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Vol. 9, o. 5, May 2011
Minimum Bit Error Rate Beamforming Combined
with SpaceTime Block Coding using Double Antenna
Array Group
Said Elnoubi
Electrical of Engineering
Alexandria University
Alexandria, Egypt
saidelnoubi@hotmail.com
Waleed Abdallah
Tech. and App. Sc. Program
AlQuds Open University,
Jerusalem, Palestine
wsalos@qou.edu
Mohamed M. M. Omar
Elect. & Comm. Eng.
AAST, Abukir
Alexandria, Egypt
mohammad_yosef@hotmail.com
Abstract— In this paper, we propose a Minimum Bit Error Rate
(MBER) beamforming combined with SpaceTime Block Coding
(STBC) according to the number of antenna array. A class of
adaptive beamforming algorithm has been proposed based on
minimizing the BER cost function directly. Consequently, MBER
beamforming is capable of providing significant performance
gains in terms of a reduced BER. The beamforming weights of
the combined system are optimized in such a way that the virtual
channel coefficients corresponding to STBCencoded data
streams, seen at the receiver, are guaranteed to be uncorrelated.
Therefore the promised achievable diversity order by
conventional system with STBC can be obtained completely.
Combined MBER beamforming with STBC single array
performance measured by BER is compared under the condition
of direction of arrival (DOA) and signaltonoise ratio (SR). The
numerical simulation results of the proposed technique show that
this minimum BER (MBER) approach utilizes the antenna array
elements more intelligently and have a performance dependent of
DOA and angular spread (AS).
KeywordsMBER beamforming; STBC; DOA; angular spread;
adaptive antenna array
I. INTRODUCTION
The growing demand for wireless highspeed data
transmission in applications such as wireless web browsing,
file downloading, wireless multimedia transmission,…, etc.,
will increase requirements for downlink throughput and
quality of service (QoS) significantly. But multipath fading is
one of the major impairments limiting wireless
communication systems in performance and capacity. Lots of
new technologies such as smart antenna and transmit diversity
have been proposed [1]. Those two technologies have the
same features in the view of requiring the multiple antenna
elements, but have the contradictive requirement for antenna
element spacing.
Adaptive beamforming can separate signals transmitted in the
same carrier frequency, provided that they are separated in the
spatial domain. A beamformer combines the signal received
by the different element of an antenna array to form a single
output. This has been achieved by many criteria such as
maximizing SNR and minimizing the mean square error
(MMSE) between the desired output and actual array output.
This principle has its roots in the traditional beamforming
employed in sonar and radar systems.
For a communication system, it is the achievable BER, not the
MSE performance that really matters. Ideally, the system
design should be based directly on minimizing the BER, rather
than the MSE. For applications to singleuser channel
equalization and multiuser detection, it has been shown that
the MMSE solution can in certain situations be distinctly
inferior in comparison to the MBER solution, and several
adaptive implementations of the MBER solution have been
studied in the literature [3]. This contribution derives a novel
adaptive beamforming technique based on directly minimizing
the system’s BER rather than the MSE. In [3], an adaptive
implementation of the MBER beamforming technique is
investigated.
STBC and beamforming techniques are two emerging
technologies that can be employed at base station with
multiple antennas to provide transmit diversity and
beamforming gain to increase SNR of the downlink. In [1] and
[2], the idea of the combination of two schemes to get the full
diversity order as well as beamforming gain is proposed.
There, the beamforming gain is achieved by maximizing
received SNR at the receiver. It has shown real promise for
increasing capacity and coverage and for mitigating multipath
propagation of mobile radio communication systems.
In this paper, the MBER beamforming combined with STBC
is proposed using single antenna array. This new technique is
compared with the maximum SNR beamforming combined
with STBC in array gain versus DOA center and BER versus
DOA center and SNR performances. The simulation results
show that the system's BER performance of the proposed
algorithm is better than that investigated in [1], [2].
This paper is organized as follows. First, the combined
beamforming with STBC single array is illustrated in Section
II. Then the MBER beamforming algorithm is introduced in
Section III. The combined MBER beamforming with STBC
double array is presented in Section IV. In Section V,
simulation results are conducted to evaluate the performance of
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ISSN 19475500
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
Vol. 9, o. 5, May 2011
the proposed scheme, the combined MBER beamforming with
STBC single and double arrays, and compared with the
performance of the combined maximum SNR with STBC
single and double arrays followed by the conclusion in Section
VI.
II. COMBINED BEMNFORMING WITH SPACE TIME BLOCK
CODE SINGLE ARRAY
A. System Model
Fig. 1 shows the system employing STBC to combine with
beamforming technique using single array [12]. The signal to
be transmitted, ) (n s , n ≤ ≤ 1 is first coded using a STBC
encoder, yielding two branch outputs as ) (
1
n s and ) (
2
n s ,
where is the number of transmitted bit sequences. They are
then passed into two transmit beamformers
1
w and
2
w ,
respectively. At different time, they are simply added and
transmitted as
2 2 1 1 1
s w s w x
H H
⋅ + ⋅ = (1)
*
1 2
*
2 1 2
) ( s w s w x
H H
⋅ + − ⋅ = (2)
where
i
w is the weight vector of the i
th
beamformer and ( )
H
.
is the Hermitian.
11
x
12
x
M
x
1
s
1
s
2
s
y
1
w
2
w
) , (
1 1
θ h
) , (
2 2
θ h
Figure 1. Combined beamforming with STBC using single array.
Suppose the physical channel consists of L spatially separated
paths, whose fading coefficients and DOAs are denoted as
) , (
l l
h θ for L l ... 1 = . If the maximum time delay relative to
the first arrived path is smaller than the symbol interval, a flat
fading channel is observed and the instantaneous channel
response can be expressed as
) ( ) exp( ) (
1 1
l
L
l
L
l
l l l l
a a h H θ φ α θ
∑ ∑
= =
⋅ = ⋅ = (3)
where
l
α and
l
φ are the fading amplitude and phase. For M
element uniform linear array (ULA) with spacing d, the
downlink steering vector can be expressed as
T d M j d j
l
l l
e e a ] ... , 1 [ ) (
/ ) sin( ) 1 ( 2 / ) sin( 2 λ θ π λ θ π
θ
−
= (4)
So the received signal at the receiver is given by
1 2 2 1 1 1
) ( η + ⋅ ⋅ + ⋅ ⋅ = = s H w s H w t r r
H H
(5)
2 1 2
*
2 1 2
) ( ) ( ) ( η + ⋅ ⋅ + − ⋅ ⋅ = + =
∗
s H w s H w T t r r
H H
(6)
where T is the symbol duration,
2 1
and r r are the received
signals at time t and T t + ,
2 1
andη η are complexvalued white
Gaussian noise having a zero mean and a variance of
2
2
η
σ .
B. Detection
In order to get maximal SNR, [1] tried to maximize (7) subject
to (8) based on conventional STBC detection
⋅ + ⋅
2
2
2
1
H w H w E
H H
(7)
1
2 2 1 1
= ⋅ + ⋅ w w w w
H H
(8)
The downlink channel covariance matrix (DCCM) ] [ H H E
H
is well analyzed in [4] for TDD and FDD system.
For simplicity set L=2, then equations (5) and (6) can be
rewritten as
1 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1
)] ( . ) ( ).[ . ( η θ θ + + ⋅ + ⋅ = a h a h s w s w r
H H
(9)
2 2 2 1 1
*
1 2
*
2 1 2
)] ( . ) ( ).][ .( ) ( [( η θ θ + + ⋅ + − ⋅ = a h a h s w s w r
H H
(10)
In [2], at receiver the Alamouti STBC (2Tx, 1Rx) [5] detection
is used
*
2 2 1
*
1 1
~
r h r h s ⋅ + ⋅ = (11)
and the beamforming weight vectors
1
w and
2
w are set to be
) ( .
2
1
, ) (
2
1
2 2 1 1
θ θ a
M
w a
M
w = ⋅ = (12)
which are maximizing the receiving SNR at the receiver.
The transmit beamforming weight are optimized by
maximizing the cost function, but increasing the computing
complexity [2].
III. MBER BEAMFORMING WITH STBC SOLUTION
It is assumed that the system supports L users, each user
transmits signal on the same carrier frequency. The linear
antenna array considered consists of M uniformly spaced
elements and the signal received by the Melement antenna
array are given by
=
) (
:
) (
) (
)] ( ),...., ( ), ( [ ) (
2
1
2 1
n s
n s
n s
a a a n x
L
L
θ θ θ (13)
where
i
s is the signal to be transmitted for i
th
user. ) (
1
n s is
assumed to be the desired user and the rest of the sources are
the interfering users. To determine the MBER beamforming
weight vector w , we start by forming its BER cost function
[6]. The conditional probability density function (pdf) given
by
∑
=


¹

\

−
− =
n
R s
s
n y n s y
y P
1
2
2
1
2
2
)) ( )) ( sgn( (
exp
2
1
) (
η
η
σ
πσ
(14)
is the best indicator of a beamformer's BER performance,
where
) ( ) ( n x w n y
H
= (15)
) ( )) ( sgn( ) (
1
n y n s n y
R s
= (16)
sgn(.) denotes the sign function, )} ( Re{ ) ( n y n y
R
= is the real
part of the beamformer output y(n) and ) (n y
s
is an error
indicator for the binary decision, i.e., if it is positive, then we
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
Vol. 9, o. 5, May 2011
have a correct decision, else if it is negative, then an error
occurred.
Hence, the error probability of the beamformer w, the BER
cost function, is given by
∑
=
=
n
n E
w g Q
w P
1
)) ( (
1
) (
(17)
where Q(.) is the Gaussian error function given by
∫
∞
−
=
u
dv
v
u Q )
2
exp(
2
1
) (
2
π
(18)
and
η
σ
) ( )) ( sgn(
) (
1
n y n s
w g
R
n
= (19)
The MBER beamforming solution is then defined as
) ( min arg w P w
E
w
MBER
= (20)
The gradient of ) (w P
E
with respect to w can be shown to be
( ) ) ( ) ( ) ( sgn(
2
)) ( (
exp
2 2
1 ) (
) (
1
1
2
2
2
n x w n y n s
n y
w
w P
w P
R
n
R E
E
− ⋅


¹

\

−
⋅
=
∂
∂
= ∇
∑
= η
η
σ
πσ
(21)
The following simplified conjugate gradient algorithm [3]
provides an efficient means of finding a MBER solution.
In this paper, we will demonstrate from the simulation results
that the system's BER performance can be improved by
applying the MBER solutions instead of the beamforming
weight vectors given by (11) combined with STBC.
The proposed MBER algorithm is summarized in Table I. We
initialize the main algorithm parameters. The algorithm
consists of one main loop. This loop is repeated until the norm
of the gradient vector is sufficiently small.
1) Use the abbreviation “Fig. 1”, even at the beginning of a
sentence.
TABLE I. SUMMARY OF THE MBER ALGORITHM
Initialization
) 0 ( / ) 0 ( ) 0 ( x x w = , 01 . , 8 . = = β u ( typically, β can be set to the
machine accuracy). The adaptive gain u and a termination scalar
β are the two algorithmic parameters that have to be set
appropriately to ensure a fast convergence rate and small steady
state BER.
• Calculate variance of noise.
• Calculate the gradient vector form (21).
• Complexity of (21) is O (M) for one bit [6].
• Initialize the search direction ,
E
P D −∇ = , i=1;
E
P ∇
) ( β < ∇
E
P while
• Update the beamformer weight D i w i w u + = + ) ( ) 1 (
• Normalize the solution ) 1 ( / ) 1 ( ) 1 ( + + = + i w i w i w
• Calculate the cost function BER and the gradient vector
( ) ) ( ) ( ) ( sgn(
2
)) ( (
exp
2 2
1 ) (
) (
1
1
2
2
2
n x w n y n s
n y
w
w P
w P
R
n
R E
E
−
⋅


¹

\

− =
∂
∂
= ∇
∑
= η
η
σ
πσ
Complexity is O (M) for one bit [6].
∑
=
=
n
n E
w g Q
w P
1
)) ( (
1
) (
;
η
σ
) ( )) ( sgn(
) (
1
n y n s
w g
R
n
=
;
• Calculate the search direction from
2
2
)) ( (
)) 1 ( (
i w P
i w P
E
E
i
∇
+ ∇
= φ
;
)) 1 ( ( ) ( ) 1 ( + ∇ − = + i w P i D i D
E i
φ ;
• Increment the iteration number 1 + = i i
• end of while loop
Stop : ) (i w is the solution of the MBER weight vector.
To determine the MBER beamforming weight vector for
another user, we can apply the algorithm stated in Table. I for
choosing ) (
2
n s as desired user and the remainder of the
sources are considered to be interfering sources.
As shown in [1], the equation denoted as array gain is given
by
2
2 2
2
1 2
w w
w w
H
H
⋅
⋅
= ε (22)
Fig.2 shows the array gain depends on DOA (center) and
angular spread (AS). At
o
10 AS case, as DOA (center) are
o
0 and
o
60 , ε are equal to 0.378 and 0.799 for the maximum
SNR and are equal to 0.39 and 0.843 for the proposed
algorithm, respectively. It changes widely enough to affect the
performance for two algorithms.
60 40 20 0 20 40 60
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
DOA (Center)
A
r
r
a
y
g
a
i
n
(
d
B
)
AS=10
o
MinBER (1 iter.)
AS=50
o
MinBER (1 iter.)
AS=10
o
closeform MaxSNR [1]
AS=50
o
closeform MaxSNR [1]
Figure 2. Array gain.
IV. COMBINED BEAMFORMING WITH SPACE TIME BLOCK
CODE DOUBLE ARRAY
For array gain will strongly affect the system detection
performance, we find another scheme to minimize the
disadvantage.
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Fig.3 shows the double array (Combined beamforming with
space time block code double array) model. Unlike combined
beamforming with space time block code single array model,
after being put into the two beamformers, two data streams are
sent by two dependent antenna arrays. The element number for
one array is M. All parameters of equations shown in Fig.3 are
same as those in section II.
S
1
S
2
S
y
2
w
) , (
1 1
θ h
) , (
2 2
θ h
1
w
Figure 3. Combined beamforming with STBC using double array.
The received signals at the mobile terminal can be expressed
as:
1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
). ( ) ( η θ θ + ⋅ ⋅ + ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ = s a h w s a h w r
H H
(23)
2
*
1 2 2 2
*
1 1 1 1 2
). ( ) ( ) ( η θ θ + ⋅ ⋅ + − ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ = s a h w s a h w r
H H
(24)
And the detection for
1
s is
*
2 2 1
*
1 1
~
r h r h s ⋅ + ⋅ = (25)
V. SIMULATION RESULTS
In our numerical simulations, we consider the same example
investigated in [1] to make comparisons. A 6element uniform
linear array (ULA) antenna is assumed in the base station with
element spacing of 2 / λ , while the mobile terminal has single
antenna. We simulate the BER supposing the desired user
moves in a sector of 120
0
. The channel is assumed suffering
from Rayleigh fading with various AS.
Fig.4 and Fig.5 illustrate the average BER performance of the
combined beamforming with space time block coding (CB
STBC) single array using maximum SNR and MBER schemes
versus DOA for two different cases, AS = 50° and 10°.
60 40 20 0 20 40 60
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
DoA (Center )
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
Performance Comparison : BER vs.DOA ( CBSTBCS, As=50
o
)
SNR (0 5 10) dB Singlearray MinBER (1 iter.)
SNR (0 5 10 dB Singlearray
Figure 4. Performance comparison: BER vs. DOA (Combined beamforming
with STBC using single array, As=50
o
).
60 40 20 0 20 40 60
10
5
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
DoA (Center )
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
Performance Comparison : BER vs.DOA ( CBSTBCS, As=10
o
)
SNR (5 10 15) dB Singlearray MinBER (1 iter.)
SNR (5 10 15 dB Singlearray
Figure 5. Performance comparison : BER vs. DOA (Combined beamforming
with STBC using single array, As=10
o
).
It can be seen for large angular spread the BER performance
does not affected by DOA but is seriously affected for small
angular spread case, especially with bigger SNR.
Fig.6 and Fig.7 illustrate the average BER performance of
the CBSTBC single array using maximum SNR and MBER
schemes versus SNR. Also, the same two cases are considered
in each Figure to represent the cases with small and large AS.
For this example, the superior performance of the MBER
scheme over the MSNR scheme becomes evident.
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
10
6
10
5
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
10
0
SNR in dB
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
Performance Comparison ( AS=50
o
) BER vs. SNR
Singlearray MaxSNR
Singlearray of MinBER (1 iter.)
Figure 6: Performance Comparison : BER vs. SNR.
Combined beamforming with STBC using double array
overcomes the disadvantages appeared on the single array
model. Fig. 8 and 9 show us a stable performance which is not
dependent on AS.
Fig.10 illustrates the average BER performance of the CB
STBC double array using maximum SNR and MBER schemes
10 dB
10dB
5 dB
0 dB
5 dB
0 dB
[1]
5dB
10dB
15dB
[1]
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ISSN 19475500
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,
Vol. 9, o. 5, May 2011
versus SNR. Also, the same two cases are considered in each
Figure to represent the cases with small and large AS.
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
10
6
10
5
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
10
0
SNR in dB
Performance Comparison (AS=10
o
) BER vs. SNR
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
maxSNR at AS=10
0
MinBER(1 iter.)AS=10
o
Figure 7: Performance Comparison: BER vs. SNR.
60 40 20 0 20 40 60
10
5
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
DOA
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
Performance Comparison : BER vs.DOA ( CBSTBCD, As=10
o
)
(0 5 10 ) dB MaxSNR Doublearray (As=10
o
)
(0 5 10) dB MinBER Doublearray (As=10
o
)
Figure 8. Performance comparison : BER vs. DOA (combined beamforming
with STBC double array, As=10
o
).
A. Computational Complexity
The proposed MBER maintains the linearity in complexity;
however, its performance is better than the maximum SNR
algorithm. Since addition is much easier than multiplication,
we focus on multiplication complexities. Table I, illustrates
the number of multiplication required to complete a single
iteration, i.e., detecting one bit.
B. Convergent Rate
In this section, we run the algorithm of the MBER for 1000
samples and are limited to 1 and 11 iterations. The results are
shown in Fig. 11, where we can see that the proposed
algorithm converges very fast to the optimal solution (after
one iteration only).
60 40 20 0 20 40 60
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
DOA
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
Performance Comparison : BER vs.DOA ( CBSTBCD, As=50
o
)
(0 5 10 ) dB MaxSNR Doublearray (As=50
o
)
(0 5 10) dB MinBER Doublearray (As=50
o
)
Figure 9. Performance comparison: BER vs. DOA (combined beamforming
with STBC double array, As=50
o
).
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
10
5
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
SNR in dB
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
Performance Comparison : (BER vs.SNR)
Doublearray (As=10
o
for MaxSNR)
Doublearray(As=50
o
) for MaxSNR
Doublearray (As=10
o
) for MinBER
Doublearray(As=50
o
) for MinBER
Figure 10. Performance Comparison: BER vs. SNR with DOA(center)=0
o
.
0 5 10
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
10
0
iteration
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
singlearray at SNR =0dB
MinBER at AS=50
o
(11 iter.)
MinBER at AS=10
o
(11 iter.)
0 5 10
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
10
0
iteration
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
singlearray at SNR =5dB
MinBER at AS=50
o
(11 iter.)
MinBER at AS=10
o
(11 iter.)
Figure 11. Convergence rate vs. iteration of the MBER algorithm.
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Furthermore, we can observe in Fig. 12, a significant
improvement over the maximum SNR algorithm by means of
only one iteration.
0 5 10 15
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
10
0
SNR in dB
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
MaxSNR AS=50
o
,
MinBER(1 iter.)AS=50
o
MinBER AS=50
o
(>=10 iter.)
0 5 10 15
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
1
10
0
SNR in dB
B
i
t
E
r
r
o
r
R
a
t
e
(
B
P
S
K
)
MaxSNR AS=10
o
,
MinBER(1 iter.)AS=10
o
MinBER AS=10
o
(>=10 iter.)
Fig.12. : Convergence of the MinBER algorithm.
VI. CONCLUSION
In this paper, a downlink transmit diversity scheme is
proposed to achieve both full diversity gain and optimized
beamforming gain. It is obtained by combining MBER
beamforming technique with STBC for multiple beamforming
antenna systems (single and double array). An adaptive
MBER beamforming technique has been developed. It has
been shown that the MBER beamformer exploits the system’s
resources more intelligently than the other standard
beamformers and, consequently, can achieve a better
performance in terms of a lower BER.
The combined beamforming with STBC using single array are
shown to be dependent on the DOA and angular spread.
However combined beamforming with STBC using double
array is shown to have a stable performance independent of
DOA and angular spread.
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