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JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 31, ISSUE 1, JULY 2015

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Applying Optimum Combining to a DS/CDMA
Code Diversity System
Hector Candiales and Shin’ichi Tachikawa
Abstract—In this paper, we propose a new weight coefficient calculation method for a DS/CDMA code-diversity system. The
method is based on the well-known optimum combining theory, whereby the weight coefficient vector that maximizes output
signal-to-interference plus noise ratio (SNIR) can be found by solving a linear system that involves an estimated interferenceplus-noise correlation matrix. The method has two steps: first, estimating the interference-plus-noise correlation matrix; and
second, solving the required linear system. We evaluate the proposed method using computer simulations, and show that it
yields almost-equal bit error rate performance when compared to the previously proposed method: adaptive weight control. The
result is expected, as an optimum combiner can also be implemented with an LMS adaptive array. Nevertheless, the proposed
method has a couple of advantages; namely, being a direct (non-iterative) calculation method, and requiring a comparatively
shorter training sequence. Its main drawback is the need to estimate the desired user’s power level at the receiver. The
overhead caused by solving the linear system could be of concern, but becomes largely negligible compared to the training time
if the receiver’s hardware is capable of many floating point operations per bit/symbol period.
Index Terms—DS/CDMA, code-diversity, multiple access interference, optimum combining, interference-to-noise correlation
matrix

—————————— u ——————————

1 INTRODUCTION

I

n past years, there have been studies about a directsequence code-division multiple-access (DS/CDMA)
communication system which employs a code-diversity
scheme as a method for suppressing multiple access interference (MAI). This is known as DS/CDMA codediversity. The original concept of a code-diversity system
is based on the use of a sum of several PN sequences as
the spreading codes for users [1]. This approach enables
diversity reception by employing several receiving
branches matched to each one of the individual PN sequences which compose the spreading code. Codediversity has been shown to be effective in suppressing
multiple access interference, especially under a near-far
problem environment, that is, when the received signal
power of any of the undesired users is much larger than
the desired user’s.
After the proposal of the original method, codediversity was simulated under multipath fading channels,
and showed to be effective still [2]. Afterward, a constant
amplitude composite sequence code-diversity method
was introduced, which simplified the original system by
implementing diversity reception using multivalued orthogonal cyclic shifted M (OM) sequences at the receiver
[3]. More recently, two-valued digitally-constructed
branch sequences with constant composite value have
been proposed. The application of these sequences has
the benefit of simplifying hardware implementation [4].
As with any diversity method, the calculation of appropriate weight coefficients for branch combining is critical
————————————————

• H. Candiales was with the Nagaoka Universtity of Technology, Nagaoka,
Niigata, Japan.
• S. Tachikawa is with the Nagaoka National College of Technology, Nagaoka, Niigata, 940-8532, Japan.

to the system’s bit error rate (BER) performance. The original code-diversity proposes a calculation method based
on maximal ratio combining (MRC), in which each weight
coefficient is calculated as the division of the root mean
square (RMS) level of the desired signal component, by
the power of the interference-plus-noise component at
each branch [1]. Seeking further performance improvement, an adaptive weight control (AWC) method based
on the least mean squares (LMS) algorithm was proposed
in [5]. This method showed notable improvement over
the original one, nonetheless, requiring increased complexity and a considerably longer training sequence.
Motivated by the question of optimal weight coefficients for code-diversity, this paper proposes a calculation
method based on optimum combining theory, whereby
the weight coefficient vector that maximizes output signal-to-interference plus noise ratio (SNIR) can be found
by solving a linear system involving an estimated interference-plus-noise correlation matrix [6]. This approach is
based in noting that the output SINR of a DS/CDMA
code-diversity system can be written in the form of a generalized Rayleigh quotient, and therefore has the associated optimal solution presented in [7].
In Sect. 2, we present a baseband model of a
DS/CDMA code-diversity communication system. Furthermore, we introduce the concept of orthogonal cyclic
shifted M (OM) sequences and both weight coefficient
calculation methods proposed so far for code-diversity:
MRC by anti-cross correlation and adaptive weight control. In Sect. 3, we derive an expression for the signal-tointerference plus noise ratio (SNIR) and present the equation that maximizes it, according to optimum combining
theory. In Sect. 4, a direct method to calculate weight coefficients is proposed based on optimum combining. The
method requires two steps; estimating the interference-

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plus-noise correlation matrix at the receiver and calculating the optimum weigh coefficients by solving a linear
system. In Sect. 5, we present numerical results of a performance evaluation based on the simulation of its average bit error rate. Finally in Sect. 6, we present the conclusions.

is fed to M correlating branches, where the signal is
matched, not only to its carrier (omitted since it's a baseband model), but to the corresponding branch sequence
from the set OM1, OM2, …, OMM. Correlator outputs are
then multiplied by the weight coefficients from the set g1,
g2, …, gM, and added up to obtain a weight sum that becomes the input to the threshold decision stage.

2 SYSTEM MODEL

2.1 OM Sequences
The branch sequences are core elements of the codediversity method. In this model, orthogonal cyclic shifted
M sequences are used. These are a set of multilevel sequences especially devised to make constant amplitude
code-diversity possible [3]. A set of base OM sequences is
generated by first building an N×N matrix that contains
all the shifted versions of a maximal length (M) sequence
of code length N, and then adding and multiplying an
orthogonalization component and a normalization factor,
respectively.
Given an M sequence of code length N, the n-th chip of
the k-th OM sequence, that is omn(k) (n = 0, 1, 2, …, N-1; k =
1, 2, …, N), is given by the following expression

Consider the baseband model of a DS/CDMA constant
amplitude code-diversity communication system shown
in Fig. 1. At the desired user’s transmitter, the data signal
is spectrum-spread by the sequence (OM1 + OM2 + … +
OMM)*PN, where PN is a pseudo-noise sequence (such as
a Gold sequence), and OM is the sum of all composite
orthogonal cyclic shifted M sequences OM1, OM2, …,
OMM. By design, OM results in a sequence of pulse
widths with constant amplitude +1, so that OM*PN=PN.
Therefore, the addition and product (OM1 + OM2 + … +
OMM)*PN, does not need to be implemented in practice
and the standard DS/CDMA transmitter can be preserved.

omn

(k )

= β ( M n+k −1 + α ) ,

(1)

where Mn denotes the n-th chip of the M sequence {M1, M2,
…, MN-1}, ! the normalization factor, and " the orthogonalization complement. and are defined as

α=

1+ 1+ N
,
N

(2)

1
.
N +1

(3)

and

β=

Fig.1. System model of original code-diversity

The spectrum-spread signal propagates through a
channel where no loses or fading are considered, but
where additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) and multiple access interference add to it as undesired components which degrade the bit error rate of the system. Multiple access interference is the sum of the transmitted signal of every user which is not the desired user. Each undesired user exhibits a relative phase shift or delay with
respect to the desired user's signal since the DS/CDMA
environment is asynchronous.
At the receiver, the received signal is first synchronized to the desired user's PN sequence, and then multiplied by it to perform the despread process. The model
assumes perfect synchronization, and its underlying
mechanisms are not considered in the model.
Following the spectrum-despread, the resulting signal

It can be demonstrated that these sequences have two
important properties: a) they compose an orthogonal set,
b) the sum of all sequences results in a sequence of constant value +1.
Generally, the number of branches M will be less than
the code length N. In such case, it is necessary to compose
the N sequences into a lesser number, for instance L sequences OM1, OM2, …, OML. This is called branch composition. In this paper, we use the order allocation algorithm,
which is as follows:
1. Obtain w as the result of N/L rounded down to
the nearest integer;
2. Obtain r as the remainder of N/L;
3. From the set of original sequences om1, om2, …,
omN, assign in increasing order w+1 sequences to
the first OM1, OM2, …, OMr sequences, and w sequences to the remaining OM(r+1), OM(r+2), …, OML
sequences. Note that (w+1) r + w (L-r) = N.

2.2 MRC Code-Diversity by Anti-Cross Correlation
This is the weight coefficient calculation method proposed for the conventional DS/CDMA code-diversity
system [1]. It calculates the weight of the k-th branch in
proportion to the received signal's root mean square
(RMS) level, and in inverse proportion to the interference-

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plus-noise power following the formula

gk =

ergodic random processes [8]. Further working out the
expression gives us

λ
,
E [ I ] + E [ N k2 ]

(4)

2
k

where
is the RMS value of the desired signal component, E[Ik2] is the interference power, and E[Nk2] is the
noise power; all at the output of the k-th branch correlator.
It is worth noting that the power levels are calculated as
probabilistic averages over the random variables of noise
and data symbols.
Assuming that the desired user's power component at
the output of the k-th branch's correlator, E[Sk2], is a
known value,
can be calculated as

λ = E[ Sk2 ] ,

SNIR =

2
k

2
k

E[ I ] + E[ N ] = E[ Z ] − E[ S ] ,

=

]

k

M

=

(7)

,

where g(n) denotes the weight coefficient column vector,
d(n) the threshold decision stage output, and c(n) the column vector with the correlators outputs; all at the n-th
training bit. gT denotes the transpose of g and the fixed
step size.

3 AN EQUATION THAT MAXIMIZES THE SNIR
Consider the system model shown in Fig. 1. Let Zk denote
the output of the k-th branch correlator. Let Sk, Nk, and Ik
be respectively the user's signal, noise, and interference
components of Zk, such that Zk = Sk + Nk + Ik. The output
signal-to-interference plus noise ratio (SINR) at the input
of the threshold decision stage will be

SNIR =

2
⎡⎛ M
⎞ ⎤
E ⎢⎜ ∑ g k Sk ⎟ ⎥
⎠ ⎥⎦
⎢⎣⎝ k =1

E `[Sk Sk ' ]

k'

E [( N k + I k )( N k ' + I k ' )]

k =1 k =1
M

∑∑ g g

( ss )
k ' kk '

∑∑ g g

( ss )
k ' kk '

k =1 k =1
M M

k

R
R

k =1 k =1

where E[Zk2], is the k-th branch's correlator output power.
This value is estimated for all branches sampling the correlator outputs Z1, Z2, …, ZM during a training sequence.

[

M

∑∑ g g

(6)

g(n + 1) = g(n) + µ d (n) − gT (n)c(n) c(n)

M

k'

k =1 k =1

k

2.3 Adaptive Weight Control
The adaptive weight control code-diversity is a method in
which the diversity weights are controlled using the least
mean squares (LMS) algorithm [5]. The weight coefficients are iteratively updated during a training sequence
using the formula

M

∑∑ g g
k

(5)

2
k

⎡ M M
⎤
E ⎢∑∑ g k g k ' ( N k + I k )( N k ' + I k ' )⎥
⎣ k =1 k =1
⎦
M

and the interference-plus-noise component as
2
k

⎡ M M
⎤
E ⎢∑∑ g k g k ' Sk Sk ' ⎥
⎣ k =1 k =1
⎦

=

gT R ssg
,
gT R nng

where g is the column vector with the weight coefficients
g1, g2, …, gM, the T superscript denotes the transpose of a
vector/matrix, and Rss and Rnn are the user’s signal and
interference-plus noise correlation matrices defined as

⎛ R11( ss )
⎜ ( ss )
⎜ R
R ss = ⎜ 21

⎜
(
⎜ R ss )
⎝ M 1

R12( ss ) … R1(Mss ) ⎞
⎟
( ss )
R22
… R2( ssM) ⎟ ,


 ⎟
⎟
( ss ) ⎟
RM( ss2) … RMM
⎠

(8)

2
⎡⎛ M
⎞ ⎤
(
)
E ⎢⎜ ∑ g k I k + N k ⎟ ⎥
⎠ ⎥⎦
⎢⎣⎝ k =1k

The above powers averages are calculated as secondorder probabilistic averages (expectations) with respect to
data symbols and noise, since these are in practice slow
varying time functions that can be modeled as stationary

(10)

and

⎛ R11( nn )
⎜ ( nn )
⎜ R
R ss = ⎜ 21

⎜
⎜ R ( nn )
⎝ M 1

R12( nn ) … R1(Mnn ) ⎞
⎟
( nn )
)
R22
… R2( nn
M ⎟
,


 ⎟
⎟
( nn ) ⎟
RM( nn2) … RMM
⎠

(11)

where

Rkk( ss' ) = E[ Sk Sk ' ] ,

(12)

and

Rkk( nn' ) = E[( N k + I k )( N k ' + I k ' )] .
.

(9)

(13)

It is worth noting that the expression in (9) has the form
of a generalized Rayleigh quotient. The maximization
problem of this quotient appears in various fields, and is
generally solved by interpreting it as an eigenvalue problem. In communications, however, optimum combining
borrows from array processing theory stating that the
weight coefficient vector that maximizes the output SINE
expressed in the form of (9) is given by the expression

4

−1 ~
g = αR nn
V,

(14)

where
is an arbitrary constant, V is the propagation
vector, ~ denotes complex conjugate, and Rnn-1 denotes the
inverse of Rnn. In this system model, let = 1 and V = 1 =
(1, 1, …, 1)T. Then (14) reduces to
−1
g = R nn
1 .

(15)

4 A PROPOSED METHOD
Previous methods for calculating weight coefficients in
the code-diversity system were based on either, maximum ration combining (MRC) by anti-cross correlation,
or adaptive weight control (AWC). MRC by anti-cross
correlation is a simple and convenient method, yet, it
cannot properly maximize the SINR in a code-diversity
system as a consequence of multiple access interference
not beign independent among branches. Hence, MRC by
anti-cross correlation becomes sub-optimal in a
DS/CDMA code-diversity system.
On the other hand, adaptive weight control has shown
to achieve a notably better performance. In fact, optimum
combining is known to be achievable by using least mean
square (LMS) adaptive arrays, which are the core of the
AWC method. However, AWC has shown some drawbacks in the code-diversity system. First, it requires a
longer training sequence; around 5,000 and 200,000 bits
(as seen in [2] and [5]), whereas the original MRC method
requires only 1,000 bits [1]. Aditionally, because AWC is
an interative method, there is the issue of properly selecting the step size, which incorrectly selected causes the
algorithm no to converge.
Looking to overcome these drawbacks, in this section
we introduce a direct calculation method (non-iterative)
similar to MRC by anti-cross correlation, but based on
optimum combining.

4.1 Estimating the Interference-plus-Correlation
Matrix
From (15), it is clear that finding the weight coefficients
that maximize the output SINR requires computing the
interference-plus-correlation matrix Rnn defined in (11)
and (13). The expectation in (13) can be estimated in a
similar way as it is done in MRC by anti-cross correlation
[1]. First consider that

E[Z k Zk ' ] = E[(Sk + I k + N k )(Sk ' + I k ' + N k ' )].

(16)

Since Sk, Ik, and Nk are mutually independent and with
zero mean, it is easy to see that

E[ Z k Z k ' ] = E[ Sk Sk ' ] + E[( I k + N k )( I k ' + N k ' )] ,

(17)

and thus

E[( I k + N k )( I k ' + N k ' )] = E[ Z k Z k ' ] − E[ Sk Sk ' ] .

(18)

Note that (18) is a more general version of (6). Now con-

sider that from (18), (10), (11), (12), and (13), it should be
clear that the following extended matrix relation holds

R nn = R zz − R ss ,

(19)

where Rzz is the correlator output correlation matrix defined as

⎛ R11( zz )
⎜ ( zz )
⎜ R
R ss = ⎜ 21

⎜
⎜ R ( zz )
⎝ M 1

R12( zz ) … R1(Mzz ) ⎞
⎟
( zz )
R22
… R2( zzM) ⎟
,


 ⎟
⎟
( zz ) ⎟
RM( zz2) … RMM
⎠

(20)

where

Rkk( zz' ) = E[ Z k Z k ' ].

(21)

To calculate Rnn with (19), Rzz and Rnn must be estimated.
Rzz can be computed in K training bits measuring the value of Zk directly from all branch correlators at each training bit, and then computing

1 K
T
zi zi

K i =1

R zz =

,

(22)

where zi is the column vector holding correlators outputs
Z1, Z2, …, ZM at the i-th training bit.
Contrary to the case of Rzz, computing Rss requires an
indirect approach. First, consider the system model in
Fig.1. Note that since OM1(t) + OM2(t) + … + OMM(t) = 1,
for all t in [0, T], Sk can be written as
T

Sk = ∫ DATA(t ) ⋅ PN 2 (t ) ⋅ OM k (t )dt.
0

(23)

PN(t) is a pseudo-noise sequence that takes the binary
values {-1, 1} and DATA(t) is a sequence of random pulses
of width T that takes antipodal values equal in magnitude
to the square root of the user's signal received power P.
Then,
T

Sk = ∫ DATA(t ) ⋅ (1) ⋅ OM k (t )dt ,
0

=∫

T

0

P ⋅ b0 ⋅ OM k (t )dt ,

(24)

where b0 represents the data as a uniformly distributed
random variable that takes the binary values {-1, 1}. From
(24), it follows that
T

Sk = Pb0 ∫ OM k (t )dt ,
0

⎛ 1 T
⎞
= PTb0 ⎜ ∫ OM k (t )dt ⎟,
0
⎝ T
⎠
= PTb0ok ,

(25)

where ok is the mean value of the k-th composite OM
sequence in a bit period T. Borrowing the result from (25),

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note that E[Sk Sk'] can be expressed as

E [ Sk Sk ' ] = E

[(

PTb0ok
2

[ ]

)(

)]

PTb0ok ,

2

= PT E b0 ok ok ,

= PT 2ok ok .

(26)

Finally, from (10), (12), and (26), Rss can be expressed
as

R ss = PT 2OOT ,

(27)

where O is defined as the column vector holding the values o1 , o2 ,..., oM . The superscript T denotes the transpose
of a matrix/vector.
From (19), (22), and (27), the interference-plus-noise
correlation matrix can be expressed as

R nn =

1 K
T
zi zi − PT 2OOT .

K i =1

(28)

Note that zi is measured directly from the receiver at
each training bit, and that T, K, and O are known values
once the system is designed. Nevertheless, the user's received signal power level P has to be estimated at the receiver in order to fully compute Rnn and implement the
method. This is a shared similarity between the proposed
method and MRC by anti-cross correlation.

4.2 Calculating the Optimum Weight Coefficients
Having estimated the interference-plus-correlation matrix
Rnn, the optimum weight coefficients can be calculated
using (15). However, taking advantage of a special characteristic of Rnn, the weights can be found without having
to invert this matrix (which can be computationally costly), but rather by solving a simple linear system that derives from it. To show this, first note that (15) can be written as the linear equation

R nng = 1.

(29)

From (11) and (13), it is clear that Rnn will always be a
real symmetrical matrix. Furthermore, note that since the
SINR is a ratio of positive power values for any g, which
is evident from (8), then gTRnng > 0 for all non-zero g. This
latter relation indicates that Rnn is positive definite. Linear
algebra knowledge states that a real symmetrical positive
definite matrix A has a unique Cholesky decomposition
such that A = BBT, where B is lower triangular [9]. This
property allows the linear system in (29) to be decomposed into a two triangular systems that can be solved
inexpensively via forward and back substitutions [10].
Therefore, the proposed algorithm for solving (29) is as
follows.
1. Perform the Cholesky decomposition Rnn = BBT,
2. Solve the lower triangular system Bz = 1 with
forward substitution,
3. Solve the upper triangular system BTg = z with
backward substitution.
Algorithms for computing the Cholesky decomposi-

tion require approximately n3/3 floating point operations
(flops). On the other hand, solving a triangular system
with forward or back substitution demands approximately n2 flops in either case. Consequently, the Cholesky
method for solving the linear system in (29) would require around n3/3 + n2 flops. In a 5 branched codediversity system, this would be approximately 90 flops.
Hence it can be seen that if the receiver hardware can perform many floating point operations during a bit period
(which is likely in spread spectrum systems), then the
overhead of solving the linear system will be negligible
compared to the training time.

5 NUMERICAL RESULTS
This section shows the results of computer simulations
carried out in order to evaluate the performance of the
proposed method. The simulation models a near-far problem environment, where the user's signal is degraded by
AWGN and a single interfering user (multiple access interference) with greater received power (SIR = -10dB).
Gold codes are used as PN sequences for both user and
interference. The asynchronous CDMA environment is
modeled using asynchronous bit timing and synchronous
chip timing. Interference delay takes all the integer values
from from 0 to 30 chips (code lenght is 31). Code-diversity
employs five receiving branches, each with one composite
OM sequence built using the order allocation algorithm.
Weight coefficients are calculated with MRC by anti-cross
correlation, adaptive weight control (AWC), and the proposed method. Further details are shown in Table 1.
Table 1 Simulation specifications
Modulation system

BPSK-DS/SS

Number of user

2

PN Sequences

Gold sequences
Preferred pair M[45], M[75]

User’s and interference’s PN
sequence

G0 and G3

Code length

31

Transmission line

AWGN and interference

Eb/N0

0 ~ 8 dB

Signal-to-interference Ratio
(SIR)

-10 dB

Interference bit timing

Asynchronous

Interference chip timing

Synchronous

Interference delay

0 ~ 30 chips

Number of branches

5

Branch sequences

OM sequences (M[67])

Branch composition

Order allocation

Weight coefficient method

MRC, AWC, and proposed

Training bits

MRC: 1,000 bits
AWC: 10,000 bits
Proposed: 1,000 bits

Step size (for AWC)

10-2

6

6 CONCLUSIONS

Fig. 2. Performance evaluation of the proposed method

Simulation results aresummarized in the average BER
vs. Eb/N0 [dB] plot shown in Fig. 2. There are five curves
depicted. Two of them are upper and lower bounding
curves which show the performance of the conventional
DS/CDMA system with and without multiple access interference (MAI), respectively. The three remaining
curves show the performance of a 5-branched codediversity system with multiple access interference, each
applying a different weight coefficient calculation method
(MRC, AWC, and the proposed). In every case, the resulting curve is obtained averaging the bit error rate (BER)
over the range of interference delays considered (0 ~ 30
chips).
The following are observations that can be drawn from
the plot. First, consider the bounding curves that show
the performance of the conventional DS/CDMA system
with and without MAI. Notice how heavily the performance is degraded in a conventional system when there
is a near-far problem; in the case of this simulation, an
interfering user with ten times the received power of the
desired user. In order to do a numerical comparison, let's
consider the average BER at the fixed point of Eb/N0 = 8
dB for every curve. The no MAI case yields an average
BER of 1.95*10-4, whereas the MAI case yields 6.45*10-2; a
difference greater than 2 orders of magnitude.
The application of the code-diversity method produces
a noticeable performance improvement. Using MRC by
anti-cross correlation, the average BER reduces to 2.78*102
at Eb/N0 = 8 dB. However, using AWC or the proposed
method, the reduction goes down to 4.80*10-3 and 4.99*103
, respectively. This constitutes, in either case, a reduction
of more than an order of magnitude from the MAI case
with the conventional system.

In this paper, we proposed a weight coefficient calculation method for DS/CDMA code-diversity based on optimum combining theory and evaluated its performance
through computer simulations. The results showed us
that the difference between AWC and the proposed
method is nearly negligible, hence having almost the
same performance. This result is consistent with optimum
combining theory [6], given that an optimum combiner
can also be implemented using an LMS adaptive array;
the core of adaptive weight control. Using the proposed
method, however, has two advantages over AWC. First, it
is a direct (non-iterative) calculation method not subject
to the convergence issues of numerical algorithms. Second, it needs a far smaller training sequence (only 1,000
bits). Its main drawback is requiring an estimate for the
user's received power level at the receiver, something that
is not necessary with AWC and a shared characteristic
with MRC by anti-cross correlation. The overhead caused
by finding the solution to the linear system could be of
concern, but it'll be negligible compared to the training
time if the hardware is capable of performing many floating point operations per bit period T.

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Hector Candiales was born in Valencia, Venezuela, in 1986. He
received the B.S. degree in electronic engineering from Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela, in 2010. From 2008 to 2009, he was a
exchange student at Nagaoka University of Technology, Nagaoka,
Japan. From 2010 to 2014, he worked as a project and sales engineer at Vikua, Venezuela. His current research interests lie in the
area of spread spectrum communications.
Shin’ichi Tachikawa was born in Niigata, Japan. He received the
B.S., M.S. and Dr. Degrees in electrical engineering from Nagaoka
University of Technology, Nagaoka, Japan, in 1980, 1982 and 1991,
respectively. He was engaged at Nagaoka University of Technology
from 1982 to 2009. Since 2009, he has been a member of Engineering at National Institute of Technology, Nagaoka College, where he
is now a Professor. His current research interests lie in the areas of
spread spectrum communication system, ultra wideband systems,
coding theory and signal processing. Dr. Tachikawa is a member of
IEICE (The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication
Engineers) of JAPAN.