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Mitigating channel estimation error with timing synchronization tradeoff in cooperative communications

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2 Author(s)
Ibrahim, A.S. ; Electron. & Electr. Commun. Dept., Cairo Univ., Cairo, Egypt ; Liu, K.J.R.

Channel estimation error and cochannel interference (CCI) problems are among the main causes of performance degradation in wireless networks. In this paper, we investigate the impact of cooperative communications on mitigating the effect of channel estimation error and CCI. Two main performance criteria, namely, the traditional outage probability and the proposed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) gap ratio, are utilized to characterize such impact. The SNR gap ratio measures the reduction in the SNR due to channel estimation error or CCI. Taking into consideration the channel estimation error, we show that the outage probability is reduced by utilizing cooperative transmission protocols. We also show that cooperative transmission scenarios, in which each cooperating relay forwards its signal over an orthogonal channel, result in lower SNR gap ratio compared to that of the direct transmission. Thus, cooperative transmission schemes are less susceptible to the effect of channel estimation error compared to direct transmission. Moreover, increasing the number of cooperating relays reduces the effect of the channel estimation error more. Timing synchronization error arises in distributed space-time cooperative schemes, in which the cooperating relays are simultaneously transmitting their signals over the same channel. Unlike the channel estimation error, the effect of the timing synchronization error gets worse as the the number of cooperating relays increases. In this work we also study the tradeoff between the timing synchronization error and the channel estimation error, and show their net impact on the system performance. Finally, we illustrate that CCI can be modeled in a similar fashion to the channel estimation error, and hence the cooperative transmission schemes are also less susceptible to the effect of CCI.

Published in:

Signal Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan. 2010

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