Rethinking Modern Communication from Semantic Coding to Semantic Communication

Kun Lu, Qingyang Zhou, Rongpeng Li (Corresponding Author), Zhifeng Zhao, Xianfu Chen, Jianjun Wu, Honggang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Modern communications are usually designed to pursue a higher bit-level precision and fewer bits while transmitting a message. This article rethinks these two major features and introduces the concept and advantage of semantics that characterizes a new kind of semantics-aware communication framework, incorporating both the semantic encoding and the semantic communication problem. After analyzing the underlying defects of existing semantics-aware techniques, we establish a confidence-based distillation mechanism for the joint semantics-noise coding (JSNC) problem and a reinforcement learning (RL) powered semantic communication paradigm that endows a system the ability to convey the semantics instead of pursuing the bit level accuracy. On top of these technical contributions, this work provides a new insight to understand how the semantics are processed and represented in a semantics-aware coding and communication system, and verifies the significant benefits of doing so. Targeted on the next generation's semantics-aware communication, some critical concerns and open challenges, such as the information overhead, semantic security, and implementation cost are also discussed and envisioned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-164
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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