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IEEE ICC 2016 - Optical Networks and Systems

Generalized LED Index Modulation Optical OFDM for

MIMO Visible Light Communications Systems
Ertugrul Basar , Erdal Panayirci , Murat Uysal and Harald Haas
Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 34469, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey.
Has University, Department of Electronics Engineering, 34083, Cibali, Istanbul, Turkey.
Ozyegin University, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 34794, Istanbul, Turkey.
H. Haas is with the University of Edinburg, Institute for Digital Communications, Edinburg EH9 3JL, UK.


AbstractIn this paper, we propose a generalized light emit- To make the resulting signal positive, either a direct current
ting diode (LED) index modulation scheme for multiple in- (DC) bias can be added on it as in the DC biased optical
put multiple output-orthogonal frequency division multiplexing OFDM (DCO-OFDM) scheme or the signal can be clipped at
(MIMO-OFDM) visible light communications (VLC) systems.
The proposed scheme generalizes the LED index modulation zero level and only positive-valued signals are transmitted as
concept by using the spatial multiplexing principle to transmit in the asymmetrically clipped optical OFDM (ACO-OFDM)
complex OFDM signals through VLC channels by separating scheme, where both techniques have their advantages and
these signals into their real-imaginary and positive-negative parts. disadvantages [4]. In order to solve the DC biasing problem
The maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimator of the proposed of DCO-OFDM and to achieve higher spectral efficiency
scheme, which relies on quadratic programing (QP) problem,
is presented for flat VLC channels. It is shown via computer than ACO-OFDM, a non-DC-biased OFDM scheme (NDC-
simulations that the proposed scheme achieves considerably OFDM), which transmits the positive and negative signals
better error performance than the existing VLC-MIMO-OFDM from different LEDs, is proposed [5].
systems due to its power efficiency and improved transceiver In this work, we propose a new optical OFDM scheme
structure. for MIMO-VLC systems, which does not require DC bi-
I. I NTRODUCTION asing/asymmetrical clipping and generalizes the LED index
modulation concept using the spatial multiplexing principle.
Visible light communications (VLC) is a promising new In the proposed generalized LED index modulation optical
technology for next generation wireless communications sys- OFDM (GLIM-OFDM) scheme, complex signals are trans-
tems due to its advantages over radio frequency (RF) based formed to real-bipolar signals similar to [6]; however, these
systems such as operation in unregulated wide spectrum and signals are then transmitted over MIMO channel in spatial
energy efficiency [1]. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) can be multiplexing and LED index modulation fashion which is
effectively used in indoor environments for both illumination different from the single-input single-output (SISO) scheme
and communications purposes. In order to provide adequate of [6]. The maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimator of the
illumination, the use of multiple LEDs is very common in proposed scheme is formulated and the superiority of the
current indoor lighting setups, which can inherently lead proposed scheme over its counterparts in bit error rate (BER)
to multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) VLC systems [2]. performance is shown via computer simulations.
Spatial modulation (SM), which is an effective MIMO solu- The rest of the paper is organized as follows. In Section II,
tion, is adapted for VLC systems to achieve higher spectral the system model of GLIM-OFDM is given. The conditional
efficiencies than single-input single-output (SISO) VLC sys- MAP estimator of the GLIM-OFDM scheme is presented in
tems [3]. Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) Section III. Simulation results are provided in Section IV.
is also gaining attention for intensity modulation/direct detec- Finally, conclusions are given in Section V.
tion (IM/DD) VLC systems due to its power efficiency and
robustness to the intersymbol interference (ISI) [4]. II. S YSTEM M ODEL OF GLIM-OFDM
In RF based OFDM systems, transmitted signals can be The block diagram of the GLIM-OFDM transmitter is given
complex and bipolar; however, for IM/DD based VLC systems in Fig. 1. For the transmission of each OFDM block, the
they must be real and positive since the intensity of the LEDs information bit vector u, which contains N log2 (M ) informa-
are modulated. This has been the major design challenge tion bits, enters the GLIM-OFDM transmitter, where N is the
for VLC-OFDM systems and different approaches have been number of OFDM subcarriers and M is the size of the consid-
adopted to modify the classical OFDM for VLC systems. ered signal constellation such as M -ary quadrature amplitude
modulation (M -QAM). Opposite to DCO/ACO-OFDM and
This work is supported by the European Cooperation in Science and
Technology (COST) - The Scientific and Technological Research Council of NDC-OFDM schemes, in the proposed scheme, the OFDM
Turkey (TUBITAK) Research Grant No. 113E307. modulator directly processes the complex frequency-domain

978-1-4799-6664-6/16/$31.00 2016 IEEE

M-ary OFDM P/S
Mod. N-IFFT Sep.


M-ary OFDM
Dem. N-FFT Com.

Fig. 1. Block Diagram of the GLIM-OFDM Scheme for a 4 4 MIMO-VLC System

OFDM frame xF . The
T resulting time-domain OFDM frame noise and thermal noise. The elements of n follows N 0, n2
distribution, where N (, 2 ) denotes the normal distribution

x T = x1 xN cannot be transmitted directly over
a VLC channel because of its complex-valued and bipolar with mean and variance 2 , and are added to the received
(positive and negative valued) elements. In order to overcome signals at the electrical domain. The transmitted signal vector
this problem, a new spatial multiplexing based MIMO trans- x R41 is formed for GLIM-OFDM as
mission technique is developed. After parallel-to-serial (P/S) T
x = x+ +

conversion, using a similar technique as in [6] for each OFDM k,R xk,R xk,I xk,I (3)
signal for k = 1, 2, . . . , N , first, the real and imaginary parts where the elements of x indicate the signals emitted by the
of the complex signal xk are separated as xk = xk,R + jxk,I . LEDs. According to (1), for a given OFDM signal, only
Afterwards, the resulting real, but bipolar signals xk,R and two out of four elements of x are non-zero, i.e., two LEDs
xk,I are applied to positive-negative (+/) separators to are active (emitting light) while the other two LEDs remain
obtain the following positive-valued signals: inactive (turned off). In this study, we consider nR = 4 for
ease of presentation while a generalization is straightforward.
xk,R if xk,R > 0 0 if xk,R > 0
x+k,R = x k,R = We assume that LEDs are operating within the dynamic range.
0 if xk,R < 0 xk,R if xk,R < 0
  Note that the operation in (1) is not subject to non-linear
xk,I if xk,I > 0 0 if xk,I > 0
k,I = x k,I = distorsions.
0 if xk,I < 0 xk,I if xk,I < 0.
(1) The 4 4 optical MIMO channel is represented by

These positive-valued signals can be transmitted simultane- h1,1 h1,2 h1,3 h1,4
h2,1 h2,2 h2,3 h2,4
ously from an nR nT MIMO VLC system, where nR and H= (4)
nT denote the number of receiver (Rx) and transmitter (Tx) h3,1 h3,2 h3,3 h3,4
units, respectively, and nT = 4 for the GLIM-OFDM scheme. h4,1 h4,2 h4,3 h4,4
In the GLIM-OFDM scheme, LEDs transmit the absolute where hr,t denotes the channel gain of the optical wireless
values of the xk,R and xk,I signals and the index of the link between the Tx unit (LED) t and the Rx unit (PD) r,
transmitting LED determines the sign of the corresponding where (t, r) {1, 2, 3, 4}. In this study, we consider line-of-
signals similar to the NDC-OFDM scheme; however, unlike sight (LOS) optical transmission links between Txs and Rxs
NDC-OFDM, the use of spatial multiplexing concept for the due to their simplicity. Interested readers are referred to [3]
real and imaginary parts of the complex OFDM signals, the and [7] for more advanced channel models. The elements of
spectral efficiency of the proposed scheme becomes log2 (M ) H can be calculated for our channel model as follows:
[bits/s/Hz]. (
The positive and real-valued OFDM time samples 2d2r,t
cosm (t ) Ts (r ) cos (r ) , 0 r c
hr,t =
x+ +
k,R , xk,R , xk,I and xk,I are transmitted over the nR 4 0, r > c
optical MIMO channel (denoted by H) for k = 1, 2, . . . , N as (5)
where m = ln 2/ ln(cos 1/2 ) is the order of the Lambertian
y = Hx + n (2)
T emission, 1/2 is the Tx semiangle, Ar is the physical detector
where y = yk,1 yk,nR RnR 1 is the received signal

area of the receiver, dr,t is the distance between Tx t and Rx r,
vector which contains the electrical signals obtained from DD t and r denote the angles of emergence and incidence with
at the Rx units. Here, n RnR 1 is the real-valued additive respect to the Tx and Rx axes, respectively. c is the field-of-
white Gaussian noise (AWGN) vector, which models the shot view (FOV) semiangle of the PD. Ts (r ) is the optical filter
gain which is assumed to be unity in this work. Additionally, magnitude signals from x ZF [5]. Despite its simplicity, the ZF
we assume the following parameters in this study: 1/2 = estimator can significantly enhance the noise power through
c = 15 , Ar = 1 cm2 . multiplication of n with H1 ; furthermore, it does not con-
As seen from (5), the corresponding channel gain coeffi- sider the probability distribution of x as a a priori information
cients between Txs and Rxs are closely related to the angles and consequently, it may produce negative-valued estimates.
of t and r which are determined according to the specific To overcome the aforementioned drawbacks of the ZF estima-
positions of the Txs and Rxs. Furthermore, (5) also states tor, in this section we propose a MAP estimator for the GLIM-
that hr,t = 0 if Rx r is not in the FOV of Tx t. OFDM scheme by taking into account the prior information
In this study, we consider the average electrical signal-to- we have for the signal vector x.  
noise ratio (SNR) at each Rx unit, which is defined as [3] Defining the column vectors of H as H = h1 h2 h3 h4 ,
2 the observed signal given in (2) can be rewritten as

1 1 XnR O
SNR = Rx = PRx (6) y = hm x
k,R + hn x
k,I + n (11)
n2 n2 nR r=1

where PRx is the average received electrical power, where x k,R = |xk,R |, x k,I = |xk,I |, m {1, 2} and n
XnT {3, 4}. It can be easily shown that x
k,R and xk,I have a folded
O Gaussian (half-normal) distribution with
PRx = hr,t I (7)
is the average received optical power at receive unit r and I pxk,R(I) (v) = (2/ ) exp(v 2 )u(v). (12)
is the mean optical intensity being emitted. Please note that Consequently, for a given pair (m, n), the conditional MAP
there is not a consensus for the definition of SNR in VLC estimates of xk,R and xk,I can be obtained as
community and the model in (5) is considered to work on 
(m,n) (m,n)

reasonable x
k,R , x
k,I = arg max p ( k,I | y)
xk,R , x (13)
 SNR regions as in [3] and [5]. Let us assume that x
k,R ,
E xH F xF = N , i.e., M -QAM constellation is normalized to
where p ( k,I | y) is the probability density function
xk,R , x
have unit-energy symbols. It can be shown that the elements
(p.d.f.) of x
k,R and x k,I , conditioned on y. Using Bayes rule,
of xT follows CN (0, 1) distribution for large N values if
and considering that x k,R and x k,I are independent, (13) can
inverse fast Fourier transform
(IFFT) operation satisfies the
be rewritten as
normalization of E xH T xT = N , where CN (0, 2 ) denotes  
(m,n) (m,n)
the circularly symmetrical Gaussian distribution with variance x
k,R , x k,I = arg max p (y| x k,R , x
k,I ) p(
xk,R )p(
xk,I ).
k,R ,
2 . Considering that xk,R and xk,I N (0, 1/2), due to the (14)
symmetry, all four elements of x have the following clipped Since the conditional distribution ofy, given x k,R , xk,I and
Gaussian probability density function (p.d.f.) (m, n) is N hm x k,I , n2 , by dropping constant
k,R + hn x
1 terms from (14), we obtain
(v) = (1/ ) exp v 2 u(v) + (v)

px (8)  
k,R(I) 2 x
k,R , x
k,I = arg max exp x
k,R + x2k,I

k,R ,
where u(v) and (v) denote unit step and Dirac delta func-  2 
tions, respectively. Then, the average optical power emitted exp y hm x k,R hn x k,I / 2n2 . (15)
from the LED of GLIM-OFDM scheme is obtained as
Z Taking the logarithm of (15) with simple manipulations, it

I= vpx (v)dv = 1/(2 ). (9) follows that
0 (m,n) (m,n)
k,R , x
k,I = arg min M MAP (m, n, x
k,R , x
k,I ) . (16)
k,R ,
The transmission model given in (2) resembles that of the where M (m, n, x
k,R , x
k,I ) is the MAP estimation metric
classical single-carrier MIMO-SM systems; however, it differs defined as
from this model in two main points: Firstly, the received M MAP (m, n, x

k,I ) = y hm x
k,R , x k,R hn x
signals are real in (2) and secondly the transmitted data vector
+ 2n2 x2k,R + x
2k,I . (17)

x has a clipped Gaussian distribution. Furthermore, it is not
possible to forward the received signal vector y to the OFDM 2
Using kak = aT a and after some algebra, (17) can be
demodulator directly, due to the fact that complex valued simplified as
signals must be constructed first to obtain the estimate of
the frequency domain OFDM block xF . A straightforward M MAP (m, n, x
k,R , x
k,I ) =
solution to the detection problem formulated in (2) is the use x2k,R + B x
A 2k,I + C x
k,R + D
xk,I + E x
k,R x
k,I (18)
of the zero-forcing (ZF) estimator which yields an estimate of where
x simply as
ZF = H1 y.
x (10) A = hTm hm + 2n2 B = hTn hn + 2n2
C = 2yT hm D = 2yT hn
Afterwards, the receiver can determine the indices of the
active LEDs and corresponding signals by selecting the higher E= 2hTm hn . (19)
For q = x k,R xk,I , it is observed that the minimization 10 0
MAP, d =0.6 m
of (18) is equivalent to a well-known constraint quadratic Tx
ZF, d =0.6 m
programming (QP) problem defined as [8] Tx
MMSE, d Tx=0.6 m
n1 o 10 -1 MAP, d =0.45 m
min qT Qq + cT q subject to Aq  b (20) ZF, d =0.45 m
q 2 Tx
MMSE, d =0.45 m

for Q being a real and symmetric matrix. (20) can be effi- -2

MAP, d Tx=0.3 m
10 ZF, d Tx=0.3 m
ciently solved by defining
MMSE, d Tx=0.3 m

2A E C
Q= , c= , (21)
E 2B D
10 -3
1 0 0
A= , b= . (22)
0 1 0
10 -4
Note that the optimal estimate of q also guarantees that
(m,n) (m,n)
k,R 0 and x
x k,I 0 for all Q and c, i.e. regardless
of the SNR and the channel conditions. In other words,
the proposed conditional MAP-QP estimator always gives 10 -5
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
positive-valued estimates of x k,R and xk,I regardless of SNR SNR (dB)
and channel conditions.
In order to determine the indices of the active LEDs (i.e. Fig. 2. BER performance of MAP and ZF/MMSE estimators for 2 bits/s/Hz
estimations of m and n) as well as the corresponding estimates
of xk,R and x k,I , the conditional MAP estimator obtains
(m,n) (m,n)
k,R and x k,I for all possible (m, n) pairs, and then which correspond to H matrices with highly, moderately and
obtains the unconditional (actual) estimates of x k,R and x k,I slightly similar elements, respectively.
as follows: We compare the BER performance of the proposed scheme
with the 2 2 NDC-OFDM [5], 4 4 OSM-OFDM-
(m,n) (m,n)
n ) = arg min M MAP m, n, x k,R , xk,I ,
m,n ACO, 4 4 OSM-OFDM-DCO schemes, which combine
n) (m,
n) optical spatial modulation (OSM) [3] and optical OFDM
x k,R =x
k,R , MAP
x k,I = x
k,I . (23)
[4], and 4 4 vertical Bell Labs layered space-time (V-
In other words, after the calculation of the MAP es- BLAST) type OFDM-ACO scheme [2] with respect to ave-
timates of x k,R and x k,I for all (m, n), (m, n) rage received electrical SNR. Spectral efficiencies of these
{(1, 3) , (1, 4) , (2, 3) , (2, 4)} which considers all possible ac- schemes are (1/2) log2 (M ), (1/4) log2 (4M ), (1/2) log2 (4M )
tive LED scenarios, the conditional MAP estimator of the and log2 (M ) [bits/s/Hz], respectively. For these four schemes,
GLIM-OFDM scheme decides on the most likely active LED the ZF estimator is used as in [5], while the development of
pair (m,
n ) and corresponding estimates of x k,R and x k,I MAP estimators for these schemes is beyond the scope of
( , x
) by calculating the MAP estimation metric given
k,R k,I I values
this study. The following are considered2 in our com-
in (17) for all four scenarios. Then, the </= combiner puter simulations: 1/ 2, 1/(4 ), 2x exp(BDC /(2x2 ))+
calculates the estimate of the complex OFDM signal xk as 2
BDC (1 Q(BDC /x )), 1/(2 ), where x = 1/nT is the
k,R , if m = 1
k,I , if n = 3 variance of the time-domain OFDM signal at each branch of
k,R = x
k,I = the OSM-OFDM-DCO transmitter. BDC is the DC bias value
k,R , if m = 2 xMAP
k,I , if n = 4
(24) which is defined as in [4]. To make fair comparisons, we
After this point, classical OFDM procedures are applied to also consider the two-parallel NDC-OFDM (P-NDC-OFDM)
obtain the estimate u of the information bit vector u. scheme for nT = nR = 4 with log2 (M ) [bits/s/Hz] spectral
IV. S IMULATION R ESULTS In Fig. 2, we compare the the BER performance of the MAP,
We consider a 4 4 MIMO-VLC system operating in a ZF and minimum mean square error (MMSE) estimators of the
typical room with 3 m 3 m 2.5 m dimensions where the proposed scheme with varying dT x values. As seen from Fig.
Txs and Rxs are located at a height of 2.25 m and 0.75 m, 2, for dT x = 0.6, the ZF/MMSE and MAP estimators provide
respectively. Four Txs and Rxs are aligned in square 2 2 the same performance since H is as a diagonal matrix for this
arrays with dT x dT x and dRx dRx dimensions, respectively, case (aligned system), and there is no need to use complex
and centered right in the middle of the room. The Txs and estimators at the Rx to obtain x k . On the other hand, with
Rxs are oriented straight down to the floor and straight up to decreasing dT x (for higher similarities in H), the superiority
the ceiling, respectively. We assume that dRx is fixed and set of the MAP estimator becomes more evident.
to dRx = 0.15 m, while we investigate the performance of the In Fig. 3, computer simulation results are presented for
proposed scheme with varying dT x {0.3 m, 0.45 m, 0.6 m}, the proposed scheme, OSM-OFDM-DCO, OSM-OFDM-ACO,
10 0 10 0
OSM-OFDM-ACO, M=64 OSM-OFDM-DCO, M=16, bias= 7dB
10 -1 V-BLAST-OFDM-ACO, M=4 10 -1 GLIM-OFDM, M=8
OSM-OFDM-DCO, M=64, bias= 13dB
10 -2 10 -2 GLIM-OFDM, M=16


10 -3 10 -3

10 -4 10 -4

10 -5 10 -5
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
SNR (dB) SNR (dB)

Fig. 3. BER performance comparison of optical MIMO-OFDM schemes for Fig. 4. BER performance comparison of optical MIMO-OFDM schemes for
2 bits/s/Hz 3 4 bits/s/Hz

(P)-NDC-OFDM and V-BLAST-OFDM-ACO schemes at 2

bits/s/Hz for dT x = 0.45. As seen from Fig. 3, the GLIM- channel by means of the separated signal components con-
OFDM scheme exhibits better BER performance than all of sisting of their real-imaginary and positive-negative parts. As
the reference schemes due to its power efficiency which is the a future study, we plan to modify this system to operate on
result of the employment of lower order modulation to reach frequency selective VLC channels to cope with the ISI.
the target spectral efficiency, and its powerful MAP estimator. R EFERENCES
In Fig. 4, we show the BER performance curves of the
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