How to Identify and Authenticate Users in Massive Unsourced Random Access

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Identification and authentication are two essential features for traditional random access protocols. In ALOHA-based random access, the packets usually include a field with a unique user address. However, when the number of users is massive and relatively small packets are transmitted, the overhead of including such field becomes restrictive. In unsourced random access (U-RA), the packets do not include any address field for the user, which maximizes the number of useful bits that are transmitted. However, by definition an U-RA protocol does not provide user identification. This paper presents a scheme that builds upon an underlying U-RA protocol and solves the problem of user identification and authentication. In our scheme, the users generate a message authentication code (MAC) that provides these functionalities without violating the main principle of unsourced random access: the selection of codewords from a common codebook is i.i.d. among all users.

Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Communications Letters
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2021


  • Authentication
  • Codes
  • Decoding
  • Internet of Things
  • Long Term Evolution
  • Media Access Protocol
  • Uplink
  • massive access
  • unsourced random access


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