Faculty Advisor

Donald R. Brown III

Faculty Advisor

Andrew G. Klein

Faculty Advisor

Raghu Mudumbai



In telecommunications, a cooperative scheme refers to a method where two or more users share or combine their information in order to increase diversity gain or power gain. In contrast to conventional point-to-point communications, cooperative communications allow different users in a wireless network to share resources so that instead of maximizing the performance of its own link, each user collaborates with its neighbours to achieve an overall improvement in performance. In this dissertation, we consider different models for transmission and reception and explore cooperative techniques that increase the reliability and capacity gains in wireless networks, with consideration to practical issues such as channel estimation errors and backhaul constraints.

This dissertation considers the design and performance of cooperative communication techniques. Particularly, the first part of this dissertation focuses on the performance comparison between interference alignment and opportunistic transmission for a 3-user single-input single- output (SISO) interference channel in terms of average sum rate in the presence of channel estimation errors. In the case of interference alignment, channel estimation errors cause interference leakage which consequently results in a loss of achievable rate. In the case of opportunistic transmission, channel estimation errors result in a non-zero probability of incorrectly choosing the node with the best channel. The effect of these impairments is quantified in terms of the achievable average sum rate of these transmission techniques. Analysis and numerical examples show that SISO interference alignment can achieve better average sum rate with good channel estimates and at high SNR whereas opportunistic transmission provides better performance at low SNR and/or when the channel estimates are poor.

We next considers the problem of jointly decoding binary phase shift keyed (BPSK) messages from a single distant transmitter to a cooperative receive cluster connected by a local area network (LAN). An approximate distributed receive beamforming algorithm is proposed based on the exchange of coarsely- quantized observations among some or all of the nodes in the receive cluster. By taking into account the differences in channel quality across the receive cluster, the quantized information from other nodes in the receive cluster can be appropriately combined with locally unquantized information to form an approximation of the ideal receive beamformer decision statistic. The LAN throughput requirements of this technique are derived as a function of the number of participating nodes in the receive cluster, the forward link code rate, and the quantization parameters. Using information-theoretic analysis and simulations of an LDPC coded system in fading channels, numerical results show that the performance penalty (in terms of outage probability and block error rate) due to coarse quantization is small in the low SNR regimes enabled by cooperative distributed reception. An upper/lower bound approximation is derived based on a circle approximation in the channel magnitude domain which provides a pretty fast way to compute the outage probability performance for a system with arbitrary number of receivers at a given SNR.

In the final part of this dissertation, we discuss the distributed reception technique with higher- order modulation schemes in the forward link. The extension from BPSK to QPSK is straightforward and is studied in the second part of this dissertation. The extension to 8PSK, 4PAM and 16QAM forward links, however, is not trivial. For 8PSK, two techniques are proposed: pseudobeamforming and 3-bit belief combining where the first one is intuitive and turns out to be suboptimal,the latter is optimal in terms of outage probability performance. The idea of belief combining can be applied to the 4PAM and 16QAM and it is shown that better/finer quantizer design can further improve the block error rate performance. Information-theoretic analysis and numerical results are provided to show that significant reliability and SNR gains can be achieved by using the proposed schemes. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





distributed reception, interference alignment, receive diversity, outage probability