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Semi Definite Relaxation (SDR) in Multiple Input

Multiple Output (MIMO) Detection
Paban Sarma

Ripan Deuri

Roll No. 14104104

Roll No. 14104135

Abstract—The paper consists of studies on application of semi
definite programming in MIMO detection. Several ways to tackle
the NP-Hard ML MIMO detection via Convex SDR relaxation
is studied and implemented. At first the focus is on MIMO
systems with 16-QAM constellations followed generalization of
the methods to higher order QAM of the form 4q . Performance of
these techniques are verified by simulation and the performance
metric observed is symbol error rate w.r.t SNR per bit. Also the
equivalence among the techniques are studied and they verified
by simulation. In this case metric observed is optimal objective
value produced by the methods with system size and SNR.

Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) systems are very
common in modern day communication system. For instance
multiple user communication and multiple antenna channels
can be named. The uses of multiple transmit and receive antenna enables higher system performance provided transmitted
symbols are efficiently detected. This fact has made the MIMO
detection problem an important topic among the scholars of
communication systems.
The Maximum Likelihood (ML) detector is the most efficient detector for a MIMO system however it is much costly
in terms of computational effort. ML problem is known to be
a NP-Hard due to its exponential complexity with system size.
In the series of low complexity sub-optimal detector the Zero
Forcing (ZF) detector that relaxes the discrete nature of constellation point is computationally efficient but performance is
compromised. ZF with decision feedback enhances the performance, but it is still lower than the sphere decoders. Sphere
decoders are the best performance sub-optimal detectors, but
it is limited to smaller system size due to its complexity and
compromised performance in low SNR condition.[1]
In recent times semidefinite relaxation (SDR) technique has
been widely used for sub-optimal MIMO detection. And the
motivation that leads to think about SDR is that quadratic
optimization problem can be converted to SDP by some
suitable transformation or introduction of dummy variable[2].
At the very beginning the SDR is successfully applied to
QPSK constellation which motivates the researchers to apply
the same for higher order QAM constellations. In this paper we
have discussed and demonstrated different MIMO detection
methods for QAM constellations based on SDR.

A multiple input multiple output system with Nt transmit
antenna and Nr receive antenna can be expressed as
yc = Hc sc + wc


Where sc is an Nt × 1 transmitted symbol vector and each
element is drawn from a set Sc that contains the set of all
possible constellation points, Hc is a complex channel matrix
of size Mr × Nt , wc is additive white Gaussian noise vector
of dimension Nr × 1, and yc is the complex received vector
of dimension Nr × 1. An equivalent model with real entities
can be described as 
y = Hs + w
where (.)R and (.)I represents real and imaginary part of
the complex entity (.). Also, the dimensions of y, s, w and
H are 2Nr × 1, 2Nt × 1, 2Nr × 1 and 2Nr × 2Nt respectively.
In model (2) the elements of s belong to a real set S =
{±1, ±3 . . . , ±(2q − 1)} for 4q -QAM constellations.
Therefore, the ML detection problem is formulated as
min ||y − Hs||2
si ∈ S ∀i = 1, 2, . . . 2Nt
SDR techniques for MIMO system using 16QAM constellations are based on convex relaxation of the constraint
si ∈ {±1, ±3} in MIMO detection problem (3).
A. Polynomially inspired (PI) SDR
For 16-QAM constellations Si ∈ {±1, ±3} is equivalent to
(si − 1)(si + 1)(si − 3)(si + 3) = 0
=⇒ s4i − 10s2i + 9 = 0
=⇒ s2i − ui = 0 ; u2i − 9ui + 10 = 0;


∀ i = 1, 2, . . . , 2Nt
With this constraint the MIMO detection problem in (3) is
equivalent to solving the minimization problem
min ky − Hsk22


s2i − ui = 0;

i = 1, 2, . . . , 2Nt


i = 1, 2, . . . , 2Nt

− 9ui + 10 = 0;


For 16-QAM the VA representation of s is given by s = b1 + 2b2 (11) Q here has a similar definition like (7) with H replaced by ˜ H. 3) Simple rounding: It can be noted that the minimization variable X in the problems is of the form    T   x  x x x x 1 = X= 1 xT 1 Where. 2.the objective function of the ML detection problem in (3) can be simplified as ky − Hsk22 = sT HT Hs − 2yT Hs + yT y = sT HT Hs − 2yT Hts + t2 yT y (8) T = x Qx Where. Virtually antipodal (VA) SDR An element s ∈ {S} can always be represented as a weighted sum of antipodal element b ∈ {±1}. xT Qx = tr(xT QT x) = tr(QxxT ) = tr(QX) with X = xxT . 2. vector corresponding to the largest eigenvalue in eigenvalue ˆ = VΛVT then in case of PI and BC SDR decomposition X optimum s is found as sˆi = quant(vi /vn ). 2. In 16-QAM constellation l and u are 1 and 9 respectively. 4Nt ˜ = HW and introducing x = [bT 1]T the VA Now. it has only one distinct nonzero X eigenvalue.1 X1.t. . X0 1 ≤ Xi.) denotes the closest approximation of the argument to a point belonging to S = {±1.4Nt +1 = 1 diag(X1. the next step leading to selection of optimal ˆ s is same as (14) and (15). The EVD based methods takes the ˆ If v is the eigen solution as the principle eigen vector of X.1 ) − X2.3 = 0  T  H H 0 −HT y 0 0  where. . 2. using H SDR can be formulated in a similar approach like (10) as. . i = 1.2 ) − 10X2. Introducing a new variable t ∈ {±1}. b s. the convex SDR version of the ML problem in (5) is formulated eliminating the rank constant as X0 (7) X4Nt +1. .2Nt +1 = 1. . .t. . Therefore from optimal solution X vn×1 comprising of the first n−1 elements of the nth column ˆ as of X v = X(1 : n − 1..i ≤ 9. the decomposition of X is as follows     xxT xuT x X1. B.) denoting the sign of the argument. 4Nt + 1 (13) X0 X x= min ky − HWbk22 s. . the optimal b and s predicted as ˆbi = sign(vi /vn ). 1) Eigen Value Decomposition: Let X (10) or (13) of dimension n × n. . . 2. Recovering constellation points from SDR solution ˆ is the solution in (7). more is the accuracy in this approach. . 2Nt (14) Where. . where I is and identity matrix of dimension 2Nt × 2Nt . The detected signal constellations points belonging to S can be obtained from optimal X by suitable technique. . since the rank constraint is non convex. . C.t. ∀i = 1. .3 = 0 diag(X2. defining b = [bT1 bT2 ]T and W = [I 2I]. . Bound constrained (BC) SDR BC-SDR [4] exploits the fact of QAM constellations being symmetric around the origin and existing of bounds l and u such that l ≤ s2i ≤ u for i = 1. X) 1.    T s H H . bi ∈ {±1}.3  = uxT uuT u     xT uT 1 X3. . . 2Nt .Redefining x of dimension 4Nt +1 as xT = [xT uT 1]T and X = xT x.1 X2. 4Nt (15) ˆ ˆ s = [I 2I]b The solution from this method is the best solution if optimal ˆ is a rank one matrix i. . Q =  0 −yT H 0 −yT y It can be proved that the Lagrangian bi-dual formulation of problem (5) leads to the SDP (7) above [3]. Again relaxing the non-convex rank constraint the BC-SDR can be formulated as min tr(QX) X s. In case of VA-SDR with sign(.3 + 9X2.1 X3.Also X = xxT is a rank one PSD matrix and its rank constraint is relaxed to form the convex VA-SDR problem above.3 X is a PSD matrix with rank 1.t. .3         (6) X = X2. . X is a PSD matrix with rank 1. n) (16) With v in hand the next step is same as (14) and (15).In (7) and (10) n is 2Nt + 1 and in (13) it is 4Nt + 1. min tr(QX) s.e.2 X3. . 2Nt X2Nt +1. Q= t −yT H −HT y yT y  (9) Now. After v is chosen with randomization procedure.2 X2. larger the number of randomization steps r. . . x is s in case of BC/PI-SDR and b in case of VAˆ n×n we can retrieve SDR. ±3}. D. The feasible vi producing the least objective value in corresponding problem is considered as solution v. quant(. . 2) Randomization: In this approach a correlated random ˆ for i = Gaussian vector vi generated such that vi ∼ N (0. . Therefore. 2. (12) i = 1. 2. min tr(QX) X Xi. r. therefore the problem (3) is equivalent to (10) i = 1.i = 1. . i = 1.2 X1. .

s) Au=1N min ||ˆ y − HSu||2 ≡ (28) Let P = ST HT HS and c = −ST HT y ˆ. r2 . the ML detection rule is given by p1 1 + p2 u1 + p3 diag(U11 ) + p4 diag(U12 ) ˆ = arg min ||ˆ x y − Hx||2 xi ∈S + p5 diag(U22 ) = 0 (27) (20) is a valid formulation because the constraints restricts ui = s2i . Problem Formulation Considering the MIMO system model as in (2). . . S = ssT . IV. i. Equivalence in the Methods The three SDR techniques discussed above are equivalent to each other and the optimal objective value produced is same for all as the objective function of each of them can be expressed as a single unified expression as follows.u = 1 u2 y = HSu + n (20) T S  ss . . . . VA-SDR for 4q QAM The VA-SDR for higher order QAM is the most generalized version of 16 order QAM. . . So the optimization problem can be written as min uT Pu + 2cT u s. From the equations in (23) and (24). U  uu (26) At the receiver. U = uuT . Now 5 4 X Y pl ul−1 = 0 (19) (ui − ri ) = u∈R⇔ i=1 l=1 Therefore. S = IN ⊗ [s1 . f (S.s s. the transmitted vector is expanded as a linear combination of all the possible constellation points in each dimension. diag(U12 )i = u3i . N EAR M AXIMUM L IKELIHOOD D ECODING A LGORITHM In this method. N (23) Where. 9. ∀i = 1. uN (1) . A. . sM ] is an N × N M coefficient matrix.t. the minimization in Euclidean distance space is expressed as a binary quadratic minimization problem. min uT ST HT HSu − 2ˆ yT HSu Au=1N (29) is a quadratic minimization problem with binary variable u.e. . or alternatively s2i ∈ {1. . Thus the system model can be written as   u . .S. . . 1}N M U. . f (S. . . Clearly elements of x is selected from a real symbol set S = {s1 .It has the same form as in (13). . ˆ is the ML estimated input vector and y ˆ is the Where. 2Nt where. where A = IN ⊗ 1TM . . ±3 · · · ± (2q − 1)}. ±3} ∀i (17) Also the feasible sets of each of the three methods are identical[4]. . PI SDR for 4q QAM Considering q = 3 i. In the following section. BC-SDR and VA-SDR respectively. u1 (M ) . E XTENSION TO HIGHER ORDER CONSTELLATION A. . with the optimization variable X of dimension 2qNt ant the matrices W and b redefined as h i W = I 2I 4I . diag(U11 )i = u2i .u. .e. Using this formulation.S. the PI-SDR for 64 QAM can be reformulated as. si ∈ {±1.E. . 9. (2q − 1)2 }. x can be expressed as x = Su (25) Where. uN (M )]T is an N × N M binary vector such that Au = 1N . x received vector. . keeping this is mind the BC SDR is formulated as min f (S. . 25. the transmitted symbol vector s in this case is x of size N × 1 with N = 2Nt . . and FV A represents feasible sets for PISDR. 49}. ui (j) ∈ {0. . R = {r1 . . s2 . . BC-SDR for 4q QAM It is observed that the elements of s in our system model () si ∈ {±1. SDP Solution The objective function in (29) is scalar and hence can be modified as  uT Pu + 2cT u = tr uT Pu + 2cT u    1 uT (30)  = tr LP  u uuT . . 2. . 2 b q 1 2 3 Au = 1N (29) u ∈ {0. s)  U11 U= U21 T U12 U2. r3 .t. . Also it has eliminated the rank one constraints i. . . for 64-QAM the constraints on MIMO ML problem can be simplified as s2i ∈ R.u. 1}and N X ui (j) = 1. ∀ i = 1. r4 } = {1. xi = ui (1)s1 + ui (2)s2 + · · · + ui (M )sM i = 1. min U. . FP I .e FP I = FBC = FV A (18) Where.2  V.t. . we discuss several SDP relaxation models for this problem. diag(U22 )i = u4i . The equivalent form of the problem can be formulated as B.FBC . (21) S  ssT q 2 1 ≤ diag(S) ≤ (2 − 1) 1 C.s s. . 2q−1 I (22) h iT T T q−1 T b = bT 2b 4b . 2. B. s) = tr(HT HS) − 2yT Hs + yT y S = ssT . sM }. N (24) j=1 Let u = [u1 (1) .

Let X ∈ MM ×N such that 1TM X = 1TN . removing the rank one restriction from the problem. the constraints Au = 1N . SN R = 2kσ 2 . Y ∈ F  (33) (35) It is clear that Yu are the feasible points of F.0 and Yu0.0 = Yu T0. . R  0. So the relaxation model for the original minimization problem given in (29) can be formulated as min tr (LP Y) s. x can be written as x = Wp  Let εM ×N = {X ∈ MM ×N : X1M = 1N .i. U ∈ εM ×N The feasible points of (32) are given by      1 1 1 uT =  Yu = u u and  Y= 1 xT x xxT   = 1 pT WT  Wp WppT WT  Let  ˆ = Q  1 0TN (M −1) bv IN ⊗ VM ×(M −1)  ∈ M(N M +1)×((M −1)N +1) Then ˆ Q ˆT Y = QR uT  uuT  Where.t. ∀i. A larger convex set F is defined by taking the convex hull of the original set εM ×N i. We have also verified ML detector performance in 2x2 system as it requires search over 22k = 256 possible symbol vectors. where Yu:. j} (31) Since. 200 for one channel matrix averaged over 50 times. R  0 and r00 = 1. ui ∈ {0.: and diag(uuT ) = u. diag(uuT ) = u Yu and consequently. U ∈ εM ×N . then rij ∈ {0.d. Since Yu are rank one matrices. ∀i. 1}.t.2 shows the performance for 16-QAM detectors discussed in section III in 2x2 and 4x4 MIMO system respectively. (Q ˆ T RQ) ˆ 0. the minimization problem in (29) can be written as    1 uT  min tr LP  (32) u uuT s. xij ∈ {0. N (M − 1)}. Also the noise elements are circular symmetric Gaussian. j ∈ {0. ˆ T RQ) ˆ = (1. otherwise rij ∈ [0. 1}N M are equivalent to u = vec(U). . LP :=  0 c cT P  Define W = [bv IN ⊗ VM ×(M −1) ]. diag(Y) = Y0. and using the relation (36) Y can be obtained and a randomization procedure can be employed to recover u.: r00 = 1. From its optimal solution R. 1] ∀i. The performance are superior to ZF detector in both cases.e.1:n )T diag(Q (39) R0 (39) is the quasi-ML decoding rule for the MIMO model in (2). Gaussian with variance 21 . .For each step about 10000 Monte-Carlo simulations are performed.e. Using the above result a set Fr containing F is defined as follows  Fr = Y ∈ SN M +1 : ∃ R ∈ S(M −1)N +1 . The SDP relaxation of the problem can be achieved by removing the rank one restriction from the feasible set. 1. If x = vec(X) ∈ MM N ×1 . Where.e both real and imaginary parts are i.t.Approximation techniqes used in both these simulations are eigenvalue decomposition. (38) ˆ Q ˆ T . S IMULATION R ESULTS AND D ISCUSSION To simulate the SDR detectors for MIMO we have considered that the elements of the channel matrix as Rayleigh in magnitude i..: denotes the first row and the first column of the matrix Yu respectively. Then. Also. In the next relaxation model F is replaced by another larger set containing F. they lies in the set of extreme points of F. 1}.1 and Fig. u = vec(U). Yu is a rank one and positive semi-definite matrix. second relaxation model can be formulated as ˆ T LQ Q)R ˆ min tr(Q s. So all the rank one matrices of the F in (35) for some u is the optimal solution of (29). Pav is 2 the average constellation power and σ is noise variance per dimension in a 2k -ary constellation.3 demonstrates . Fig.Fig. rii = r0i . diag(Yu ) = Yu:. VI. To check Symbol error rate performance Pav we have considered SNR per bit i. U ∈ εM ×N } (34) thereby. If Y is an extreme point of F. Y = QR Thus. . F := conv {Yu : u = vec(U). using lemma 1 [5]. The set F has no interior points. 1 : N )) and   IM −1  ∈ MM ×(M −1) VM ×(M −1) =  −1TM −1 Let pT = [1 x ˜T ] and i 1 h bv = 1M N ×1 − (IN ⊗ VM ×(M −1) )1(M −1)N ×1 M R = ppT =  (36) 1 x ˜T  x ˜ x ˜x ˜T  (37) Clearly. x can be expressed as i 1 h x= 1M N ×1 − (IN ⊗ VM ×(M −1) )1(M −1)N ×1 M +(IN ⊗ VM ×(M −1) )˜ x where x ˜ = vec(X(1 : (M − 1).

Performance of the three 16-QAM SDR techniques in 2x2 MIMO system. 16 QAM BC-SDR performance in 4x4 MIMO with different approximation technique Fig.Fig. Average optimal objective value produced by SDR methods in 4x4 MIMO with SNR(16/64-QAM constellation) Fig. average optimal value produced by SDR methods with system size (16-QAM constellation) . 2. 3. compared with ZF and ML detector Fig. 4. Performance of the three 16-QAM SDR techniques in 4x4 MIMO system. 1. 6. 5. Performance of SDR detectors in NxN MIMO with 64-QAM constellation Fig. compared with ZF detector Fig.

No. September 2005. November 2007. IEEE transactions on Information Theory. In PI-SDR the discrete constraints are relaxed as quadratic relations. 12. Complexity performance (Average run time) of the 16-QAM SDR detectors with system size The first two models of [5] for Near ML decoding algorithm are verified in Fig. 11. The Equivalence of Semidefinite Relaxation MIMO Detectors for Higher-Order QAM. It can be noted that VA SDR is equivalent to BCSDR even in higher order QAM in terms of optimal value but detection performance is poor. Vol. 7. G. 6. pp. [2] Z. The time considered here doesn’t include the approximation time as it is same in all the SDRs. Complexities of the SDR methods are compared in terms of average run time to solve the SDP with different system size and simulated results are shown in Fig. 9. No. Ma et al.Fig. Vol. 3. Wiesel et al. It is also successfully inherited to 64-QAM constellations whereas PI-SDR demands more computational effort in higher order constellation and VA-SDR lacks performance though it is computationally easy.7. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. The simulated results are for 4x4 MIMO using 16-QAM and 64-QAM respectively shown in Fig. A Near-Maximum-Likelihood Decoding Algorithm for MIMO Systems Based on Semi-Definite Programming. Performance of VA SDR is poor in this case and needs special approximation method to improve it. in 2x2 MIMO system using 16-QAM constellation the performance of different Approximation techniques for BC SDR in 16 QAM and they are found to be approximately same. . 3869-3886.6.5. To check the equivalence among the BC/VA/PI SDR the average optimal value is considered and it is found to be same in each cases.. Semidefinite Relaxation for Detection of 16-QAM Signaling in MIMO Channels. pp. IEEE Signal Processing Letters.. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. From a theoretical view it can be noted the the first three techniques discussed relaxes the constraints on symbols belonging to a discrete set. pp.4. May 2010. Also the equivalence in optimal value with system size is simulated in Fig. 1038-1052. The first three methods are mainly for 4q -QAM constellations whereas the near ML approach can be extended over any Mary constellation. BC-SDR performs better than ZF as expected.. 653-656. No. Also the SER performance of these detectors are far superior to ZF detector and observed to be near to optimal performance. Larsson. pp. Luo et al. pp. From the simulation results BC-SDR technique is observed to be the most efficient one in terms of complexity and SER performance as well. Performance of this method is enhanced by imposing more constraints and increasing complexity of implementation. [4] W. May 2009. Vol.. December 2009. 20-34 [3] A. [1] E. Mobasher et al. where BC SDR relaxes their square within a bound using symmetry of QAM constellation. C ONCLUSION Different SDR methods discussed in the paper gives a better solution for sub-optimal MIMO detection problem. Q. Semidefinite Relaxation of Quadratic Optimization Problems. VII. The VA-SDR represents the symbols vectors as weighted sum of antipodal elements and solves for the antipodal vectors.8 for 16QAM constellation in a 2x2 MIMO system and results are compared with conventional ZF and ML detector. [5] A. In the near-ML decoding the SDP is formed to find a binary vector that actually selects exactly one symbol from the set containing all possible symbols. The three 16-QAM SDRs and also its higher order extensions are equivalent to each other and SDP solution leads to same objective value. K. 53. MIMO Detection Methods: How They Work. 91-95. R EFERENCES Fig. SER performance of the Near-ML decoding approaches. 64-QAM equivalent models for BC-SDR and VA-SDR are demonstrated in Fig. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. 8.