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A low complexity, essentially-ML decoding technique for the Golden code and the three antenna Perfect code was introduced by Sirianunpiboon, Howard and Calderbank. Though no theoretical analysis of the decoder was given, the simulations showed that this decoding technique has almost maximum-likelihood (ML) performance. Inspired by this technique, in this paper we introduce two new low complexity decoders for Space-Time Block Codes (STBCs)-the Adaptive Conditional Zero-Forcing (ACZF) decoder and the ACZF decoder with successive interference cancellation (ACZF-SIC), which include as a special case the decoding technique of Sirianunpiboon We show that both ACZF and ACZF-SIC decoders are capable of achieving full-diversity, and we give a set of sufficient conditions for an STBC to give full-diversity with these decoders. We then show that the Golden code, the three and four antenna Perfect codes, the three antenna Threaded Algebraic Space-Time code and the four antenna rate 2 code of Srinath and Rajan are all full-diversity ACZF/ACZF-SIC decodable with complexity strictly less than that of their ML decoders. Simulations show that the proposed decoding method performs identical to ML decoding for all these five codes. These STBCs along with the proposed decoding algorithm have the least decoding complexity and best error performance among all known codes for Nt ≤ 4 transmit antennas. We further provide a lower bound on the complexity of full-diversity ACZF/ACZF-SIC decoding. All the five codes listed above achieve this lower bound and hence are optimal in terms of minimizing the ACZF/ACZF-SIC decoding complexity. Both ACZF and ACZF-SIC decoders are amenable to sphere decoding implementation.
Date of Publication: Jan.15, 2013