A New Design Metric for Unitary Space-Time Codes


Multiple-input multiple output (MIMO) communication systems can have dramatically higher throughput than single-input, single-output systems. Unitary space-time codes for MIMO fading channels have been shown to be optimal under certain conditions when neither the transmitter or receiver has channel state information. Previous work on constructing unitary space-time codes has focused on the diversity product or diversity sum of the unitary space-time code constellation. This paper shows how these min-max design criteria may produce sub-optimal codes in terms of minimizing symbol-error rate (SER). A union bound design metric based on a union bound of pairwise error probabilities is presented, and a bound on its optimal value is derived. Examples suggest this new metric can more accurately distinguish good constellations than the diversity product and diversity sum. The complexity of the union bound design metric is reduced by using recently derived tight bounds, and a desirable epsilon-incremental property of the union bound design metric is demonstrated in an example.

Meeting Name

2006 International Conference on Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, IWCMC'06 (2006: Jul. 3-6, Vancouver, Canada)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Great Britain; Communication Systems; Constellations; Design Engineering; Receivers; Transmitters; Wireless Communication; MIMO; Union Bound Design Metric; Unitary Space-Time Code

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2006 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2006