Skip to Main Content
Diversity-multiplexing tradeoff (DMT) was characterized asymptotically (SNR- > infinity) for i.i.d. Rayleigh fading channel by Zheng and Tse . The SNR-asymptotic DMT overestimates the finite-SNR one . This paper outlines a number of additional limitations and difficulties of the DMT framework and discusses their implications. Using the recent results on the size-asymptotic (in the number of antennas) outage capacity distribution, the finite-SNR, size-asymptotic DMT is derived for a broad class of fading distributions. The SNR range over which the finite-SNR DMT is accurately approximated by the SNR-asymptotic one is characterized. The multiplexing gain definition is shown to affect critically this range and thus should be carefully selected, so that the SNR-asymptotic DMT is an accurate approximation at realistic SNR values and thus has operational significance to be used as a design criterion. The finite-SNR diversity gain is shown to decrease with correlation and power imbalance in a broad class of fading channels, and such an effect is described in a compact, closed form. Complete characterization of the outage probability (or outage capacity) requires not only the finite-SNR DMT, but also the SNR offset, which is introduced and investigated as well. This offset, which is not accounted for in the DMT framework, is shown to have a significant impact on the outage probability for a broad class of fading channels, especially when the multiplexing gain is small. The analytical results and conclusions are validated via extensive Monte Carlo simulations. Overall, the size-asymptotic DMT represents a valuable alternative to the SNR-asymptotic one.