1
Eigenvalue Based Selection of Prolate
Spheroidal Wave Functions for Pulse Shape
Modulation
D. Adhikari and C. Bhattacharya
Abstract— Proper selection of ultra wideband (UWB) waveforms has become an interesting challenge such that the spectral
limits of the frequency band approved by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can be efficiently utilized. Pulse shapes
based on prolate spheroidal wave function (PSWF) are a suitable choice for UWB communication systems because of their
property of dual orthogonality. In this paper, we propose a set of PSWF pulses by appropriate selection of the order of pulse (n)
and the timebandwidth product (c) based on the eigenvalues of both integral and differential forms of PSWF. The selected set
of pulses are analysed in terms of power spectral density (PSD), and autocorrelation function (ACF) for their applicability as
basis functions in an efficient Mary pulse shape modulation (PSM) scheme.
Index Terms—Prolate spheroidal wave function, pulse shape modulation, timebandwidth product, order of pulse, power
spectral density, autocorrelation function.
——————————
——————————
1 INTRODUCTION
LTRA wideband (UWB) signal waveforms are ex
tremely short duration pulses designed for transmis
sion without any carrier modulation and are immune to
multipath fading. Baseband transmission of such subna
noseconds pulseshapes results in a simple transceiver
architecture with a high data rate of transmission. How
ever the wide spectral bandwidth is likely to interfere
with existing systems such as WLAN (2.45 and 5.0 GHz),
fixed wireless (5.9  8.6 GHz), and GPS systems (1.177 
1.58 GHz). The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) [1] recommends transmission within a spectral
mask that restricts UWB communication systems within a
(3.1 f
l
10.6 f
h
) GHz bandwidth and emitted power spectral
density (PSD) to 41.3 dBm/MHz. Compliance to the FCC
recommended spectral mask would warrant a proper
pulse shape design that should optimally utilize the al
lowable limits of power spectrum.
A number of design approaches such as derivatives of
Gaussian pulses and modified Hermite pulses (MHP) are
proposed as UWB waveforms [2]. Gaussian pulses are not
found to meet the regulations of FCC spectral mask in
satisfactory manner as they are required to be modified
and filtered [3]. Although carrier modulation of MHP
pulses improves efficiency, the receiver design becomes
complex than for otherwise carrierless systems [4].
Prolate spheroidal wave functions (PSWF) are an at
tractive option for UWB pulse waveforms due to their
double orthogonality in timefrequency representations.
They are special functions offering a solution to the ener
gy concentration problem in a finite duration pulse.
Mary pulse shape modulation (PSM) is introduced
towards improving the performance of multiple access,
timehopping UWB communications schemes as in [5].
An Mary PSM scheme based on the orthogonal proper
ties of Hermite pulses is discussed in [6] whereas in [7]
such a scheme utilizing PSWF is shown to achieve high
data rate in a severe multipath fading environment. A 4
ary PSM scheme based on PSWF acts as a physical layer
for broadband satellite communications in Wband show
ing distinct advantages over raised cosine filtered quadra
ture amplitude modulation (QAM) [8]. However, the au
thors in [8] have utilized PSWF pulses of first and second
order only.
In Section 2 of this paper, we analyse the performance
criterion for an Mary PSM scheme in a dense multiple
access scenario in terms of signal to noise plus interfe
rence ratio (SNIR) and bit error probability (BEP). In Sec
tion 3 we select a set of PSWF waveshapes based on the
eigenvalues of the differential and integral form of ex
pression of PSWF in the normalized time interval [1, 1] of
T
p
. We analyse the above selected PSWF pulses as set of
basis functions for an Mary PSM scheme with respect to
autocorrelation function (ACF) and power spectral densi
ty (PSD). In the process we develop a closed form expres
sion for ACF of PSWF.
2 MARY PSM SCHEME WITH ) , ( t c
n
¢ AS BASIS
FUNCTIONS
The underlying idea in a PSM scheme is to represent the
Mary symbols (M = 2
N
) with a set of N orthogonal pulses
as basis functions [9]. The advantage of Mary PSM
scheme is the requirement of less timing precision, better
immunity to multipath and independence of the received
signal polarity during detection [10]. We analyse the PSM
————————————————
 D Adhikari is with the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune –
25, India.
 C Bhattacharya is with the Electronics Engg Department, Defence Insti
tute of Advanced Technology, Pune – 25, India
U
2
scheme for a dense multiple access scenario, which results
in a multiple access interference (MAI).
Let ) , ( t c
n
¢ , 0 ≤ n ≤ N1 be a set of pulses such that
(1)
form a set of orthonormal basis functions. Let the set of
symbols transmitted be s
i
, 0 ≤ i ≤ M1.
An Ntuple representation of Mary symbol set is
(2)
The transmitted signal for the i
th
symbol of the j
th
user is
shown in Fig.1 and is
(3)
where a
i,n
is the n
th
bit of the i
th
symbol, T
f
is the frame
time. The transmitted energy is E
t
,
) ( j
i
c is the pseudoran
dom (PN) code to avoid catastrophic collision due to
probable simultaneous arrival of received pulses, and T
c
is the slot time. The total number of slots per frame is N
c
where T
f
= N
c
T
c
.
The composite received signal at the input of the k
th
receiver for the i
th
symbol with additive channel interfe
rence (t) is shown in Fig.2 and is
(4)
The SNIR for the i
th
symbol of the desired l
th
(j≠l) user in a
multiple access PSM scenario is derived as
(5)
Here
2
MAI
o is the variance due to MAI and ) (
,
t 
l l
is the
autocorrelation function (ACF) between the template and
received signal of the desired (l
th
)
j≠l
user.
(6)
Depending upon the value of
) ( j
i
c the template would
occupy one of the slots out of [1, 2, ..., N
c
] for each frame
of the l
th
user. Based upon the magnitude of the random
delay , an overlap of pulses for other users (j ≠ l) with
the template of the l
th
user would exist only for those
slots, resulting into MAI. The MAI for users’ j≠l is given
by
(7)
The variance of
MAI
Z gives variance due to MAI (
2
MAI
o ),
that would result in the evaluation of SNIR from (5). The
symbol error probability is given as P
e
= Q(SNIR) where
Q(.) is the Marcum Qfunction.
Each of N
u
users in a PSM scheme utilize different sets
of orthogonal basis functions
n
(t) so that ) (
,
t 
j l
≈ 0 in
(5). Also it is found that large values of N
c
in (5) results in
smaller
2
MAI
o [11]. The average BER for a wireless com
munications system being inversely proportional to the
SNIR, a large value of ) (
,
t 
l l
alongwith a smaller value of
2
MAI
o would yield a smaller average BER. Consequently,
correct estimation of the i
th
symbol is governed by the
ACF ) (
,
t 
l l
as well as the PSD of the selected pulse
shape.
In the next section we select a set of PSWF waveshapes
as basis functions for an Mary PSM scheme. We analyse
the suitability of such waveshapes in terms of ACF and
PSD.
3 CHOICE OF PSWF PULSESHAPES BASED ON
PARAMETERS C AND n
PSWF of the form ) , ( t c
n
¢ are real, continuous functions
of time t for c ≥ 0, where c = ΩT
p
/2 is the timebandwidth
product (TBW) constant, Ω is the bandwidth, and n
represents the order of the pulse. The conventional ap
proach is to approximate ) , ( t c
n
¢ as numerical solutions
for the eigenfunction of a multiband spectral mask
[12],[13][14]. However, such numerical solutions do not
  ) , ( ... ) , ( ) , ( ) , (
1 1 0
t c t c t c t c
N n ÷
= + ¢ ¢ ¢
 
) 1 ( 1 0
... s
÷
=
M i i i i
s s s
) (
) (
1
0
) (
,
) ( ) (
c
j
i f n
N
n
j
n i
j
t
j
i
T c iT t a E s ÷ ÷ =
¿
÷
=
¢
) ( ) ( ) ( r
) (
1
0
) (
,
1
0
) (
t T c iT t a E t
c
j
i f n
N
n
j
n i
N
j
j
r
u
e t ¢ + ÷ ÷ ÷ =
¿ ¿
÷
=
÷
=
2 2
1
0
,
) ( ) (
) (
e
o o
t 
+
=
¿
÷
=
MAI
N
n
l l
l
i
t
r
a E
SNIR
t t ¢ ¢ t  d t t
l l l l
) ( ) ( ) (
,
÷ =
}
·
· ÷
t t ¢ ¢ d t t a E Z
j l
N
n
j
i
N
l j j
j
r MAI
u
) ( ) (
1
0
) (
1
, 0
) (
÷ =
}
¿ ¿
·
· ÷
÷
=
÷
= =
3
lead to analytical expressions for PSD and ACF of PSWF.
To evaluate the efficiency of the PSWF pulses in the FCC
designated spectral masks it becomes necessary to devel
op analytical tools so as to properly choose the parame
ters c and n. Also, comparison of performance in terms of
spectral efficiency with those of MHP is in order.
The PSWF may be defined [15] as the eigenfunctions
of the integral equation
(8)
or, the eigenfunctions of the differential equation
(9)
The eigenvalues ) (c
n
ì of (1) are a set of real positive
numbers 1 > ) (
0
c ì > ) (
1
c ì > …> ) (c
n
ì those determine
the concentration of energy of the pulse within the nor
malized time interval T
p
[1, 1]. On the other hand, the
values of
n
_ those admit solutions of (2) are the discrete
positive real eigenvalues for real c such that 0 <
0
_ <
1
_ <
…<
n
_ .
The normalized expression of pulse shapes for PSWF
is given by [13]
(10)
The functions ) , ( t c
n
¢ are derived from k
th
degree ortho
gonal Legendre polynomials P
k
(t), k = 0,1,2,... The series
expansion coefficients associated with P
k
(t) are
n
k
d (c).
3.1 Selection of parameters c, n
The time domain behaviour of ) , ( t c
n
¢ generated from
(10) are shown in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 for constant c and n
respectively. As shown in Fig. 3, ) , ( t c
n
¢ are characterized
by exactly n zerocrossings in the interval T
p
. The wave
shapes in the figure show that as n increases the time in
dices of the zero crossings shift towards origin. It is seen
from Fig.4 that as c increases the waveshapes turn
asymptotic beyond the bounds of T
p
making them unrea
lizable. In such cases ) , ( t c
n
¢ in (10) cannot be obtained as
functions of orthogonal Legendre polynomials. We there
fore restrict variation of c from 0.5 to 12 for the pulse
shapes of ) , ( t c
n
¢ .
The values of ) (c
n
ì in (8) should be close to unity
within the time interval T
p
as they represent attenuation
in power spectrum within the allowable spectral limits for
different n [15]. The nature of variation of ) (c
n
ì and
n
_ [16][17] with successively increasing values of c, n are
shown in Table I , Fig. 5 and 6 and are enumerated below:
 ) (c
n
ì decreases with increase in n for a particular
value of c, whereas
n
_ increases with increasing n.
 The values of ) (c
n
ì fall off rapidly with increasing
n once n > ( 2c/) as shown in Fig. 5.
t t ¢
t t
t
¢ ì d c
t
t c
t c c
n n n
) , (
) (
) ( sin
) , ( ) (
1
1
}
÷
÷
÷
=
  0 ) , ( ) , ( ) 1 (
2 2 2
= ÷ +
(
¸
(
¸
÷ t c t c t c
dt
d
t
dt
d
n n n
¢ _ ¢
) ( ) (
2
1 2
2
) (
) , (
1 , 0
2 / 1
t P c d
n
T
c
t c
k
k
n
k
p
n
n ¿
·
=

.

\
 +


.

\

=
ì
¢
4
TABLE 1
VARIATION OF EIGENVALUES WITH n AND c
 On the other hand, Fig. 6 shows that for lower
orders of the pulse the energy concentration ) (c
n
ì
remains close to unity for a wider choice of c.
A set of ) , ( t c
n
¢ pulses based on proper selection of c,
n parameters would yield higher energy content in the
normalized time interval T
p
, and sharper ACF with better
decorrelation property between PSWF pulses of different
orders. As seen from Table I and in Fig. 56, we obtain
the maximum energy concentration (90% for ) (c
n
ì ) of the
pulse within the bounds of T
p
upto n = 6 for c = 12 where
both forms of eigenvalues are desirably large. We can
therefore select a set of pulses for an Mary PSM scheme
that that would provide values of ) (c
n
ì ≈ 1 and sharper
ACF. We now analyse the PSD and ACF for such a set of
selected pulses.
3.2 Evaluation of PSD and ACF
The power spectral density (PSD) is given by the square
of the Fourier transform of (10) as
(11)
and the autocorrelation function (ACF) for timing asyn
chronisation as
(12)
Here ) (t
k
R is the ACF of of k
th
order Legendre polyno
mials, and ) (t
kl
R is the cross correlation for k ≠ l given as
(13)
The Legendre polynomials are expressed by Rodrigue's
formula as
(14)
Fourier transform of the above expression of Legendre
polynomial is
(15)
where
(16)
is the Bessel function of fractional order (k+1/2) in the
Fourier domain. From (15) and (16)
(17)
The contribution of higher order ACF for k > 2 in (12) is
negligible, and the crosscorrelation terms are minimal.
) (t
k
R for k = 0, 2 (even order PSWF ) is evaluated as
(18)
(19)
where (*) stands for convolution of the time function. The
time functions f
n
(t) may be recursively derived as,
(20)
c = 2 c = 6
n ) (c
n
ì
n
_ ) (c
n
ì
n
_
0 0.88056 1.127734 0.999901 5.208269
1 0.35564 4.287129 0.996062 16.000443
2 0.035868 8.225713 0.940173 25.356479
3 1.1522 E3 14.100204 0.646792 33.204199
4 1.8882 E5 22.054830 0.207349 40.720194
5 1.9359 E7 32.035263 2.73817 E2 49.773712
6 1.3661 E9 44.024748 1.95501 E3 61.180757
7 7.0489 E12 58.018371 9.48488 E5 74.852867
8 2.7768 E14 74.014194 3.43678 E6 90.651161
c = 8 c = 12
n ) (c
n
ì
n
_ ) (c
n
ì
n
_
0 0.99999787 7.221579 1.00000000 11.232421
1 0.99987898 22.092154 0.99999992 34.157136
2 0.99700462 35.706417 0.9999967 55.953547
3 0.96054568 47.757099 0.99991663 76.505853
4 0.74790284 58.016771 0.99858732 95.639741
5 0.32027663 67.364750 0.98366430 113.05467
6 6.07844 E2 77.825226 0.88175663 128.36084
7 6.12629 E3 90.691432 0.55736081 141.74502
8 4.18252 E4 106.01179 0.18342927 155.07470
( )
(
¸
(
¸
÷ =
2
2
1
! 2
1
) ( t
dt
d
k
t P
k
k
k
k
2
1 , 0
2
) ( P ) (
2
1 2
2
) (
) , (
(
(
¸
(
¸

.

\
 +


.

\

= +
¿
=
N
k
k
n
k
P
n
c d
n
T
c
c e
ì
e
(
(
¸
(
¸
+ 
.

\
 +


.

\

=
¿ ¿ ¿
= = = =
N
k
N
l k k
N
l
kl
n
l
n
k k
n
k
P
n
n
R c d c d R c d
n
T
c
1 , 0 , 0 0
2
2
) ( )) ( ) ( ( ) ( )) ( (
2
1 2
2
) (
) ( t t
ì
t 
) 2 (
2
2 ) sgn(
5
248
36 6 2 3
3 3 3
t
t
t t t t t t ÷ +
(
¸
(
¸
÷ + ÷ + ÷ ÷ =
)  ) ( P ( ) (
2
k
1
e t
÷
= F R
k
) ) ( P ) ( P ( ) (
1
e e t
 ÷
=
l k kl
F R
) (
1
) ( ) ( P
2 / 1
e
e
e
+
=
k
k
k
J j
e
e
e e
e e
sin 1
) ( ) (
2 / 1
k
k
k
d
d
J 
.

\

÷ =
+
e
e
e e
e
t
e
sin 1
) (
2
) ( ) ( P
k
k k
k
d
d
j 
.

\

÷ =
) 2 (
2
2 ) (
2
2 )  ) ( P ( ) (
0
2
0
1
0
t
t t
e t ÷ = = =
÷
t f F R
)  ) ( P ( ) (
2
2
1
2
e t
÷
= F R
 
0 4 4 1 2 1 2 0 4 0
2 36 ) ( 36 ) ( 12 ) ( 30 ) ( 18
2
f f f f f f f f f f + +  ÷  +  ÷  =
t
(
(
(
(
(
¸
(
=
(
(
¸
(
¸

.

\

=
÷ =
(
(
¸
(
¸

.

\
 ÷
=
÷
÷
)) ( (
2 sin
2
) (
) ( 2
2 cos 1
2
) (
1
1
2
1
0
t abs H F t f
t abs F t f
e
e t
e
e t
5
and for n ≥ 2
(21)
Here H (.) is the Heaviside function for 2 < t < 2. From
the values of ) (t
k
R and ) (t
kl
R we evaluate ACF ( ) (t 
n
)
of PSWF, the plot of which is shown in Fig. 10.
3.3 Analysis of PSD and ACF
The scaled PSD of PSWF pulses shown in Fig. 7 and
Fig. 8 are compared for sucessively increasing values of c
and n. For a particular order n the PSD increases in Fig. 7
with increasing values of c signifying higher concentra
tion of power in the limited bandwidth. The PSD goes
down in Fig. 8 with increasing values of n for a constant c
as is expected from (11). The PSD demonstrate distinct
bandpass characteristics of PSWF in both the figures. This
multiband property of PSWF is certainly useful in choos
ing the band of operation in presence of existing licensed
communication such as WLAN and GPS. The lower PSD
for higher orders of pulses in Fig. 8 ensures applications
those require low probability of detection.
The inband energy concentration of PSWF is com
pared with the PSD of modified Hermite pulses (MHP) in
Fig.9. The PSD of PSWF is found to have better spectral
concentration in the limited bandwidth recommended by
FCC than that of MHP [18]. It is observed in Fig. 9 that the
PSD for MHP spreads over to the adjacent bands for n ≥
5. The option of choosing the parameter c in case of PSWF
provides an additional degree of freedom for selection of
orthogonal pulses for an Mary PSM scheme as compared
to MHP.
Results of normalized ACF of PSWF ( ) (t 
n
) for even
values of n = 0 to 6 are shown in Fig. 10. These results are
obtained for c = 12 utilizing the expression for ACF in
(12). The normalized ACF plots shown in Fig. 10 become
sharper as n increases. These results show that for higher
values of n the decorrelation property among ) , ( t c
n
¢ is
more pronounced. Therefore, Mary PSM schemes would
yield better detection in multiple access scenarios for val
ues of n more than 2.
4 CONCLUSION
In this paper, we have analysed the influence of both
forms of eigenvalues of PSWF on the parameters c and n
to obtain an optimal set of orthogonal pulses those can be
efficiently utilized in an Mary PSM scheme. For a certain
choice of c and n we have shown the analytical behaviour
of ACF and PSD of ) , ( t c
n
¢ .We have demonstrated that a
tradeoff between the values of c and n may lead to effi
cient utilization of the allowable spectral bounds go
verned by FCC. Finally we have justified the suitability of
the selected PSWF pulseshapes in terms of ACF and PSD
for an Mary PSM scheme yielding better receiver per
formance.
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D. Adhikari is a BTech from the Institute of Radio Physics and Elec
tronics from the University of Calcutta (1990) and ME from University
of Pune (2000) and is presently pursuing his PhD from the Defence
Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), Pune, India. He has been
working as a Faculty in DIAT since last five years. His current re
search interest is in the area of Ultrawideband communications sys
tems.
C. Bhattacharya is a PhD (Engg) from Jadavpur University, Kolkata,
India. He is presently the Head of Department, Electronics Engg,
DIAT. He is a Senior Member, IEEE.