Toward Federated-Learning-Enabled Visible Light Communication in 6G Systems

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19 Scopus citations


Visible light communication (VLC) technology was introduced as a key enabler for the next generation of wireless networks, mainly thanks to its simple and low-cost implementation. However, several challenges prohibit the realization of the full potential of VLC, namely, limited modulation bandwidth, ambient light interference, optical diffuse reflection effects, devices' nonlinearity, and random receiver orientation. On the contrary, centralized machine learning (ML) techniques have demonstrated significant potential in handling different challenges related to wireless communication systems. Specifically, it has been shown that ML algorithms exhibit superior capabilities in handling complicated network tasks, such as channel equalization, estimation and modeling, resources allocation, and opportunistic spectrum access control, to name a few. Nevertheless, concerns pertaining to privacy and communication overhead when sharing raw data of the involved clients with a server constitute major bottlenecks in the implementation of centralized ML techniques. This has led to the emergence of a new distributed ML paradigm, namely federated learning (FL), which can reduce the cost associated with transferring raw data, and preserve privacy by training ML models locally and collaboratively at the clients' side. Hence, it becomes evident that integrating FL into VLC networks can provide ubiquitous and reliable implementation of VLC systems. With this motivation, this is the first in-depth review in the literature on the application of FL in VLC networks. To that end, besides the different architectures and related characteristics of FL, we provide a thorough overview on the main design aspects of FL-based VLC systems. Finally, we also highlight some potential future research directions of FL that are envisioned to substantially enhance the performance and robustness of VLC systems.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022


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