The Internet of Things (IoT) is placing new demands on existing communication systems. The limited orthogonal resources do not meet the demands of massive connectivity of future IoT systems that require efficient multiple access. Interleave-division multiple access (IDMA) is a promising method of improving spectral efficiency and supporting massive connectivity for IoT networks. In a given time, not all sensors signal information to an aggregation node, but each node transmits a short frame on occasion, e.g., time-controlled or event-driven. The sporadic nature of the uplink transmission, low data rates, and massive connectivity in IoT scenarios necessitates minimal control overhead communication schemes. Therefore, sensor activity and data detection should be implemented on the receiver side. However, the current chip-by-chip (CBC) iterative multi-user detection (MUD) assumes that sensor activity is precisely known at the receiver. In this paper, we propose three schemes to solve the MUD problem in a sporadic IDMA uplink transmission system. Firstly, inspired by the observation of sensor sparsity, we incorporate compressed sensing (CS) to MUD in order to jointly perform activity and data detection. Secondly, as CS detection could provide reliable activity detection, we combine CS and CBC and propose a CS-CBC detector. In addition, a CBC-based MUD named CBC-AD is proposed to provide a comparable baseline scheme.
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