously considered as one of the technologies to be integrated within the 6G [1]. Nonetheless, it was not considered for the future deployments of 5G communications systems around the globe. One of the reasons that explains this is that SIET remains poorly understood from the theoretical perspective. Today, the trade-offs between the information rates and energy rates that can be achieved subject to particular latency and reliability constraints remain unknown in most of the relevant cases for practical implementations.

The performance of SIET is often measured by the information and energy transmission rates that can be simultaneously achieved subject to some upper bounds on the decoding error probability (DEP) and energy shortage probability (ESP). The fundamental limits of SIET consist of the largest set of information and energy rate tuples that can be simultaneously achieved. This set is often referred to as the information-energy capacity region [2]. Traditionally, information-energy capacity regions are calculated subject to the fact that both DEP and ESP must be arbitrarily close to zero. This strong reliability constraint leads to adopt the assumption of infinitely long communication blocks. Therefore, these fundamental limits are meaningful only under the hyphotesis that the transmission lasts a long time. This theoretical framework to study the fundamental limits of SIET is often referred to as the asymptotic block-length regime analysis. Within this context, together with his team, the Principal Investigator has thoroughly characterized the information-energy capacity region of several canonical channels, e.g., the multiple access channel [3] and the interference channel [4]. Within this context, these existing fundamental limits quickly lose relevance in scenarios in which communications must occur within constraints of ultra low latency, as those studied within NASSIET. Other studies of multi-user channels are presented in [5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10], and references therein. Nonetheless, these results are essentially achievable schemes and do not establish fundamental limits.

Positioning: Under ultra low latency and high reliability constraints, more relevant fundamental limits are needed. Essentially, two important facts must be taken into account. First, SIET occurs within a finite number of channel uses (latency); and second, the system tolerates bounded and strictly positive DEP and ESP (reliability).

NASSIET introduces a theoretical framework for analyzing SIET in a non-asymptotic block-length regime. That is, the underlying assumption is that the transmission takes place during a finite period, which leads to strictly positive DEP and the ESP. This new framework builds upon the existing results on the fundamentallimits of information transmission in the non-asymptotic block-length regime (c.f. [11]), as well as on some preliminary results obtained by the Principal Investigator on non-asymptotic SIET [12].



[1] F. Tariq, M. R. A. Khandaker, K.-K. Wong, M. Imran, M. Bennis, and M. Debbah, “A speculative study on 6G,” online: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.06700.pdf, Feb. 2019.

[2] S. Belhadj Amor and S. M. Perlaza, “Fundamental limits of simultaneous energy and information transmission,” in Proc. International Symposium on Telecommunications, Thessaloniki, Greece, May 2016.

[3] S. Belhadj Amor, S. M. Perlaza, I. Krikidis, and H. V. Poor, “Feedback enhances simultaneous wireless information and energy transmission in multiple access channels,” IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 63, no. 8, pp. 5244–5265, Aug. 2017.

[4] N. Khalfet and S. M. Perlaza, “Simultaneous Information and Energy Transmission in the Two-User Gaussian Interference Channel,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 156–170, Jan. 2019.

[5] J. Park and B. Clerckx, “Joint wireless information and energy transfer in a two-user MIMO interference channel,” IEEE Trans. Wireless Commun., vol. 12, no. 8, pp. 4210–4221, Aug. 2013.

[6] A. M. Fouladgar and O. Simeone, “On the transfer of information and energy in multi-user systems,” IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 16, no. 11, pp. 1733–1736, Nov. 2012.

[7] S. Ulukus, A. Yener, E. Erkip, O. Simeone, M. Zorzi, P. Grover, and K. Huang, “Energy harvesting wireless communications: A review of recent advances,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 360–381, Mar. 2015.

[8] P. Popovski, A. M. Fouladgar, and O. Simeone, “Interactive joint transfer of energy and information,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 61, no. 5, pp. 2086–2097, May 2013.

[9] I. Krikidis, S. Timotheou, S. Nikolaou, G. Zheng, D. W. K. Ng, and R. Schober, “Simultaneous wireless information and power transfer in modern communication systems,” IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 52, pp. 104–110, Nov. 2014.

[10] Z. Ding, S. M. Perlaza, I. Esnaola, and H. V. Poor, “Power allocation strategies in energy harvesting wireless cooperative networks,” IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 846–860, Feb. 2014.

[11] Y. Polyanskiy, H. V. Poor, and S. Verdú, “Channel coding rate in the finite blocklength regime,” IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 2307–2359, May 2010.

[12] S. M. Perlaza, A. Tajer, and H. V. Poor, “Simultaneous energy and information transmission: A finite block-length analysis,” in Proc. of the 19th IEEE International Workshop on Signal Processing Advances in Wireless Communication, Kalamata, Greece, Jun. 2018.

Principales activités

The overarching goal of this thesis is to address foundational questions pertinent to the reliable and resilient operation of communication systems whose objective is the simultaneous transmission of information and energy within a context of ultra low latency and high reliability. Two particular scenarios are studied: (a) Point-to-point Channels; and (b) Multiple access channels.


Candidates are expected to have a strong background in mathematics. Abilities in algorithm design and computer programming are also essential. Previous knowledge on information theory, game theory and signal processing is desirable. The candidate must have a provable level of written and spoken english. Skills in french language are not required.

Advisor: Samir M. Perlaza (INRIA, France) Webpage of the Group: cybernets.inria.fr samir.perlaza@inira.fr


  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT (statutory reduction in working hours) + possibility of exceptional leave (sick children, moving home, etc.)
  • Possibility of teleworking (after 6 months of employment) and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage


Gross monthly salary for the first and second year : 1982€

Gross monthly salary for the third year : 2085€