Efficient Bit Loading Algorithm for OFDM-NOMA Systems with BER Constraints

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This paper proposes a novel bit loading algorithm to multicarrier non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) systems to maximize the system total throughput while satisfying the users' individual quality of service (QoS) constraints. Although bit loading is generally a non-deterministic polynomial-time (NP)-hard problem, even for orthogonal multiple access (OMA), the mutual interference between the users, and the dependence of power coefficients and modulation orders are additional challenges that add substantial complexity to the optimization problem. Therefore, in this paper, we propose an efficient bit loading algorithm for multicarrier NOMA systems and compare the complexity and throughput with a corresponding OMA system. The obtained results show that for the case of NOMA, bit loading provides an additional degree of freedom that allows non-uniform spectrum sharing among the users. In particular scenarios, the system may experience hybrid modes of operation, where the system switches between NOMA and OMA. The obtained numerical results show that NOMA can outperform OMA by 100% in terms of spectral efficiency, for a two-user scenario. The complexity of the loading process for NOMA is noticeably higher than OMA, which is due to the high complexity associated with the bit error rate (BER) computation in the case of NOMA.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)423-436
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Adaptive modulation
  • BER
  • Bit loading
  • Computational complexity
  • NOMA
  • OMA
  • Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM)
  • Spectrum efficiency


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