Open Access

Achieving Maximum Possible Speed on Constrained Block Transmission Systems

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20062007:035689

Received: 20 May 2005

Accepted: 30 April 2006

Published: 10 September 2006


We develop a theoretical framework for achieving the maximum possible speed on constrained digital channels with a finite alphabet. A common inaccuracy that is made when computing the capacity of digital channels is to assume that the inputs and outputs of the channel are analog Gaussian random variables, and then based upon that assumption, invoke the Shannon capacity bound for an additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel. In a channel utilizing a finite set of inputs and outputs, clearly the inputs are not Gaussian distributed and Shannon bound is not exact. We study the capacity of a block transmission AWGN channel with quantized inputs and outputs, given the simultaneous constraints that the channel is frequency selective, there exists an average power constraint at the transmitter and the inputs of the channel are quantized. The channel is assumed known at the transmitter. We obtain the capacity of the channel numerically, using a constrained Blahut-Arimoto algorithm which incorporates an average power constraint at the transmitter. Our simulations show that under certain conditions the capacity approaches very closely the Shannon bound. We also show the maximizing input distributions. The theoretical framework developed in this paper is applied to a practical example: the downlink channel of a dial-up PCM modem connection where the inputs to the channel are quantized and the outputs are real. We test how accurate is the bound 53.3 kbps for this channel. Our results show that this bound can be improved upon.


Information TechnologyGaussian NoiseQuantum InformationAverage PowerWhite Gaussian Noise


Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical Engineering, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, USA


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© Ndili and Ogunfunmi 2007