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This work investigates the effect of limiting source signals to finite-alphabet on the secrecy rate of a multi-antenna wiretap system. Existing works have characterized maximum achievable secrecy rate or secrecy capacity for single- and multi-antenna systems based on Gaussian source signals and secrecy code. Despite the impracticality of Gaussian source, its compact closed-form expression of mutual information motivated broad use of Gaussian input assumption. For practical consideration, we study the effect of finite discrete-constellation on instantaneous and ergodic secrecy rate of multiple-antenna wire-tap channels. Our results demonstrate substantial difference between systems involving finite-alphabet inputs and systems with Gaussian inputs. Results from Gaussian inputs serve as upper-bound of secrecy rate for practical systems with finite alphabet inputs.
Date of Publication: May 2011