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Communication Under Strong Asynchronism

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3 Author(s)
Tchamkerten, A. ; Dept. of Commun. & Electron., Telecom ParisTech., Paris, France ; Chandar, V. ; Wornell, Gregory W.

A formulation of the problem of asynchronous point-to-point communication is developed. In the system model of interest, the message codeword is transmitted over a channel starting at a randomly chosen time within a prescribed window. The length of the window scales exponentially with the codeword length, where the scaling parameter is referred to as the asynchronism exponent. The receiver knows the transmission window, but not the transmission time. Communication rate is defined as the ratio between the message size and the elapsed time between when transmission commences and when the decoder makes a decision. Under this model, several aspects of the achievable tradeoff between the rate of reliable communication and the asynchronism exponent are quantified. First, the use of generalized constant-composition codebooks and sequential decoding is shown to be sufficient for achieving reliable communication under strictly positive asynchronism exponents at all rates less than the capacity of the synchronized channel. Second, the largest asynchronism exponent under which reliable communication is possible, regardless of rate, is characterized. In contrast to traditional communication architectures, there is no separate synchronization phase in the coding scheme. Rather, synchronization and communication are implemented jointly. The results are relevant to a variety of sensor network and other applications in which intermittent communication is involved.

Published in:

Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2009

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