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It is now well known that employing channel adaptive signaling in wireless communication systems can yield large improvements in almost any performance metric. Unfortunately, many kinds of channel adaptive techniques have been deemed impractical in the past because of the problem of obtaining channel knowledge at the transmitter. The transmitter in many systems (such as those using frequency division duplexing) can not leverage techniques such as training to obtain channel state information. Over the last few years, research has repeatedly shown that allowing the receiver to send a small number of information bits about the channel conditions to the transmitter can allow near optimal channel adaptation. These practical systems, which are commonly referred to as limited or finite-rate feedback systems, supply benefits nearly identical to unrealizable perfect transmitter channel knowledge systems when they are judiciously designed. In this tutorial, we provide a broad look at the field of limited feedback wireless communications. We review work in systems using various combinations of single antenna, multiple antenna, narrowband, broadband, single-user, and multiuser technology. We also provide a synopsis of the role of limited feedback in the standardization of next generation wireless systems.
Date of Publication: October 2008