Lights and Shadows: A Comprehensive Survey on Cooperative and Precoding Schemes to Overcome LOS Blockage and Interference in Indoor VLC

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Visible light communications (VLC) have received significant attention as a way of moving part of the saturated indoor wireless traffic to the wide and unregulated visible optical spectrum. Nowadays, VLC are considered as a suitable technology, for several applications such as high-rate data transmission, supporting internet of things communications or positioning. The signal processing originally derived from radio-frequency (RF) systems such as cooperative or precoding schemes can be applied to VLC. However, its implementation is not straightforward. Furthermore, unlike RF transmission, VLC present a predominant line-of-sight link, although a weak non-LoS component may appear due to the reflection of the light on walls, floor, ceiling and nearby objects. Blocking effects may compromise the performance of the aforementioned transmission schemes. There exist several surveys in the literature focused on VLC and its applications, but the management of the shadowing and interference in VLC requires a comprehensive study. To fill this gap, this work introduces the implementation of cooperative and precoding schemes to VLC, while remarking their benefits and drawbacks for overcoming the shadowing effects. After that, the combination of both cooperative and precoding schemes is analyzed as a way of providing resilient VLC networks. Finally, we propose several open issues that the cooperative and precoding schemes must face in order to provide satisfactory VLC performance in indoor scenarios.
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