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Semantic Communication: A Survey on Research Landscape, Challenges, and Future Directions
  • Tilahun Getu ,
  • Georges Kaddoum ,
  • Mehdi Bennis
Tilahun Getu
Electrical Engineering Department

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Georges Kaddoum
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Mehdi Bennis
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Abstract

 Amid the global rollout of fifth-generation (5G) services, researchers in academia, industry, and national labo?ratories have been developing proposals for the sixth generation (6G). Despite the many 6G proposals, the materialization of 6G as presently envisaged is fraught with many fundamental interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary (IMT) challenges. To alleviate some of these challenges, semantic com?munication (SemCom) has emerged as promising 6G technology enabler. SemCom is designed to transmit only semantically?relevant information and hence help to minimize power usage, bandwidth consumption, and transmission delay. Thus, SemCom embodies a paradigm shift that can change the status quo that wireless connectivity is an opaque data pipe carrying messages whose context-dependent meaning have been ignored. On the other hand, 6G is critical for the materialization of major SemCom use cases. These paradigms of 6G for SemCom and SemCom for 6G call for a tighter integration and marriage of 6G and SemCom. To facilitate this integration and marriage, this comprehensive survey paper first provides the fundamentals of semantics and semantic information, semantic representation, semantic information, and semantic entropy. It then builds on this understanding and details the state-of-the-art research landscape of SemCom; exposes the fundamental and major challenges of SemCom; and offers promising future research directions for SemCom theories, algorithms, and realization. Accordingly, this survey article stimulates major streams of research on SemCom theories, algorithms, and implementation.Â