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**Marcelo S. Alencar and Fabr´cio B. S. Carvalho ı
**

Institute for Advanced Studies in Communications Department of Electrical Engineering Federal University of Campina Grande Campina Grande, PB,Brazil Email: {malencar,frabiciobsc}@dee.ufcg.edu.br

**Waslon Terllizzie Ara´ jo Lopes u
**

Institute for Advanced Studies in Communications Department of Electrical Engineering ´ College AREA1 Salvador, BA, Brazil Email: waslon@area1.br

Abstract— One of the most intriguing and challenging aspects to be considered in the process of standardization of television systems, is the deﬁnition of the return channel (or interactive channel). The key element in the digital TV standard is the possibility of interaction or capability of reverse communication. The use of power line communications (PLC) is being considered as a proposal for the return channel of the Brazilian Digital Television System. This article presents a mathematical model for transmission rate, as a function of the ﬁle length, for a PLC equipment. The model is based on measurements performed in several environments. The experiments were carried out in residential and non-residential buildings. Different parameters such as maximum distance, performance loss, maximum transmission rate, system loading tests and video transmission were analyzed. Based on the data obtained, the use of PLC for the return channel is discussed. As a result, the mathematical modeling allows the computation of the maximum transmission rate for each PLC channel, using parameters obtained from the measurements. This research is part of a project sponsored by the Ministry of Communications, through the Brazilian Agency for Studies and Projects.

presents the key aspects related to the application of PLC on the return channel of the SBTVD. The mathematical model for the transmission rate, as a function of the ﬁle length, is described in Section IV while Section V is devoted for the conclusions. II. PLC T ECHNOLOGY The use of the PLC technology for data transmission over low and medium voltage power lines is not a novelty. In the 1950s, the Ripple Control method was ﬁrst applied. For low frequencies (between 100 and 900 Hz) it was possible to transmit data at low rates over high voltage power lines (over 100 kV). Only unidirectional communication was allowed. The method is still used nowadays in the control of public illumination in motorways, load switching and billing [2]. Ever since the deregulation of the telecommunications market (ﬁrstly, in the USA and later in Europe and Asia) and because of the growth of the Internet (as a result of advances in signal processing techniques), the world has seen an increase in the demand for communication services. To cope with this, data transmission over power lines seems to be an interesting solution [3]. The term Power Line Communications (PLC), also known as Power Line Telecommunications (PLT), is applied to technologies, applications and services related to communication between different users over power lines [4]. To assure adequate coexistence and an efﬁcient separation between systems, the frequency range for communications is very large in comparison to the frequencies commonly used in power lines (50 or 60 Hz): from 3 to 148.5 kHz for PLC applications in utility companies and from 1 to 30 MHz for home and ofﬁce applications. Data transmission over power line is a difﬁcult task because power lines were not originally designed for communication purposes. Some of the problems encountered include: variable impedance, noise (typical noise sources are brush motors, ﬂuorescent and halogen lamps, switching power supplies and dimmer switches), high attenuation levels (it depends on many factors, such as, the quantity and nature of the connected load, the size and the topology of the network, the impedance of the

I. I NTRODUCTION The Brazilian Digital Television System (SBTVD) development started in 2004. Several academic institutions and research centers all over the country formed a consortia to deﬁne a national digital television standard. One of the aspects to be considered in the process of standardization is the deﬁnition of a return channel (or interactive channel) of the SBTVD, which will allow interactive access by users. The return channel plays an important role in the Brazilian government strategy to provide access to the digital world for an increasing number of citizens (digital inclusion). In [1], the author presents an analysis of the use of power line communications (PLC) techniques for the return channel (or interactive channel). Experiments were carried out in some ordinary Brazilian houses and in no-residential areas. Based on the measurement results, important issues were considered and alternative uses of the technique were discussed. It worth to mention that no mathematical formulation was derived. This paper presents a mathematical model for the transmission rate, based on measurements performed in several environments. The remaining of this paper is organized as follow: Section II discusses the PLC technology. Section III

Due to the difﬁculties involved in data transmission and the high proportion of residential areas already covered by power line networks – 99. As higher is the transmission rate. Pf ). The packet error probability or re-transmission probability is given by Pf = 1 − (1 − ǫ)n . and will considerably change the form and the content of the TV shows currently aired today. Based on the data obtained.. T RANSMISSION M ODEL Modeling and analysis of noise effects on broadband power line communications is a topic of interest and some results have been published in the literature [7] [8] [9]. (1) where Pf is the channel frame error rate. The previous expression well ﬁts two features of R(n) illustrated in Figure 2: a quasi-linear increasing for small n and a monotonically decreasing for higher error probability of . so R(n) = g(n). The general behavior of the transmission rate R(n) curves leads a model for the ﬁle size n and the R(n). Assuming a non-coded system and uniform distribution of symbols. IV. system loading tests and video transmission were analyzed. (7) which corresponds to a constant for a zero error probability and zero for a unitary packet error probability. The key element in the digital TV standard is the possibility of interaction or capability of reverse communication. Different parameters such as maximum distance. This model is described by R(n) = f(n. maximum transmission rate. One possibility is h(n) = KH (1 − nǫ). ad-hoc networks. Figure 1 shows the PLC transmission rate versus ﬁle size for four environments. has to do with the deﬁnition of the return channel (or interactive channel). i. performance loss. the digital TV is to pave the way for technology convergence. especially with the Internet. (4) where ǫ is the bit error probability. which is still under development. (6) (5) A linear relationship between the rate transmission and h(·) is a ﬁrst approximation to complete the formulation. Assuming a small bit error probability (ǫ ≪ 1). power line communications. These curves were obtained by using the procedure described in [1]. Interactive shows. g(n) = KG · n (3) Moreover. where g(n) is a linear function of n.5 4 3.5 1 0. Equation 6 results in R(n) = Kn(1 − nǫ). the use of PLC for the return channel is discussed.5 3 2. Thus. conventional telephone networks with an xDSL modem or a cable modem.wires and must be considered in the electrical channel analysis [5]. III. Once interactivity is accomplished. However. the previous expression can be re-written as Pf ≃ nǫ. One of the most intriguing and challenging aspects to be considered. higher is frame size. they will be able to watch the shows and take advantage of the interactive channel.5 0 0 1 2 3 4 Packet length (Mb) 5 6 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 Industry Fig. such as satellite and WiMax. a set-top box. In this article.e. This effect can be included in the previous expression as a linear function of n. has the potential to allow interactivity – which is expected given the fact that the television is the most widely used source of information. Other technologies.5% of the population. radiofrequency. The digital television committee is currently studying ﬁve proposals for the return channel: data communication channels used in cellular systems (GSM or CDMA). Equation 2 becomes R(n) = KG nh(1 − nǫ). (2) Average data rate (Mb/s) 5 4. Experiments were carried out in residential and no-residential environments.h(Pf ). It is important to mention that this conditions are coherent with the ﬁrst assumption. R ETURN C HANNEL FOR THE B RAZILIAN D IGITAL TV The new Brazilian digital television standard.5 2 1. are also under evaluation for such purpose [6]. e-commerce. the use of PLC for the return channel is analyzed. PLC seems to be appropriate. People that own old TV sets will still beneﬁt from the introduction of the digital TV technology. program selection and Internet access are amongst the new services to be available on the Brazilian Digital TV. PLC transmission rate as a function of the ﬁle length for several environments (no load). h(Pf ) is the probability density function for the frame error rate which can modeled as h(Pf ) = f(1 − Pf ) where f(·) is a function chosen to better ﬁt the model to the experimental data. 1. By installing a special device. the error probability limits this increasing. (8) where K = KG KH .

The ′ maximum transmission rate. Thus. R(n) = K(sin n)e−nǫ . Fig. it can be used to determine the optimum ﬁle size for transmission just by deriving Equation 8 and ﬁnding the root of the corresponding equation. it can be assumed that the channel response is described in terms of transmission rate as a differential equation subject to certain constraints. Thus the value of constant K can be determine to adjust the formula to the case in study. or channel capacity. one can achieve R(n) = Kne−nǫ. that is.3. All expressions were adjusted to ﬁts the results of House 2. (12) dn After some manipulations and solving the resulting equation. which is linear function of the ǫ inverse of the bit error probability. The constant term KG can be obtained directly from the plot (slope of the tangent line of R(n)) for small n which is within the range from 4 to 9. PLC transmission rate as a function of the ﬁle length and the corresponding approximations described by Equations 8 (1st approximantion).the PLC channel. dR(n) = K[(1 − nǫ) + n(−ǫ)] = 0. R (0) = Γ − αK. one can ﬁnd ′′ R (0) + αK = Γ. an alternative solution is obtained taking into account the following approximation e −nǫ ≃ 1 − nǫ. respectively. 11 (2nd approximantion). is R(n) =Γ − + K α2 − 4β K α2 − 4β e e „ „ α− ′′ (17) The solution of Equation 15 by using the initial conditions √ α2 −4β 2 « n R (n) + αR (n) + βR(n) = Γ. The plots presented in Figures 2. On the other hand. And the optimum value is n = arctan ǫ . sin(x) ≃ x. 3 and 4 show a ﬁrst approximation for Equations 8. All expressions were adjusted to ﬁts the results of House 1. (19) . 3. that leads to cos(n) − sin(n)ǫ = 0.. the packet size which leads to the maximum transmission rate for PLC channel is obtained from dR(n) = K[e−nǫ + n(−ǫe−nǫ)] = 0. i. 9 8 Average data rate (Mb/s) 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 1 2 3 Packet length (Mb) 4 5 6 House 2 1st approximation nd 2 rd approximation 3 approximation 4th approximation sin(n) Therefore. A third assumption from Equation 11 can be done by considering that for small x.e. An detailed analysis of the problem can offer additional information to reach a ﬁne formulation. i. 11 (2nd approximantion). (11) As previously described. 2 and 3. It is important to mention that extras adjustments can leads to a better approximation for the experimental curves. Moreover. A difference equation [11] can also be formulated to reﬂect the discrete behavior of the process R(n + 2) + αR(n + 1) + βR(n) = Γ. 13 (3rd approximantion) and 18 (4th approximantion). (16) α2 −4β n 2 « (18) . dn (14) (13) Fig. PLC transmission rate as a function of the ﬁle length and the corresponding approximations described by Equations 8 (1st approximantion). whose derivative is dR(n) = K[cos(n)e−nǫ − sin(n)ǫe−nǫ )] = 0. 13 (3rd approximantion) and 18 (4th approximantion). Figure 5 is related to the measurements in an industry. one can obtain n∗ = 1 . 11 and 13 considering Houses 1. (10) By replacing the previous approximation in Equation 8. considering a discrete packet size.. cos(n) = 1 1 ∗ ǫ . 9 8 Average data rate (Mb/s) 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 1 2 3 4 Packet length (Mb) 5 6 House 1 1st approximation nd 2 rd approximation 3 th approximation 4 approximation (9) which leads to n = Considering small nǫ.e. ′ ′′ ′ (15) α+ √ where R (0) = K is the initial increasing rate and R(0) = 0. 2. dn ∗ 1 2ǫ . Thus. is given byR (n∗ ) = C where n∗ is the ﬁle size which achieves the capacity [10]. Substituting the initial conditions in Equation 15. nǫ ≪ 1. From Equation 13.

and A. IEEE Communications Magazine. A. M. and B. 13 (3rd approximantion) and 18 (4th approximantion). C ONCLUSIONS This paper presented an analysis of the transmission rate for a power line communication equipment as a function of the ﬁle length. Han Vinck. [11] Richard A. October 1998. 11 (2nd approximantion). Fig. “Distribution of Digital TV Signals over Home Power Line Networks”. and K. and K. 11 (2nd approximantion). 2006. Pickavance. September 1996. All expressions were adjusted to ﬁts the results of House 3. [3] N. USA. 42(4):78–84. Meng. Boston. L. “Modeling and Analysis of Noise Effects on Broadband Power-Line Communications”. G¨ tz. Communication Networks. G. [10] Indra Widjaja Alberto Leon-Garcia. Power line channel characteristics o and their effect on communication system design. Carvalho. Markarian. Majumder and J. April 2005. International Symposium on Power Line Communications and its Applications . 2(10):969–974. April 2003. Roberts Robert A. IEEE Communications Magazine. 2004. 2000. [6] G. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to express their thanks to Brazilian Council for Scientiﬁc and Technological Development (CNPq). Pavlidou. “Power Line Communications: State of the Art and Future Trends”. October/November 2004. Hooijen. 9 8 Average data rate (Mb/s) 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 1 2 3 Packet length (Mb) 4 5 6 Industry 1st approximation nd 2 rd approximation 3 approximation 4th approximation Fig. USA. Rapp. 23:34–40. “Power Line Communications: An Overview”. 2001. J. and the Institute of Advanced Studies in Communications (IECOM) for the ﬁnancial support to this research. Grov´ . Master’s thesis. Dostert. V. April 2005. C. Hooijen. IEEE Potentials. Han Vinck. 23:4–13. pages 409–413. Honary. USA. Markarian and X. IEEE AFRICON 4th. G. Ferreira. IEEE Communications Letters. [4] G. 20(2). New York. Channel Coding and Modulation in Digital TV Broadcasting. John Wiley & Sons. Chen. 4. April. Gabel. and S. Caffrey. On the channel capacity of the residential power circuit used as a digital communications medium. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Campina Grande. 1973. Mc Graw-Hill. Drury. [2] A. [5] H. Application of data transmission via the ı electrical network for digital television. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery. [9] M. Huo. 2:558–563. PLC transmission rate as a function of the ﬁle length and the corresponding approximations described by Equations 8 (1st approximantion). Guan. The proposed model is based on measurements performed in different environments as well as some considerations concerning the general behavior of the PLC channel. Boston. Signals and Linear Systems. PLC transmission rate as a function of the ﬁle length and the corresponding approximations described by Equations 8 (1st approximantion). 13 (3rd approximantion) and 18 (4th approximantion). [7] H. S. the Institute of Integrated Information Systems (I3S). .ISPLC. J. J. H. “Power e Line Communications: An Overview”. M. [8] O. All expressions were adjusted to ﬁts the results of Industry. 5.9 8 Average data rate (Mb/s) 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 1 2 3 4 Packet length (Mb) 5 6 House 3 1st approximation nd 2 rd approximation 3 approximation 4th approximation R EFERENCES [1] Fabr´cio B. Y. Yazdani. O. VI.

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