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OpenCourseWare 2006

Lecture 2

Background Review

Phase, Group Delay, and Generalized Linear Phase

Reading: Sections 5.1, 5.3, and 5.7 in Oppenheim, Schafer & Buck (OSB).

Phase

LTI

x[n] −→ H(z) −→ y[n]

The frequency response H(ejω ) of an LTI system H(z) is evaluated on the unit circle, |z | = 1.

The Fourier transforms of the input x[n] and the output y[n] of the system are related by

We can understand this input-output relationship in more detail by looking at the equation in

terms of the magnitude-phase representation.

Magnitude/Phase Representation

Example:

h[n] = −δ[n]

⇒ |H(ejω )| = 1, �H(ejω ) = π

In the mag/phase representation, a real-valued frequency response does not necessarily mean

that the system is zero-phase.

1

Using this representation,

|Y (ejω )| = |H(ejω )||X(ejω )|

and

�Y (ejω ) = �H(ejω ) + �X(ejω ).

Thus, |H(ejω )| and �H (ejω ) are commonly referred to as the gain and the phase shift of the

system, respectively.

In magnitude and phase plots, as ω goes through a zero on the unit circle, the magnitude will

go to zero and the phase will ﬂip by π, as shown in the ﬁgure below.

If H(ejω ) is real but bipolar, it’s often more natural to use an alternative representation to

remove these jumps of π in a phase plot.

Amplitude/Phase Representation

A(ejω ) is real but not restricted to be positive, thus θ2 (ω) is diﬀerent from θ1 (ω) above. The

sign change is contained in A(ejω ), and the jumps of π do not exist in θ2 (ω).

2

Example:

Consider h[n] given in the ﬁgure below.

sin(ωN/2)

H(ejω ) = Ae−jω(N −1)/2

sin(ω/2)

In the amplitude/phase representation, θ2 (ω ) = −ω(N − 1)/2, a straight line with the slope

−(N −1)/2. Moreover, in this representation, phase would be the same whether A is positive

or negative.

Example:

H(ejω ) = e−2jω

you plot the phase in Matlab, it will give you the wrapped phase shown below.

0.5

phase/pi

−0.5

−1

−1 −0.5 0 0.5 1

w/pi

3

In general, phase is ambiguous since ej(θ+2πn) = ejθ for any integer n. OSB Figure 5.7 shows

the continuous phase (denoted as arg) and the wrapped phase (denoted as ARG) of an LTI

system.

Group Delay

Typically, it is hard to infer much from a phase plot, and a group delay plot gives more useful

information.

d d

τ (ω) = grd[H(ejω )] ≡ − [arg H(ejω )] = − [ARG H(ejω )]

dω dω

The last equality holds except at discontinuities of [ARG H(ejω )].

In Matlab, group delay is calculated using the Fourier transform rather than diﬀerentiation.

In the amplitude/phase representation:

H � (ejω ) A� (ω)

= + jθ� (ω)

H(ejω ) A(ω)

A� (ω)

Since both A(ω) and θ� (ω) are real,

H � (ejω )

τ (ω) = −Im[ ].

H(ejω )

If h[n] ↔ H(ejω ), we can apply the frequency diﬀerentiation property of the Fourier transform

and get

−jnh[n] ↔ H � (ejω ).

Denoting Fourier transform of h[n] as F.T.(h[n]),

F.T.(−jnh[n])

τ (ω) = −Im[ ]

F.T.(h[n])

and ﬁnally,

F.T.(nh[n])

τ (ω) = Re[ ].

F.T.(h[n])

4

Systems with Linear Phase

Systems with constant group delay are referred to as linear phase systems. These systems are

desirable when we want to minimize the distortion on the shape of a signal. The three systems

given below are linear phase systems.

h1 [n] = h1 [−n]

H1 (ejω ) is real, and phase is zero in the amplitude/phase representation. Thus, the group delay

is zero, and h1 [n] is linear phase.

h2 [n] = h1 [n − n0 ]

H1 (ejω ) is real, so the group delay of H2 (ejω ) is n0 , and h2 [n] is also linear phase.

h2 [n + n0 ] = h1 [n] = h1 [−n] = h2 [−n + n0 ],

and h2 [n] satisﬁes the following:

h2 [n] = h2 [2n0 − n]

This implies that both sides must be real, so H3 (ejω ) can be expressed as

where A(ejω ) is real (possibly bipolar). Thus, the phase response of H3 (ejω ) is linear, and the

group delay is constant.

5

Since h[n] is only deﬁned at integer values, we need 2α to be an integer to represent h[2α − n].

If α is an integer, then System 3 corresponds to System 2 and h[n] is symmetric about α (see

OSB Figure 5.35 (a)). If 2α is an integer but α is not an integer, the point of symmetry lies

between samples (see OSB Figure 5.35 (b)). When 2α is not an integer, h[n] is not symmetric,

but the envelop is symmetric (see OSB Figure 5.35 (c)).

Consider a system which is antisymmetric about zero:

h[n] = −h[n]

This implies that H(ejω ) is purely imaginary, therefore in the amplitude/phase representation,

where I(ω) is real. Thus, we see that the phase of H(ejω ) is π/2, and the group delay is zero.

h[n] = −h[2α − n]

Therefore, we see that the phase of H(ejω ) consists of a constant term added to a linear func

tion, and the group delay of the system is α, a constant.

Systems with linear phase in this sense are called generalized linear phase.

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