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  • 2005 Wireless Telecommunications Symposium

Novel Pilot-free Adaptive ModuIation for Wiretess OFDM Systems

‘Xiaozhou Huang, ’Hsiao-Chun Wu

and 2Yiyan Wu

  • I Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Louisiuna Start. Universig Baton Rouge, LA 70803 Email: wu@ece.lsu.edu

    • 2 Conimuizicutions Reseurch Centre

Oftawu, Ontario, K2H 8S2

Canada

Emni1:yiyun.wu 0crc.m

Abstract

Orthogonal fiequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is the contemporary technology adopted for digitaI audioivideo broadcasting as well as wireless local- area and metropolitan-area networks. Since the wireless multimedia services often have different quality-of- service requirements and their performance is sensitive to the channel conditions, the conventional fixed OFDM modulation scheme might not be a satisfactory solution

nowadays. In this paper, we introduce a novel pilot-free adaptive modulation scheme, which is bandwidth- efficient and allows variable data rates, for the future

robust

OFDM

systems.

 

We

design

a

number

of

modulation

modes

in

a

combination

of different

constellation sizes and different polynomial cancellation coding methods (PCC) to combat the crucial intercarrier interference problem. Instead of estimating the channel quality based on the overhead pilot symbols, we propose to directly estimate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) without using any pilot. Besides, our scheme offers more modulation modes than some other existing adaptive modulation methods which are simply based on different constellation sizes. According to the Monte Carlo simulations, the empirical results show that our adaptive modulation scheme, in most channel conditions (SNR 2 15 dB), not only can satis@ the predetermined bit

error rate (BER) requirement (BERI

but also can

dynamically enhance the throughputs in the rather clean environments with high SNR values.

I. Introduction

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) is widely applied for the wireless communication systems everywhere. Compared to conventional single-carrier modulated signals, OFDM subcarriers have a much narrower bandwidth which will experience frequency-flat fading and lead to more reliable

link quality. However, when traveling through a frequency selective fading channel, different subcarriers would be impaired differently. This would result in different signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) among subcarriers in an OFDM block (symbol). Then the non-uniform bit

errur rate (BER) pedormance would occur accordingly.

It can often be observed that a burst of errors gather around a few severely faded subcarriers, while the rest of subcarriers can still carry the correct information in OFDM [I]. Therefore, an adaptive modulation scheme has been proposed to maintain a reliable performance across all subcarriers uniformly in OFDM 111. The motivation to establish an adaptive OFDM modulation is that if we can identify the subset of subcarriers which

exhibit “sufSicieritiy low” error probabilities (based on our

pre-determined maximum tolerable error requirement), we can re-modulate these subcarriers using an alternative mode to achieve a higher data rate in the next transmission period. For those subcarriers exhibiting very high error rates, we may even forsake them during the transmission. Thus the overall BER can be improved by adaptive modulation in exchange for a little loss of the system throughput. However, this potential throughput loss can be mitigated by the aforementioned re-modulated higher date-rate subcarriers which exhibit low error probabilities. The adaptive modulation was previously proposed to exploit the time-variant Shulunnori charitiel capuciq of narrow-band fading channels 121. In the pioneering work in [Z], an adaptive QAM system was designed with a variabIe number of modulation levels. The same principIe was invoked in the context of parallel modems [3-5J.In addition to varying the modulation modes or excluding the set of severely faded subcarriers, other transmission parameters such as coding eficiency can also be adaptively adjusted according to the perceived channel quality at the transceivers. In this paper, we will make the first attempt to incorporate the adaptive

modulation

scheme

with a variable data-rate

channel

coding

scheme,

namely

the

polynoniial

caricellation

cuding (PCC).

0-7S03-8856-9/05/$20.00 02005 IEEE

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It is well known that the time-varying channel characteristics would pose limitation to the OFDM system performance 161. Time variations of the channels destroy the orthogonality of the OFDM subcarrier waveforms [6] and intercurrier interfererice (1C1) occurs.

PCC methods, also known as 1CI self-cancellation scheme, were proposed in [7-101 to greatly mitigate the IC1 in the OFDM receivers and showed promising

performances

frequency-flat

over

other

existing

methods

in

the

or frequency-selective fading channel

environments [7, IO, 111. In this paper, we propose an adaptive modulation scheme which combines the regular modulation modes in [12] with variable-rate PCC coding schemes for next generation OFDM systems. Besides, the estimation of channel quality measures relies on no pilot information and therefore no further spectral efficiency sacrifice is needed for the modulation adaptation in our proposed scheme.

11. OFDM System Model

A general OFDM system is presented here. In the OFDM transmitter, the N buffered modulated data symbols are multiplexed onto the N subcarriers using the

inverse fast

Fourier

transform

(IFFT). If an arbitrary

QAM constellation

is considered,

the complex-valued

OFDM symbols can be represented as

N -1

xi,n E

k=O

2dtl

Xi,ke

j-

N

,n=O,l;*-,N-l,

(1)

where

Xi,k

denotes

the kIh transmitted information

symbol in the ith OFDM block. In order to prevent the intersymbol interference (ISI), prefix codewords or guard intervals are required as the redundancy in an OFDM symbol. At the receiver, the OFDM symbols are demodulated using the fast Fourier transform (FFT). The channel is usually modeled as the impulse response function with Rayleigh fading. Provided p propagation

paths, the channel impulse response hnction is given by

P

h(r, r) = cat (t)s(t- q ) I

(2)

1=1

where al(t) is the random process having a Rayleigh distribution, is the fh time delay. In this paper, the channel h(t,r) is assumed to be slowly time-varying and ai (t) does not vary notably within a few OFDM symbol periods. Since no IS1 exists with the help of prefix coding or guard intervals, the &Ih demodulated symbol, Ri,k, in the i* OFDM block, can be formulated as [ 11:

where Hi,k is the quasi-stationary frequency response of

the channel impulse response h(t,r) and wi,k is the additive aggregate mise which includes channel noise and intercamer interference. We propose to incorporate the aforementioned general OFDM system with PCC coding schemes [8] to construct additional modulation modes. In principle, the PCC coding technique in [XI is to repeatedly map each complex-valued information symbol X i.k onto a group of m adjacent subcarriers rather than one subcarrier as the

regular OFDM system prior to the IFFT. The mapping is

simply realized using the pre-determined weightings. The weighting coefficients are designed as the coefficients of

the polynomial

(1 -byp' ,

m = 1,2,3;--.

Thus, the

corresponding PCC coding efficiency is obviously .

xl

The same set of weighting coefficients are applied for both PCC encoders and decoders. Zhao's PCC technique (m=2) in [ 1O] is taken as an illustration here. In this case, the PCC weighting coeficients are set as the coefficients

of a specific polynomial I - b ; therefore they are 1 and - 1. Consequently, the symbol stream is transmitted to the PCC encoder such that the even-indexed symbols are the information symbols, while the odd-indexed symbols are just the repetitions of inverted even-indexed symbols [lo]. At the receiver, the PCC decoder is simply implemented as a differential decoder [lo].

111. Novel Adaptive Modulation Scheme

In practice, the adaptation of transmission parameters has to promptly respond to the time-varying channel quality. In order to appropriately update the transmission parameters, a proper channel quality measure and the associated reliable estimation algorithm are in demand. Once the channel quality is properly estimated, the transmitter can adapt the transmission parameters to improve the system performance in the next transmission period.

  • A. Pilot-fres

Chatinel Qunlit?, Estimation

In adaptive modulation systems, the usual candidates for the channel quality measures are the instantaneous charinel SNR, the rudio signal strength, the decoded bit error probability and the average SNR. In this paper, we choose the average SNR for each subcarrier as the channel quality measure of interest. For a wide variety of signal processing applications, higher- order moments were used to estimate the average SNR in

56

[13]. The estimate of the average SNR, namely 7,can be derived as

&j

(CR - 2)

(“x -4

(4)

smaller throughputs than the regular QPSK OFDM

scheme (modl) but

their BER performances are not

superior to that of the regular QPSK OFDM scheme. Thus, we also remove the options of mod5 and mods.

Then we choose the target BER to be lo4, which is the usual requirement €or the wireless multimedia data communications, and derive the switching threshold for the five remaining modulation options as listed in Table

2.

and E is the statistical expectation operator. This average SNR estimation method can fully depend on the statistics of regular information symbols and requires no extra pilot information leading to the throughput reduction.

B. Adaptation of Transmission Pmameters

In our proposed

adaptive OFDM modulation

system, the adaptable transmission parameters are

constellation sizes and PCC coding efficiencies. In order to establish the adaptation criterion, first the quality-of-

service in terms of BER is extracted

from the Monte

Carlo experiments for the Rayleigh fading channels according to the COST207 hilly terrain model [ 141. The system parameters comply with the IEEE 802. I 1 standard in [lZ] (44 subcarriers and 16 prefix symbols). It is assumed that the maximum time delay of the channel is less than the prefix length. Therefore, there is no ISI. At this stage of adaptation criterion establishment, perfect

channel estimation is assumed at the transceivers. Nine modulation candidates are discussed here and they are listed in Table I. For the comparison of quality-of-service measures associated with these modulation schemes, simulated BERs, which are derived from the average channel SNRs, are depicted in Figure 1.

According to Figure

1, PCC coded

64QAM

OFDM schemes (mod6, mod9) are not viable, because both of them have smaller throughputs than the regular 16QAM OFDM scheme (mod2) but their BER performances are not better than the regular 16QAM OFDM scheme. It is obvious that mod6 and mod9 will never be favored in our adaptive modulation system. Therefore, we leave out the options of mod6 and mod9. Similarly, PCC coded IGQAM OFDM schemes (mod5, mods) wiil never be favored either, because they have

TABLE I. MODULATION AND PCC CODING CANDII QPSK

I

 

(solid

line)

:epIar OFDM

Mod1

“0”

PCC coded

Mod4

OFDM

“0”

(l?l=2)

 

PCC coded

Mod7

OFDM“+”

(1?l=.r)

-k

 

I

1

oL71

0

5

10

I5

20

25

L

30

35

Average Channel SNR (dE)

r

I

40

Figure 1. BER for different PCC and modulation schemes versus average channel SNR.

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TABLE 2. SNR THRESHOLD FOR OUR ADAPTIVE estimated SNR, among the four subcarriers in the same

 

:;I. 9

MODllLATION

 

subset, is compared- with the pre-determined SNR

1 ;;;

 

thresholds as provided by Table 2. Once the new

ry l;;

21.5)

modulation

mode

is

determined

according

to

the

 

minimum estimated

SNR,

all

subcarriers

in

the

 

m=4

m=2

Regular

Regular

Regular

corresponding subset are to be re-modulated using that

Modulation

I6QAM

64QAM

mode for the future transmission.

Option

coded

coded

Four modulation schemes are compared here,

QPSK

QPSK

IV. Simutation

namely, the regular QPSK OFDM, the regular LGQAM OFDM, the regular 64QAM OFDM and our novel adaptive-modulation OFDM systems. The comparisons of throughputs, BE&, and the required SNRs for achieving

To investigate the robustness of the proposed

estimation error Elf - yl} versus the true average SNR

BERl lo4

are listed in

Tables 3, 4

and

5. Figure

3

average SNR estimator as given by Eq. (4), we provide Figure 2 here to show the average absolute value of SNR '

y , for an arbitrary subcarrier in a QPSK-OFDM system

depicts the BERs and system throughputs versus the average channel SNRs for our adaptive modulation scheme with variable PCC coding efficiencies. As a result, our adaptive modulation scheme, in most of the

average channel SNR range (SNR2 15 dB), can satisfy

over different random Rayleigh fading channels, where the true average SNR y is given by

4

the system requirement (BER< 10 ) and also dynamically enhance the throughputs in the rather clean environments with high SNRs. At the lower SNRs, our adaptive modulation scheme can also achieve the target BER, in the trade-off of a lower system throughput.

5

  • 4.5 ~

4-

zt 3.5-

(U

C

0

._

3~

2.5-

.I

c

z

2-

U

Z

v3

1.5-

1-

and investigated for our adaptive modulation scheme.

Simulations show that our new adaptive modulation

OFDM system can satisfy the preset target BER

requirement and dynamically

enhance the throughputs

when there is satisfactory channel SNR head-room.

TABLE 3. THROUGHPUT COMPARISON AT DIFFERENT SNRS

58

TABLE 4. BER COMPARISON AT DIFFERENT SNRS

/Modulation1

BERst

I

QPSK

0.0408

1

I

1

f6QAM

0.1663

I

I

1

64QAM

0.2684

1

I

1

Adaptive 1

0.001

I

EER~~

0.0002

1 y=15dB

1

0.0058

0.0659

I

0.0001

y =35dB

Modulation

RequiredSNR

QPSK

15dB

16QA

M

22dB

64QA

M

26dB

Adaptive

13dB

10-5 i

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

Average SNR (dB)

35

40

Figure 3. BER and throughput versus average channel

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Acknowledgment

This research work has been

supported by Research

Initiation Grant from Southeastem Center for Electrical Engineering Education, Information Technology Research Award for National Priorities from National Science Foundation (NSF-ECS 0426644), Research Enhancement Award from Louisiana-NASA Space Consortium, and Faculty Research Grant from LOUiSiana State University.

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