Near-Capacity Sphere Decoder Based Detection Schemes for MIMO Wireless Communication Systems
The search for the closest lattice point arises in many communication problems, and is known to be NP-hard. The Maximum Likelihood (ML) Detector is the optimal detector which yields an optimal solution to this problem, but at the expense of high computational complexity. Existing near-optimal methods used to solve the problem are based on the Sphere Decoder (SD), which searches for lattice points confined in a hyper-sphere around the received point. The SD has emerged as a powerful means of finding the solution to the ML detection problem for MIMO systems. However the bottleneck lies in the determination of the initial radius. This thesis is concerned with the detection of transmitted wireless signals in Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) digital communication systems as efficiently and effectively as possible. The main objective of this thesis is to design efficient ML detection algorithms for MIMO systems based on the depth-first search (DFS) algorithms whilst taking into account complexity and bit error rate performance requirements for advanced digital communication systems. The increased capacity and improved link reliability of MIMO systems without sacrificing bandwidth efficiency and transmit power will serve as the key motivation behind the study of MIMO detection schemes. The fundamental principles behind MIMO systems are explored in Chapter 2. A generic framework for linear and non-linear tree search based detection schemes is then presented Chapter 3. This paves way for different methods of improving the achievable performance-complexity trade-off for all SD-based detection algorithms. The suboptimal detection schemes, in particular the Minimum Mean Squared Error-Successive Interference Cancellation (MMSE-SIC), will also serve as pre-processing as well as comparison techniques whilst channel capacity approaching Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) codes will be employed to evaluate the performance of the proposed SD. Numerical and simulation results show that non-linear detection schemes yield better performance compared to linear detection schemes, however, at the expense of a slight increase in complexity. The first contribution in this thesis is the design of a near ML-achieving SD algorithm for MIMO digital communication systems that reduces the number of search operations within the sphere-constrained search space at reduced detection complexity in Chapter 4. In this design, the distance between the ML estimate and the received signal is used to control the lower and upper bound radii of the proposed SD to prevent NP-complete problems. The detection method is based on the DFS algorithm and the Successive Interference Cancellation (SIC). The SIC ensures that the effects of dominant signals are effectively removed. Simulation results presented in this thesis show that by employing pre-processing detection schemes, the complexity of the proposed SD can be significantly reduced, though at marginal performance penalty. The second contribution is the determination of the initial sphere radius in Chapter 5. The new initial radius proposed in this thesis is based on the variable parameter α which is commonly based on experience and is chosen to ensure that at least a lattice point exists inside the sphere with high probability. Using the variable parameter α, a new noise covariance matrix which incorporates the number of transmit antennas, the energy of the transmitted symbols and the channel matrix is defined. The new covariance matrix is then incorporated into the EMMSE model to generate an improved EMMSE estimate. The EMMSE radius is finally found by computing the distance between the sphere centre and the improved EMMSE estimate. This distance can be fine-tuned by varying the variable parameter α. The beauty of the proposed method is that it reduces the complexity of the preprocessing step of the EMMSE to that of the Zero-Forcing (ZF) detector without significant performance degradation of the SD, particularly at low Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR). More specifically, it will be shown through simulation results that using the EMMSE preprocessing step will substantially improve performance whenever the complexity of the tree search is fixed or upper bounded. The final contribution is the design of the LRAD-MMSE-SIC based SD detection scheme which introduces a trade-off between performance and increased computational complexity in Chapter 6. The Lenstra-Lenstra-Lovasz (LLL) algorithm will be utilised to orthogonalise the channel matrix H to a new near orthogonal channel matrix H ̅.The increased computational complexity introduced by the LLL algorithm will be significantly decreased by employing sorted QR decomposition of the transformed channel H ̅ into a unitary matrix and an upper triangular matrix which retains the property of the channel matrix. The SIC algorithm will ensure that the interference due to dominant signals will be minimised while the LDPC will effectively stop the propagation of errors within the entire system. Through simulations, it will be demonstrated that the proposed detector still approaches the ML performance while requiring much lower complexity compared to the conventional SD.