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Olfaction-inspired MCs: Molecule Mixture Shift Keying and Cross-Reactive Receptor Arrays

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posted on 11.03.2022, 04:12 by Vahid JamaliVahid Jamali, Helene M. Loos, Andrea Buettner, Robert Schober, H. Vincent Poor

In this paper, we propose a novel concept for engineered molecular communication (MC) systems inspired by animal olfaction. We focus on a multi-user scenario where several transmitters wish to communicate with a central receiver. We assume that each transmitter employs a unique mixture of different types of signaling molecules to represent its message and the receiver is equipped with an array comprising R different types of receptors in order to detect the emitted molecule mixtures. The design of an MC system based on \textit{orthogonal} molecule-receptor pairs implies that the hardware complexity of the receiver linearly scales with the number of signaling molecule types Q (i.e., R=Q). Natural olfaction systems avoid such high complexity by employing arrays of \textit{cross-reactive} receptors, where each type of molecule activates multiple types of receptors and each type of receptor is predominantly activated by multiple types of molecules albeit with different activation strengths. Motivated by this observation, we first develop an end-to-end MC channel model that accounts for the key properties of olfaction.


Vahid Jamali’s work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG – German Research Foundation) under project number JA 3104/1-1.


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Submitting Author's Institution

Princeton University

Submitting Author's Country

United States of America