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ARTICLE IN PRESS

Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016


www.elsevier.com/locate/sigpro

A novel simplified channel tracking method for MIMO–OFDM


systems with null sub-carriers
Hyoung-Goo Jeona, Erchin Serpedinb,
a
Department of Information Communication Engineering, Dongeui University, Busan, Republic of Korea
b
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843-3128, USA
Received 10 April 2007; received in revised form 7 August 2007; accepted 19 October 2007
Available online 26 November 2007

Abstract

This paper proposes an efficient scheme to track the time variant channel induced by multi-path Rayleigh fading in
mobile wireless multiple input multiple output–orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MIMO–OFDM) systems with
null sub-carriers. In the proposed method, a blind channel response predictor is designed to cope with the time variant
channel. The proposed channel tracking scheme consists of a frequency domain estimation approach that is coupled with a
minimum mean square error (MMSE) time domain estimation method, and does not require any matrix inverse
calculation during each OFDM symbol. The main attributes of the proposed scheme are its reduced computational
complexity and good tracking performance of channel variations. The simulation results show that the proposed method
exhibits superior performance than the conventional channel tracking method [Y.G. Li, N. Seshadri, S. Ariyavisitakul,
Channel estimation for OFDM systems with transmitter diversity in mobile wireless channels, IEEE J. Sel. Areas
Commun. 17 (March 1999) 461–471] in time varying channel environments. At a Doppler frequency of 100 Hz and bit
error rates (BER) of 104 , signal-to-noise power ratio (E b =N 0 ) gains of about 2.5 dB are achieved relative to the
conventional channel tracking method [Y.G. Li, N. Seshadri, S. Ariyavisitakul, Channel estimation for OFDM systems
with transmitter diversity in mobile wireless channels, IEEE J. Sel. Areas Commun. 17 (March 1999) 461–471]. At a
Doppler frequency of 200 Hz, the performance difference between the proposed method and conventional one becomes
much larger.
r 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Channel; Estimation; MIMO; OFDM; Tracking; Fading; Doppler

1. Introduction width since different data streams are transmitted


from each transmit antenna [1]. Recently, orthogo-
The multiple input multiple output (MIMO) nal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) has
technique represents an efficient method to increase been effectively used for transmitting high speed
data transmission rate without increasing band- data in multi-path fading channel environments. In
OFDM, the high speed data stream is processed in
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 979 458 2287; parallel and transmitted by N (in general, a power
of 2) orthogonal sub-carriers. The high spectral
fax: +1 979 862 4630.
E-mail addresses: hgjeon@deu.ac.kr (H.-G. Jeon), efficiency of OFDM and its robustness to multi-
serpedin@ece.tamu.edu (E. Serpedin). path fading channel environments are the main

0165-1684/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.sigpro.2007.10.017
ARTICLE IN PRESS
H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016 1003

reasons for its widespread usage in high bit-rate In Section 4, the mean square error (MSE) and
transmissions such as digital audio broadcasting computational complexity of the proposed channel
(DAB), digital video broadcasting (DVB) and tracking scheme are assessed. The performance of
wireless local area networks (WLAN) [2]. The the proposed method is corroborated by computer
combined transmission method of MIMO–OFDM simulations in Section 5. Finally, Section 6 con-
has attracted a lot of attention as a new data cludes the paper.
transmission method in high speed data rate
systems. In MIMO–OFDM receivers, the estimated
2. Channel and MIMO–OFDM system description
channel frequency response is used to separate the
mixed signals received from multiple antennas. An
The channel impulse response of the mobile
important aspect is the fact that the performance of
wireless channel [3,6] can be modeled by
MIMO–OFDM receivers highly depend on the
accuracy of the channel estimator. X
L1

Thus far, numerous studies for channel estima- hðt; tÞ ¼ ak ðtÞdðt  tk Þ, (1)
k¼0
tion in MIMO–OFDM systems have been reported
(see e.g., [3–10]). Among the most notable results, Li where ak ðtÞ denotes the complex gain of the kth
proposed a MMSE channel estimation method [3] path, tk represents the delay of the kth path, L is the
that exhibits good accuracy. However, this method number of the multi-paths in the channel and dðtÞ
is computationally very complex due to the inverse stands for the impulse function. The frequency
matrix calculation. In [6], by exploiting the correla- response at time t is given by
tion of the subcarrier responses, Minn et al. Z 1 X
L1
proposed a low complexity channel estimation Hðt; f Þ9 hðt; tÞ ej2pf t dt ¼ ak ðtÞ ej2pf tk .
method which reduced the inverse matrix size by 1 k¼0
half. However, Minn et al. method may cause ð2Þ
channel estimation errors in large delay spread Considering the motion of the mobile station, the
environments. Li also proposed a simplified channel path gains ak ðtÞs are modeled to be independent
estimation method which required no matrix inver- wide-sense stationary, narrow band complex Gaus-
sion [4]. However, as mentioned in [6], if null sub- sian processes and to have different average powers
carriers are used, Qii ½n of [4] would not be the s2k . With tolerable leakage, the channel frequency
identity matrix, and there may be some performance response can be expressed as [3]
degradation according to the number of null sub-
carriers. Since real OFDM systems have null sub- X
L 0 1

carriers in the guard band, a low complexity channel H½l; k9HðlðT f þ T g Þ; kDf Þ ¼ h½l; nW kn
N , (3)
n¼0
estimation method considering null sub-carriers is
still needed. where h½l; n9hðlðT f þT g Þ; nts Þ, W N 9 expðj2p= NÞ,
As a possible solution to these problems, we are L0 stands for the channel length and depends on the
proposing a novel simplified channel tracking time dispersion of the wireless channel, N is the
method that relies on a blind channel predictor. number of tones and the fast Fourier transforma-
The proposed method does not require prior tion/inverse fast Fourier transformation (FFT/
channel information or matrix inversion calculation IFFT) size, T f and Df denote the OFDM symbol
at all. In addition, the proposed method can period and sub-carrier spacing of the OFDM
effectively track the nonlinear time varying channel system, respectively, T g represents the guard time
by using a piecewise linear model. To reduce its ðT g 9T f =4Þ and ts is the sample interval given by
computational complexity while maintaining a good ts ¼ 1=ðNDf Þ.
tracking accuracy, the proposed channel tracking In a MIMO–OFDM system, the output signal at
scheme is built by coupling a frequency domain each Rx (receive) antenna is a mixed signal
estimation approach with an MMSE time domain consisting of the data streams coming from all Tx
channel estimation approach. (transmit) antennas. If the channel response
The remainder of this paper is organized as does not change during one OFDM symbol
follows. In Section 2, the MIMO–OFDM system and the cyclic prefix is longer than the channel
and channel model are briefly described. Section 3 response length, the receive signal at the jth Rx
introduces the proposed channel tracking method. antenna can be expressed in the frequency domain
ARTICLE IN PRESS
1004 H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016

as follows: the variable a, respectively. In this system model,


time synchronization is assumed to be perfect, and
X
Nt
Rj ½l; k ¼ H ij ½l; kX i ½l; k þ W j ½l; k, the maximum likelihood (ML) detection method is
i¼1 used. Tx antennas transmit a long preamble
j ¼ 1; . . . ; N r ; 0pkpN  1, ð4Þ consisting of two training symbols before data
transmission mode, as WiBro and WLAN systems
where H ij ½l; k is the channel frequency response do [2,12]. It is assumed that in the data transmission
corresponding to the kth sub-carrier and the lth mode, N d OFDM symbols are transmitted con-
OFDM symbol transmitted between the ith Tx secutively in each Tx antenna. For unbiased
antenna ði ¼ 1; . . . ; N t Þ and the jth Rx antenna. performance comparison of channel tracking algo-
Also, let N, N r and N t denote the number of sub- rithms, no channel coding is used.
carriers, the number of Rx antennas, and the
number of Tx antennas, respectively. X i ½l; k de-
notes the data transmitted from the ith Tx antenna 3. Proposed channel estimation method
on the kth sub-carrier at the lth OFDM symbol.
W j ½l; k represents the additive white Gaussian noise Since the wireless channel is time-variant, it is
(AWGN) at the jth receiver antenna, with zero necessary to track the channel response continu-
mean and variance s2n , and is assumed to be ously. In addition, since the received signal at each
uncorrelated for different j’s, k’s, or l’s. Under the Rx antenna in MIMO–OFDM systems is a multi-
assumption that the channel stays constant within ple-input single-output (MISO) signal, a time
one OFDM symbol duration but the channel domain channel estimation cannot be directly
changes from symbol to symbol, we will develop a applied on the received signal. In this paper, we
channel tracking scheme with improved perfor- propose a low complexity adaptive channel estima-
mance relative to the conventional scheme [3]. The tion method based on a blind channel prediction
computer simulations, which assume realistic Ray- scheme that is suitable for time variant channel
leigh fading conditions (that are not limited to the environments. The conceptual block diagram of
block fading assumption) [11], corroborate the the proposed channel tracking scheme is shown in
superior performance of the proposed channel Fig. 1. Before channel estimation, the frequency
tracking scheme. The indices n and k denote time domain MISO signal received at the jth Rx antenna
and frequency-domain indices, respectively. The (Rj ½l; k) is converted into the desired single-input
symbols a, ~ a^ and a denote the temporally estimated single-output (SISO) signal (See Section 3.2 for the
value, the estimated value and the predicted value of definition of desired SISO signal) by canceling the

Delay
device

rj [l,n] Rj [l,k] MISO S˜ij [l,k] Freq. ˜ ij [l,k]


H Time Hˆij [l,k]
FFT to domain domain Post ML
IFFT FFT
SISO
conversion
Channel Channel ˆij [l,n]
h detector
Est. Estimation

MISO SISO
X˜i [l,k]

Pre-ML Hij [l,k] Channel


detector predictor

Fig. 1. Block diagram of the proposed channel tracking method.


ARTICLE IN PRESS
H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016 1005

other interfering signals coming from the other Tx rate. For example, a channel with a short coherence
antennas. When pre-demodulating and converting time will have a small M, and vice versa. In the
the MISO signal Rj ½l; k into the desired SISO piecewise linear model, the condition Dij ½l; k ’
signal, the predicted channel response H ij ½l; k is Dij ½l  1; k is assumed. Therefore, from (5) we infer
used to cope with the time variant channel instead that H ij ½l; k ’ H ij ½l  1; k þ Dij ½l  1; k. If we
of using the previously estimated channel response know H^ ij ½l  1; k and D^ ij ½l  1; k at the time
H^ ij ½l  1; k. Once the SISO signal is obtained, instant corresponding to the lth symbol, then
temporal channel estimation in frequency domain the predicted channel response H ij ½l; k can be
is carried out to remove the inverse matrix calcula- obtained as
tion required in the following time domain channel
estimation. In the time domain channel estimation H ij ½l; k9H^ ij ½l  1; k þ D^ ij ½l  1; k. (6)
block, the channel impulse response is obtained by Referring to Fig. 2 of the piecewise linear model,
minimizing a MSE cost function, considering the D^ ij ½l  1; k can be expressed by using the previously
presence of null sub-carriers. estimated channel responses, since 2Dij ½l  1; k ’
H ij ½l  1; k  H ij ½l  3; k and Dij ½l  1; k ’
3.1. A blind channel response predictor design H ij ½l  2; k  H ij ½l  3; k. In the case where the
channel response varies linearly during the M
In this paper, we design a blind channel predictor consecutive OFDM symbols, therefore, (6) can be
by exploiting a piecewise linear model for the time expressed by the linear combination of the ðM  1Þ
varying channel. Fig. 2 shows an example of the previously estimated channel responses as follows:
time varying channel frequency response at the kth
sub-carrier. The channel frequency response of each X
M1
H ij ½l; k9 om H^ ij ½l  m; k
sub-carrier, H ij ½l; k, varies nonlinearly with time.
m¼1
However, the adjacent channel frequency responses
X
M1
H ij ½l; k and H ij ½l  1; k present a certain correla- ¼ om ðH ij ½l  m; k þ Zij ½l  m; kÞ, ð7Þ
tion with each other and this relation is expressed as m¼1

H ij ½l; k ¼ H ij ½l  1; k þ Dij ½l; k, (5) where om is a weight value and Zij ½l; k9H^ ij ½l; k 
where Dij ½l; k denotes the difference between the H ij ½l; k and denotes the random channel esti-
channel frequency responses corresponding to lth mation error with zero mean and variance s2e (see
and ðl  1Þth symbols at the kth sub-carrier. If a Section 4.2). Let us define DH ij ½l; k9H ij ½l; k 
piecewise linear model [13] is used during the short H ij ½l; k as the channel response prediction random
time of some OFDM symbol periods as shown in error. The weight values can be found by minimiz-
Fig. 2, the nonlinear time varying channel frequency ing the following MSE cost function:
response H ij ½l; k can be treated as a linear model.
x½l; k9EfjDH ij ½l; kj2 g
Using the piecewise linear model, let us assume 8 2 9
that H ij ½l; k varies linearly during the time of the < X
M1  =
 
consecutive M OFDM symbols. The variable M can ¼ E H ij ½l; k  om H^ ij ½l  m; k . ð8Þ
: m¼1
 ;
be set according to the channel response changing
During the M OFDM symbols, H ij ½l; k ’
H ij ½l  m; k þ m  Dij ½l; k, 1pmoM. Therefore,
Channel
frequency (
Hij [l − 1,k] Hij [l ,k]
response
Hij[l − 2,k]
x½l; k ’ E jH ij ½l  M þ 1; k þ ðM  1ÞDij ½l; k

Hij [l − 3,k] Dij [l − 2,k] 2Dij [l − 1,k]


X
M1
 om ðH ij ½l  M þ 1; k
m¼1
Time(l )
þ ðM  1  mÞDij ½l; k
)
Piecewise linear model
þZij ½l  m; kÞj2
Fig. 2. Piecewise linear model for nonlinear time variant channel.
ARTICLE IN PRESS
1006 H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016

( !
X
M1 the proposed predictor requires no additional
¼ 1 om H ij ½l  M þ 1; k training process and convergence time.
m¼1
! )2
X
M1
þ M 1 om ðM  1  mÞ Dij ½l; k 3.2. Conversion of MISO Rx signal into SISO
m¼1 desired signal
!
X
M1
þ s2e o2m . ð9Þ As mentioned in the previous section, it is
m¼1 efficient to estimate channel response after convert-
The weight values om can be determined by solving ing the MISO Rx signal into the SISO desired signal
qx½l; k=qom ¼ 0. However, since H½l  M þ 1; k, by canceling the interference signal coming from the
D½l; k and s2e are not given due to the blind other Tx antennas. The SISO desired signal between
estimation property, we cannotP solve the equation the ith Tx antenna and the jth Rx antenna is defined
directly. From (9), when M1 by S ij ½l; k9X i ½l; kH ij ½l; k ¼ X i ½l; kðH ij ½l  1; kþ
PM1 ð1  i¼1 om Þ ¼ 0 and
ðM  1  m¼1 om ðM  1  mÞÞ ¼ 0, the cost Dij ½l; kÞ. The temporally estimated SISO signal
function x½l; k can be minimized, and then S~ ij ½l  1; k is given by
P
x½l; k ’ s2e M1 2
m¼1 om . The surface of the cost func- X
Nt

tion is convex with respect to om . Therefore, om can S~ ij ½l; k ¼ Rj ½l; k  X~ m ½l; kH^ mj ½l  1; k
m¼1;mai
be numerically determined by finding the values
minimizing the cost function of Cðo1 ; o2 ; . . . ; oM1 Þ ¼ X i ½l; kH ij ½l; k þ N ij ½l; k, ð11Þ
P PN t
9 M1 m¼1 om
2
while satisfying the conditions 0
where N ij ½l; k9W j ½l; k þ m¼1;mai X m ½l; kDmj ½l; k
PM1 PM1
m¼1 o m ¼ 1 and m¼1 om ðM  1  mÞ ¼ M  1. and D0ij ½l; k is defined by D0ij ½l; k9H ij ½l; k  H^ ij
In this paper, the weight values om are obtained ½l  1; k, and X~ i ½l; k denotes the demodulated data
for M ¼ 4, 5 and 6, and the results are given as by using the previous channel response H^ ij ½l  1; k.
follows: For convenience, X i ½l; k ¼ X~ i ½l; k is assumed.
M ¼ 4; o1 ¼ 43; o2 ¼ 13; o3 ¼ 23, Since D0ij ½l; k is proportional to the channel varia-
tion, it can be seen from (11) that the faster the
x½l; k ’ 2:3s2e , channel variations are and the more Tx antennas
M ¼ 5; o1 ¼ 1; o2 ¼ 0:5; o3 ¼ 0, are used, the higher the channel estimation errors
o4 ¼ 0:5; x½l; k ’ 1:5s2e , are. Moreover, if the previous channel response
H^ mj ½l  1; k is used in fast time varying channel
M ¼ 6; o1 ¼ 0:8; o2 ¼ 0:5; o3 ¼ 0:25, environments, X i ½l; k ¼ X~ i ½l; k cannot be assumed
o4 ¼ 0:2; o5 ¼ 0:35; x½l; k ’ 1:11s2e . ð10Þ anymore. In that case, the noise term N ij ½l; k may
increase significantly. In this paper, in order to
It is assumed that the initial channel response
reduce the noise term in (11), the predicted channel
values H^ ij ½1; k and H^ ij ½2; k can be obtained by
response H ij ½l; k is used not only to cancel the
using the long preamble signal consisting of two
interference signal in the MISO Rx signal but also
consecutive training OFDM symbols, as is the case
to pre-demodulate X i ½l; k as shown in the block
with WiBro and WLAN systems. After processing
diagram of Fig. 1. Using H ij ½l; k and X i ½l; k, (11) is
the long preamble signal, we have two initial
revised as
channel response values H^ ij ½1; k and H^ ij ½2; k,
but no access yet to H^ ij ½3; k; . . . ; H^ ij ½1  M; k. X
Nt
For this reason, the initial condition is given as S~ ij ½l; k ¼ Rj ½l; k  X m ½l; kH mj ½l; k
H^ ij ½2; k ¼ H^ ij ½3; k ¼    ¼ H^ ij ½1  M; k. In the m¼1;mai

conventional channel estimation method [2], the ¼ X i ½l; kH ij ½l; k þ N 0ij ½l; k, ð12Þ
long preamble signal was averaged to reduce noise P
variance. It should be noted that in this paper, where N 0ij ½l; k9W j ½l; k þ N t
m¼1;mai X m ½l; kDH mj
however, the long preamble signal is used for ½l; k. For convenience, X i ½l; k ¼ X i ½l; k is assumed.
channel response prediction in time varying channel If there is no prediction error such that
environments. Since the proposed channel predictor DH ij ½l; k ¼ 0, then S~ ij ½l; k ¼ X i ½l; kH ij ½l; k þ W j
uses piecewise linear model, it can adaptively track a ½l; k, regardless of the channel response variation
nonlinearly varying channel response. In addition, and the number of Tx antennas.
ARTICLE IN PRESS
H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016 1007

3.3. Joint frequency and time domain MMSE guard band. Note that estimating the channel
channel estimator response in the frequency domain removes the need
of calculating an inverse matrix in the next step of
The channel estimation methods [3,6] required time domain channel estimation employing an
inverse matrix calculation in every OFDM symbol. MMSE technique. The time domain channel esti-
As mentioned in [6], Qii ½n of [4] is not the identity mation is performed during the next step, by
matrix in the presence of null sub-carriers and non- considering all the null sub-carriers used in the
constant modulation. For this reason, Li’s simpli- guard band. The time domain channel estimate
fied method [4], which requires no matrix inversion, h^ij ½l; n can be found by minimizing the following
cannot be used in general MIMO–OFDM systems MSE cost function:
with null sub-carriers and employing non-constant
modulation. Therefore, our goal is to derive a novel Cðfh^ij ½l; ng; i ¼ 1; . . . ; N t Þ
low complexity channel estimation method which  2
X
N 1 X L0 
can be used in general MIMO–OFDM systems  ^ 
9 Y ij ½l; k nk
hij ½l; nW N Z½k . ð16Þ
while maintaining good performance. In this k¼0
 n¼0

section, we propose a frequency domain estimation
approach coupled with an MMSE method that h^ij ½l; n is the estimated channel impulse response
requires no inverse matrix calculation in every and can be determined by solving
symbol. In the proposed method, frequency domain ( )
channel estimation is carried out first such that the qCðfh^ij ½l; ngÞ 1 qCðfh^ij ½l; ngÞ qCðfh^ij ½l; ngÞ
subsequent MMSE estimator does not require a 9 j
qh^ij ½l; n0  2 qRðh^ij ½l; n0 Þ qIðh^ij ½l; n0 Þ
matrix inversion during any OFDM symbol. The
proposed method can be used in any MI- ¼ 0, ð17Þ
MO–OFDM system, regardless of null sub-carriers
and non-constant modulation. where RðÞ and IðÞ denote the real and imaginary
Referring to (12), considering the null sub- parts of a complex number, respectively, and
carriers and using the least squares (LS) method in n0 ¼ 0; 1; . . . ; L0 . Direct solving (17) results in
frequency domain, the temporally estimated chan- !
nel frequency response is given by X
N1 X
L0
Y ij ½l; k  h^ij ½l; nW kn
N Z½k Z½kW kn
N
0
¼ 0.
Y ij ½l; k ¼ ðS~ ij ½l; k=X i ½l; kÞZ½k k¼0 n¼0

¼ ðH ij ½l; k þ V ij ½l; kÞZ½k, ð13Þ (18)

where V ij ½l; k denotes the random estimation error Define


given by
X
N 1
X
Nt q½n9 Z½kW kn
N , (19)
V ij ½l; k ¼ X m ½l; kDH ij ½l; k k¼0
m¼1;mai
!,
þW j ½l; k X i ½l; k. ð14Þ X
N 1
yij ½l; n9 Y ij ½l; kZ½kW kn
N . (20)
k¼0
Z½k is a time invariant function to denote the
pattern of null sub-carriers used in the guard band Then, (18) can be expressed as
and is given by
8 X
L 0 1
>
> 1 if 1pkoN=2  g or h^ij ½l; nq½n0  n ¼ yij ½l; n0  (21)
>
>
< N=2 þ gokpN  1; n¼0
Z½k ¼ (15)
>
> 0 if k ¼ 0 or
>
> for i ¼ 1; . . . ; N t and n0 ¼ 0; 1; . . . ; L0 . Eq. (21) can
: N=2  gpkpN=2 þ g; be expressed in matrix form as
where index k ¼ 0 denotes the DC component and g
stands for the number of null sub-carriers in the Qh^ ij ½l ¼ yij ½l, (22)
ARTICLE IN PRESS
1008 H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016

where be expressed as
0 1
q½0 q½1  q½1  L0  h^ ij ½l ¼ Q1 yij ½l ¼ hij ½l þ Q1 vij ½l. (31)
B C
B q½1 q½0  q½2  L0  C The MSE of the channel impulse response estimate
B C
Q9B .. .. .. C, can be given by
B . .  . C
@ A
q½L0  1 q½L0  2  q½0 MSE½l9Efkh^ ij ½l  hij ½lk2 g
(23) ¼ EfðQ1 vij ½lÞH Q1 vij ½lg
¼ TracefQ1 Efvij ½lvij ½lH gðQ1 ÞH g. ð32Þ
h^ ij ½l9ðh^ij ½l; 0; h^ij ½l; 1; . . . ; h^ij ½l; L0  1ÞT , (24) H
A generic entry of Efvij ½lvij ½l g is given by
( !
yij ½l ¼ ðyij ½l; 0; yij ½l; 1; . . . ; yij ½l; L0  1ÞT . (25) 
X
N 1
n1 k1
Efvij ½l; n1 vij ½l; n2 g ¼ E V ij ½l; k1 Z½k1 W N
Hence, the channel impulse response can be k1 ¼0
estimated by !)
X
N1
2 k2
 V ij ½l; k2 Z½k2 W þn
h^ ij ½l ¼ Q1 yij ½l. (26) k1 ¼0
N

Since matrix Q is a time invariant constant matrix X


N 1

determined by the null sub-carrier pattern, the ¼ EfV ij ½l; k1 V ij ½l; k2 g
k1 ;k2 ¼0
inverse matrix Q1 can be pre-calculated and stored
1 k 1 þn2 k 2
in the memory before beginning the channel Z½k1 Z½k2 W n
N , ð33Þ
tracking. Therefore, no explicit calculation of Q1
where n1 ; n2 ¼ 1; 2; . . . ; L0 . If we substitute (14) into
is required for every OFDM symbol. However, [3]
(33), Eq. (33) can be rewritten as
and [6] require inverse matrix calculation for every
OFDM symbol. Efvij ½l; n1 vij ½l; n2 g
(PN
X
N 1 t
m¼1;mai jX m ½l; kj
2

4. MSE calculation and complexity comparison ¼ 2


s2p
k¼0 jX i ½l; kj
)
4.1. MSE calculation s2n ðn1 n2 Þk
þ Z½kW N , ð34Þ
jX i ½l; kj2
In this section, we will derive the MSE of the P
proposed channel estimation scheme. From (20), where s2p 9EðjDH ij ½l; kj2 Þ ¼ s2e M1 2
m¼1 om and DH ij
one infers that ½l; k and W j ½l; k are assumed to be independent of
! each other. Hence, if a constant modulus modula-
X
N X
1 L 0 1
tion is used,
mk
yij ½l; n ¼ hij ½l; mW N þV ij ½l; k Z½kW nk
N  
k¼0 m¼0 s2n
Efvij ½lvij ½lH g ¼ ðN t  1Þs2p þ Q: ð35Þ
X
L 0 1
jX i ½l; kj2
¼ hij ½l; mq½n  m þ vij ½n; 0pnpL0 ,
m¼0 If no null sub-carriers are used, since Q ¼ NI,
 
ð27Þ L0 2 1
PN1 MSE½l ¼ ðN t  1Þsp þ . (36)
where vij ½n ¼ nk N SNR
k¼0 V ij ½l; kZ½kW N . Eq. (27) can
be expressed in matrix form as Given a SNR, the MSE½l is dependent on the
yij ½l ¼ Qhij ½l þ vij ½l, (28) prediction error, the channel response length and
the number of Tx antennas.
where
4.2. Mean and variance of random variable Zij ½l; k
hij ½l ¼ ðhij ½l; 0; hij ½l; 1; . . . ; hij ½l; L0  1ÞT , (29)
For convenient comprehension, let us assume
vij ½l ¼ ðvj ½l; 0; vj ½l; 1; . . . ; vij ½l; L0  1ÞT . (30)
that BPSK is used for X i ½l; k, then E½X i ½l; k ¼ 0.
From (28), the channel impulse response estimate X m ½l; k, DH ij ½l; k, W j ½l; k and X i ½l; k are indepen-
corresponding to Tx antenna i and Rx antenna j can dent of each other. It is clear that E½X m ½l; k ¼ 0,
ARTICLE IN PRESS
H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016 1009

E½X i ½l; k ¼ 0 and E½W j ½l; k ¼ 0. Therefore, it is modulus modulations, Li’s simplified method will
also clear that E½V ij ½l; k ¼ 0, where V ij ½l; k is given not be discussed in this comparison. In the case of
by (14). From (31), the channel estimation error in two Tx and Rx antennas and N sub-carriers, the
time domain can be expressed P as E½h^ ij ½l  hij ½l ¼ channel estimation complexity for each method is
Q1 E½vij ½l. Since E½vij ½n ¼ N1 k¼0 E½V ij ½l; kZ½k given in Table 1 (refer also to [6]). In Table 1, FFTN
1
W nk N ¼ 0, Q E½v ij ½l ¼ 0. It means that the mean denotes the number of multiplications required for
of the channel estimation error in time domain is the FFT operation with size N. invðL0  L0 Þ stands
zero. Since the channel frequency response estimate for the number of multiplications required for L0 
H^ ij ½l; k is obtained by performing Fourier trans- L0 matrix inversion. N u denotes the number of the
formation for the channel impulse response estimate sub-carriers used. When N u ¼ N, no null sub-
h^ij ½l; n, the mean of the channel estimation error in carrier is used. The number of FFT operations for
frequency domain is also zero. That is, E½Zij ½l; k ¼ Li method [3] can be easily obtained by referring to
E½H^ ij ½l; k  H ij ½l; k ¼ 0. Fig. 3 in [3]. Considering Eqs. (15) and (16) in [3],
The MSE of the channel frequency response in the number of multiplications required for calculat-
the kth sub-carrier is defined by E½ðH^ ij ½l; k ing hij ½l can be derived straightforwardly. The
H ij ½l; kÞ2  ¼ s2e . The total MSE of the channel calculation amount for Minn method [6] can be
impulse response in time domain is equal to obtained by considering the similarity with Li
MSE½l given by (36). When the channel impulse method. Note that when N u ¼ N and constant
response h^ij ½l; n is Fourier transformed to obtain modulation is used, Qii ½n is a identity matrix. In
the channel frequency response H^ ij ½l; k, the total that case, Li’s method needs calculating only
MSE in time domain is equal to the total MSE in invðL0  L0 Þ instead of calculating invð2L0  2L0 Þ.
frequency domain. Therefore, if there are N sub- From Table 1, we can see that the proposed method
carriers in the OFDM system, then s2e ¼ MSE½l=N. has the lowest complexity among these methods,
regardless of the non-constant modulation and the
4.3. Computational complexity comparison presence of null sub-carriers.

In this section, the computational complexities of 5. Performance evaluation


the schemes proposed in [3,6] and the method
proposed herein are compared briefly. The complex- Computer simulations are carried out to evaluate
ity comparison will be focused on the channel the performance of the proposed method. Two Tx
estimation based on the decision-directed estimation and two Rx antennas are used for the MI-
method, as [6] did. Since Q1 can be pre-calculated, MO–OFDM system. There are a total of 128 sub-
Q1 calculation is not included in the complexity carriers so that the FFT/IFFT size is 128. The DC
comparison. Since Li’s simplified method [4] may component sub-carrier is not used, and 10 and 9
cause estimation error in MIMO–OFDM systems sub-carriers on each end of the spectral band,
with null sub-carrier and employing non-constant respectively, are used as guard band. The rest of 108

Table 1
Evaluation of computational complexity for each method

Condition Method No. of complex multiplications and divisions

Constant modulus with N u ¼ N Ref. [3] 3N þ ð2L0 Þ2 þ 5FFTN þ invðL0  L0 Þ


Ref. [6] 4:5N þ 2ðL0 Þ2 þ 3FFTN=2 þ invðL0  L0 Þ
Proposed 3N þ ð2L0 Þ2 þ 5FFTN
Constant modulus with N u aN Ref. [3] 3N þ ð2L0 Þ2 þ 5FFTN þ invð2L0  2L0 Þ
Ref. [6] 4:5N þ 2ðL0 Þ2 þ 3FFTN=2 þ invðL0  L0 Þ
Proposed 3N þ ð2L0 Þ2 þ 5FFTN
Non-constant modulus Ref. [3] 5N þ ð2L0 Þ2 þ 5FFTN þ invð2L0  2L0 Þ
Ref. [6] 6N þ 2ðL0 Þ2 þ 4FFTN=2 þ 2  invðL0  L0 Þ
Proposed 3N þ ð2L0 Þ2 þ 5FFTN
ARTICLE IN PRESS
1010 H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016

2 1
Channel response Channel response
Eb/No = 15 dB Estimated channel response Estimated channel response
1.5
fd = 200 Hz 0.5
Eb/No = 15 dB
fd = 200 Hz

Image {H11(l,10)}
1
Real {H11(l,10)}

0
0.5
−0.5
0

−1
−0.5

−1 −1.5
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
OFDM symbol index OFDM symbol index

Fig. 3. An example of channel frequency response H ij ½l; k and tracking at f d ¼ 200 Hz, k ¼ 10 and E b =N 0 ¼ 15 dB.

sub-carriers are used to transmit data. The OFDM Fig. 3 shows an example of the proposed channel
symbol rate is 10 Ksps, and the symbol period is tracking and the nonlinear time variant channel
100 ms, including the guard time of 20 ms. The frequency response H 11 ½l; k simulated at the
channel length L0 is assumed to be 18. Modulation given multi-path channel parameters, l ¼ ð1; 2; . . . ;
in sub-carriers is QPSK. The carrier frequency is 100Þ, k ¼ 10, and maximum Doppler frequency
2.4 GHz. The multi-path Rayleigh fading channel f d ¼ 200 Hz. In Fig. 3, solid line is the channel
assumes two rays with equal gain, and each ray has response tracked by the proposed method at
six multi-path delay taps. Each signal path is E b =N 0 ¼ 15 dB. Fig. 3 shows that the nonlinear
assumed to undergo an independent Rayleigh channel response is well tracked by the proposed
fading. The rms delay spread is 1:82 ms. We used method. The performance simulation results are
the Rayleigh fading channel simulator (Jake’s shown in Figs. 4–11. Fig. 4 shows the MSE of the
sinusoid sum method) openly published in proposed method at the conditions of M ¼ 4, 5 and 6,
Ref. [11]. The Doppler frequencies 40, 100 and and at the fixed SNR of E b =N 0 ¼ 25 dB. The range of
200 Hz are used to represent different mobile the normalized Doppler frequency (f d T s ) is given
environments. After completion of channel estima- from 0 to 0:03. In the case of f d T s o0:02, the
tion by using the training signal, the system state is in performance of the proposed scheme (M ¼ 4) is the
data transmission mode. In data transmission mode, worst among all the investigated channel tracking
channel tracking for 20 consecutive OFDM symbols methods. The reason is that in decision directed mode,
is carried out continuously, using a decision directed the performance of the proposed channel response
method in which the demodulated data is used as the estimator is very highly affected by the prediction
reference data. The performance of the system is error caused by the first channel prediction just after
measured by the estimator’s MSE and bit error rates two training OFDM symbols. The prediction error
(BER), each averaged over 100,000 OFDM blocks. causes the demodulation error which results in MSE
For unbiased comparison, no channel coding is used performance degradation and propagates into the
in this simulation. In order to track the time varying next channel estimation. As mentioned before, when
channel response, Kalman filter method may be used two training OFDM symbols are received, only two
for MIMO–OFDM systems as Komninakis did [14]. channel responses H ij ½1; k and H ij ½2; k are
However, the Komninakis method should calculate obtained, and H ij ½3; k; . . . ; H ij ½1  M; k are as-
the inverse matrix in every OFDM symbol to obtain sumed to be equal to H ij ½2; k. Therefore, from (10),
Kalman gain matrix and thereby the calculation the MSEs for the first channel prediction are
amount increases significantly. For this reason, we proportional to x½l; k / 1:8s2e when M ¼ 4, x½l; k /
compare the proposed method with Kalman filter s2e when M ¼ 5 and x½l; k / 0:68s2e when M ¼ 6,
estimator, using scalar Kalman filter in each sub- respectively. There is a larger difference in MSE
carrier [15]. between M ¼ 4 and 5 than between M ¼ 5 and 6.
ARTICLE IN PRESS
H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016 1011

10−1
Proposed(M = 4)
Proposed(M = 5)
Proposed(M = 6)
Li original

10−2
MSE

10−3

10−4
0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03
fd*Ts

Fig. 4. MSE performance as a function of f d T s at a given M.

101
Proposed CE
No predict
FDE Eb/No = 25 dB
100 Li original

10−1
MSE

10−2

10−3

10−4
0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03
fd*Ts

Fig. 5. MSE performance as a function of f d T s for each channel tracking method.

The noise effect in channel prediction can be increased sensitivity to channel time variations.
reduced by increasing M, as shown in Fig. 4. Note that MSEðM ¼ 6Þ is larger than MSEðM ¼
However, increasing M beyond a certain limit may 5Þ at f d T s 40:015. We can see that when M ¼ 5, the
result in performance degradation due to the proposed method shows the best performance in
ARTICLE IN PRESS
1012 H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016

102
Proposed CE
No predict
101 FDE
FED + Km filter
Li original

100
MSE

10−1

10−2

10−3

10−4
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Eb/No [dB]

Fig. 6. MSE performance at f d ¼ 40 Hz.

100
Proposed CE
No predict
FDE
10−1 FED + Km filter
Li original
Perfect CE
10−2

10−3
BER

10−4

10−5

10−6

10−7
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Eb/No [dB]

Fig. 7. BER performance at f d ¼ 40 Hz.

Fig. 4. Hereafter, M is set to 5 in all the simulations 500 ms. Fig. 5 shows the MSE for each method as a
for performance evaluation. When M ¼ 5 and the function of f d T s at the conditions: E b =N 0 ¼ 25 and
OFDM symbol period is 100 ms, the time duration M ¼ 5. As we can see from Fig. 5, the MSE of the
for which a piecewise linear model is assumed is proposed method increases more slowly than the
ARTICLE IN PRESS
H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016 1013

103
Proposed CE
No predict
102 FDE
FED + Km filter
Li original

101

100
MSE

10−1

10−2

10−3

10−4
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Eb/No [dB]

Fig. 8. MSE performance at f d ¼ 100 Hz.

100

10−1

10−2
BER

10−3

10−4

Proposed CE
No predict
10−5 FDE
FED + Km filter
Li original
Perfect CE

10−6
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Eb/No[dB]

Fig. 9. BER performance at f d ¼ 100 Hz.

other methods as f d T s increases. On the other hand, Figs. 6, 8 and 10 show MSE performances at
MSE of Li’s original method increases rapidly when Doppler frequencies of 40, 100 and 200 Hz, respec-
f d T s 40:015. tively. Figs. 7, 9 and 11 show BER performances at
ARTICLE IN PRESS
1014 H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016

102
Proposed CE
No predict
FDE
101 FED + Km filter
Li original

100
MSE

10−1

10−2

10−3

10−4
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Eb/No [dB]

Fig. 10. MSE performance at f d ¼ 200 Hz.

100

10−1

10−2
BER

10−3

10−4
Proposed CE
No predict
FDE
10−5 FED + Km filter
Li original
Perfect CE

10−6
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Eb/No [dB]

Fig. 11. BER performance at f d ¼ 200 Hz.

Doppler frequencies of 40, 100 and 200 Hz, respec- these figures, ‘FDE’ denotes the frequency domain
tively. In these figures, BER performance curves for channel tracking method of Ref. [10]. In order to
perfect channel estimation are given to show the compare the effect of channel prediction, BER and
performance in the ideal channel estimation case. In MSE curves for the ‘no predict’ tracking method are
ARTICLE IN PRESS
H.-G. Jeon, E. Serpedin / Signal Processing 88 (2008) 1002–1016 1015

also drawn in these figures. ‘No predict’ means the 5 dB), the channel estimation error may diverge when
proposed method without the channel prediction tracking the channel response. On the other hand,
function. If ‘no prediction’ is used, the previously since the proposed method uses the known inverse
estimated channel value H ij ½l  1; k is used as matrix Q1 which is a constant time-invariant
the current channel value H ij ½l; k. In this case, the matrix, the effect of the erroneous demodulated data
channel estimation error is given by H ij ½l; k is much less significant than that of Li’s original
H^ ij ½l  1; k ¼ Dij ½l; k þ Zij ½l; k. When the channel method. The simulation results show that as expected
prediction is used, the channel estimation error is the proposed method does not diverge.
given by DH ij ½l; k ¼ H ij ½l; k  H ij ½l; k. The MSE
of ‘no prediction’ is given by E½ðH ij ½l; k 6. Conclusions
H^ ij ½l  1; kÞ2  ’ Var½Dij ½l; k þ s2e . The MSE of
‘prediction’ is E½jDH ij ½l; kj2  ’ 1:5s2e as we can see This paper proposed a novel simplified channel
from (10). Therefore, the performance of ‘predic- tracking method to reduce the computational
tion’ is better than that of ‘no prediction’ as long as complexity and improve the tracking performance
Var½Dij ½l; k40:5s2e is satisfied. Var½Dij ½l; k  0 at in time varying channel environments. In the
a low Doppler frequency ands2e is inversely propor- proposed method, a blind channel response pre-
tional to the E b =N 0 such that s2e  0 at a high dictor is designed to cope with the time variant
E b =N 0 . Therefore, the lower the Doppler frequency channel. The proposed channel tracking scheme
is in the wireless channel, the higher E b =N 0 is consists of a frequency domain estimation approach
required to satisfy the condition of Var½Dij ½l; k that is coupled with an MMSE time domain
40:5s2e . That is the reason why the performance of estimation method, and does not require any matrix
‘no prediction’ is better than that of ’prediction’ at inverse calculation during each OFDM symbol. By
f d ¼ 40 Hz. Note that in Fig. 6, the performance converting the MISO signal into a SISO signal and
gap in E b =N 0 between ‘no prediction’ and ‘predic- performing temporal channel estimation in the
tion’ is getting narrow with increase of E b =N 0 . If we frequency domain before beginning time domain
can know the information about E b =N 0 and the channel estimation, no matrix inversion is required
Doppler frequency, either ‘no prediction’ or ‘pre- anymore. The simulation results show that the
diction’ can be selected to improve the performance proposed method exhibits superior performance
of channel estimator, based on such information. than Li’s original method in time varying channel
At a Doppler frequency of 40 Hz, there is a little environments. At a Doppler frequency of 100 Hz
difference in the MSE and BER performance and BER of 104 , signal-to-noise power ratio
between the proposed method and Li’s original (E b =N 0 ) gains of about 2.5 dB are achieved relative
method. At f d ¼ 100 Hz and BER of 104 , the to Li’s original method. At a Doppler frequency of
performance improvement provided by the pro- 200 Hz, the performance difference between the
posed method is about 2.5 dB in E b =N 0 compared proposed method and conventional one becomes
with that of Li’s original method. However, at a much larger.
Doppler frequency of 200 Hz, the BER performance
difference becomes much larger when compared
Acknowledgment
with those of other methods. As we can see from
Figs. 9 and 11, due to the inter sub-carrier
This work was partially supported by research
interference (ICI) [16], BER performance at a
project 07-03 funded by Electronics and Telecom-
Doppler frequency of 200 Hz is worse than that of
munications Research Institute (ETRI) in Korea.
100 Hz.
From these figures, we can observe that the
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