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Dual-Mode Multi-modulus Algorithms for Blind Equalization of QAM Signals

Wen si-yuan

Liu Feng

Shandong Economic University

Jinan, China

W(n)=[w0(n), w1(n),, wL-1(n)]T and X(n)=[x(n),

x(n-1),, x(n-L+1)]T , where L is the length of the

AbstractA dual-mode multi-modulus algorithm (DM- MMA)

and a stop-and-go dual-mode multi-modulus algorithm (SAGDMMMA) for blind equalization of high-order quadrature
amplitude modulation (QAM) signals are proposed. Simulation
results show the proposed blind equalization algorithms have
faster convergence speed and smaller steady-state mean square
error, compared with the recently introduced multi-modulus

equalizer tap weights and the notation superscript T stands

for transpose of vector. The error function e(n) can be
expressed as
e( n ) y R ( n ) J R  y R2 ( n )  j y I ( n ) J I  y I2 ( n ) . (4)
A particular problem of the MMA, however, is that it still
suffers from a low convergence when applies to the higher
order QAM. The dual-mode blind equalization algorithms
are therefore designed to speed up the convergence rate
[5,6,7]. These algorithms use the CMA at the first mode and
then switch to the second mode, so they suffer from the same
pitfall as the CMA, i.e. they cant correct the phase rotation
at the output of the equalizer. In this paper, we propose a
new dual-mode MMA to effectively improve the equalizers
convergence performance and recover the phase rotation
Although the dual-mode algorithm switches in two
modes, it never stops adjusting the equalizer tap weights
even when the adjustment is in the wrong direction. If we
can tell whether a particular adjustment is correct or not, we
may improve the convergence behavior by making only the
right adjustment but bypassing those wrong ones. Such a
concept has been applied to blind equalization and is termed
stop-and-go [8,9,10]. In this paper, we develop a stop-andgo dual-mode MMA for blind equalizers.
The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2 we derive
and analyze the proposed algorithms. Computer simulations
are presented in Section 3, and the concluding remarks are
contained in Section 4.

Keywords- blind equalization; dual-mode; multi-modulus

algorithm; stop-and-go.



The increasing demand for digital communications needs

high-speed data transmission over band-limited channels.
Hence, the channels are subject to intersymbol interference
(ISI). Channel equalization is one of the techniques to
mitigate the effects of ISI. Blind equalization which does not
require any known training sequence has been an active area
for several decades.
The constant modulus algorithm (CMA)[1]has become a
favorite of practitioners due to its LMS-like complexity and
desirable robustness properties. But the CMA converges
independently of carrier recovery, and the output
constellation after convergence has a phase rotation. Thus a
rotator has to be added at the output of the equalizer, which
increases the complexity of implementation of the receiver in
steady-state operation. In order to improve the performance
of the CMA, a multi-modulus algorithm (MMA) has been
proposed [2,3,4]. The MMA provides reliable initial
convergence without the need of a rotator in steady-state.
The MMA cost function is [2]
J MMA E y R2 ( n )  J R  y I2 ( n )  J I (1)

where E[] indicates statistical expectation. yR(n) and

yI(n) are the real and imaginary parts of the equalizer output
y(n), respectively. R and I are computed as
E a R4 ( n )
E a I4 ( n )
E a R2 ( n )
E a I2 ( n )
where a(n)=aR(n) + j aI(n) is the transmitted QAM
data symbol. The corresponding MMA tap updating
algorithm is
W (n  1) W (n)  P e(n) X (n)




The dual-mode multi-modulus algorithm

Suppose Dk (k=1,2,) denotes the union of the square
regions Dk (as shown in Fig. 1 using the 32-QAM signal as
an example) enclosing data points of the QAM data
constellation. In these regions, we define a new cost function:
~ 1
E y R ( n )  a R , p ( n )  y I ( n )  a I ,q ( n ) (5)


arg min y R ( n )  a R ,i ( n ) ,

arg min y I ( n)  a I ,k ( n) ,

Where  is the step-size parameter and the asterisk

denotes complex conjugation. The equalizer complex tap
weight-vector and input-vector are respectively defined as

978-1-4244-5265-1/10/$26.00 2010 IEEE



1,2,  .


the transmitted data point, the CR-MMA (i.e. (15)) will be

used to adjust the tap weights most of the time. When
yR(n)aR(n) and yI(n)aI(n), the error signal in (11) will
have a very small value, which provides a good steady state
behavior for the DM-MMA.

By computing the gradient of (5) with respect to wR(n)

and wI(n) separately, and replacing the value of statistical
expectation by the instantaneous value, we obtain:
y R ( n )  a R , p ( n ) sgn y R ( n ) X R ( n ) 
wW R

y (n)  a

wW I

y (n)  a
y (n)  a

I ,q ( n )

sgn y ( n ) X

sgn y ( n ) X ( n ) 
( n ) sgn y ( n ) X ( n )

R,p ( n )

I ,q


The stop-and-go dual-mode multi-modulus algorithm

Although the DM-MMA correctly decide whether the
equalizer is in a transient state or a steady state, it does not
tell whether a particular adjustment is correct or not. The
stop-and-go method can solve this problem by using a
simple flag. The flag suggests go if the error signal is
sufficiently reliable for adaptation, and suggests stop
otherwise [8, 9]. In the following, we present a stop-and-go
DM-MMA (SAG-DMMMA) for blind equalization. The
SAG-DMMMA can be described by the following equations:



W(n  1)

W(n)  P > f R (n)e R (n)  j f I (n)e I (n)@ X (n),

y ( n)  D k , k

W(n  1)


W(n)  P > f R (n)e R (n)  j f I (n)e I (n)@ X (n),
y ( n) D k , k



1, if sgn e R ( n ) sgn e~R ( n )

f R ( n)
0, if sgn e R ( n ) z sgn e~R ( n )
1, if sgn e I ( n ) sgn e~I ( n )
. (19)
f I ( n)
0, if sgn e I ( n ) z sgn e~I ( n )

Figure 1. Square regions for the DM-MMA of a 32-QAM signal.

Then the corresponding tap updating algorithm is

W (n  1) W (n)  P ~
e ( n) X ( n)
The error signal in (10) is expressed as
e~ (n) e~R (n)  j e~I (n),
y ( n) D k
e (n)
y ( n )  a ( n ) sgn y ( n )

eI ( n )

y (n)  a


I ,q ( n )


We have demonstrated the performance of the DMMMA and SAG-DMMMA using computer simulations. The
data sequences for simulations were generated according to
the model of Fig. 2. In this model, a T-spaced (where T is the
symbol period) symbol sequence {a(n)} is transmitted
through the channel, which is the overall complex baseband
equivalent impulse response of the transmitter filter,
unknown channel and receiver filter. The channel output is
corrupted by additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN). The
received signal r(n) is interpolated by a factor of two and
filtered by a T/2-spaced feedforward filter. After that, the
output is decimated by a factor of two to get the T-spaced
sequence {y(n)} for the posterior decision device.
The channel used in simulations was taken from [8]. A
decision-feedback equalizer with a 5-tap T/2-spaced
feedforward filter and a 3-tap feedback filter was used. The
equalizer was initialized so that the center taps were set to
one and the other taps were set to zero. The signal to noise
ratio (SNR) was fixed at 20 dB in all simulations.
In Fig. 3 we show that for the different d values (the
width of each square is 2d as depicted in Fig. 1), there has a

sgn y ( n ) .



We refer to the above algorithm as the constellation

region based MMA (CR-MMA).
From (3), (4), (10), (11) and the preceding discussion, we
may express the dual-mode MMA (DM-MMA) as
W (n  1) W (n)  P e(n) X (n),
y (n) D k (14)

W (n  1) W (n)  P e (n) X (n),
y ( n) D

The DM-MMA operates as follows. Because of the

distortion introduced by the channel during the transient
stages, the output of the equalizer will be scattered in a very
large area around the transmitted data point. Therefore, most
of the equalizer outputs will not be in Dk and the MMA
(i.e. (14)) will be used to adjust the tap weights most of the
time. This provides a MMA-like initial convergence
behavior for the DM-MMA. On the other hand, in the steady
state, since the output of the equalizer will be very close to

great difference in the mean square error (MSE) of the

proposed algorithm. From this figure, it can be seen that the
performance of the algorithm deteriorates when d is
increased beyond 0.85, and for d=1 the algorithm fails to
converge. Note that when d=1, the square regions touch each
other, and this case is very similar to the CR-MMA
equalization scheme.
Next, to examine the performance of the proposed
algorithm, we compared the DM-MMA and SAG-DMMMA
with the CMA and the MMA for the 32-QAM, 128-QAM
and 256-QAM data constellations. The step-size  is set to
0.000012 and 0.00004 for the CMA and the MMA with the
32-QAM data set, respectively. For the DM-MMA and
SAG-DMMMA, d=0.7 and =0.002, 0.0001 and 0.00002 for
the 32-QAM, 128-QAM and 256-QAM constellations,
respectively. Fig. 4 shows the constellations after
convergence. Fig. 4(a) shows for the CMA of a 32-QAM
signal. It is clear that the equalized output constellation has
an arbitrary phase rotation introduced by the channel, which
has not been corrected. Fig. 4(b), 4(c) and 4(d) are the
constellations of 32-QAM signals for the MMA, DM-MMA
and the SAG-DMMMA, respectively. The phase rotation has
been recovered for these algorithms and the DM-MMA and
SAG-DMMMA can achieve better performance compared
with the MMA. In addition, we can see from Fig. 4 that the
symbols are more clearly distinguishable at the output of the
SAG-DMMMA equalizers than those of the DM-MMA.
Note that the CMA and the MMA did not succeed in opening
the eye for the 128-QAM and 256-QAM signals, so we have
not presented their data constellations.
Finally, we consider the convergence behavior and
steady state MSE of these algorithms. Fig. 5 shows the
ensemble-averaged MSE, obtained from 100 Monte Carlo
runs. From the results, we can see that the SAG-DMMMA
has the fastest convergence rate and the smallest steady state
MSE among all the algorithms.

MSE of DM-MMA for different d values




















x 10

Figure 3. Learning curves for DM-MMA for a 16-QAM system. For d=0,
the corresponding step-size are =0.00002; for d=1, =0.001, and others

(a)CMA for 32QAM

(c) DM-MMA for 32QAM

(b) MMA for 32QAM

(d) SAG-DMMMA for 32QAM

Figure 2. Baseband communication system model with T/2- spaced


(e) DM-MMA for 128QAM

(f) SAG-DMMMA for 128QAM

performance. The DM-MMA and the SAG-DMMMA

outperform the MMA and offer practical alternatives to blind
equalization of higher-order QAM signals.

(g) DM-MMA for 256QAM

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(h) SAG-DMMMA for 256QAM

Figure 4. Output of the equalizers after 4000 iterations.

CMA for 32QAM


MMA for 32QAM


DM-MMA for 128QAM

DM-MMA for 32QAM


DM-MMA for 256QAM















x 10

Figure 5. Comparison curves of ensemble averaged MSE.



In this paper we have introduced two new multi-modulus

algorithms for blind equalization and have analyzed their