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# CMI analysis and precoding designs for correlated multi-hop MIMO channels

- Nguyen N Tran
^{1}Email author, - Song Ci
^{2}and - Ha X Nguyen
^{3}

**2015**:127

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13638-015-0349-7

© Tran et al.; licensee Springer. 2015

**Received:**7 September 2014**Accepted:**5 April 2015**Published:**3 May 2015

## Abstract

Conditional mutual information (CMI) analysis and precoding design for generally correlated wireless multi-hop multi-input multi-output (MIMO) channels are presented in this paper. Although some particular scenarios have been examined in existing publications, this paper investigates a generally correlated transmission system having spatially correlated channel, mutually correlated source symbols, and additive colored Gaussian noise (ACGN). First, without precoding techniques, we derive the optimized source symbol covariances upon mutual information maximization. Secondly, we apply a precoding technique and then design the precoder in two cases: maximizing the mutual information and minimizing the detection error. Since the optimal design for the end-to-end system cannot be analytically obtained in closed form due to the non-monotonic nature, we relax the optimization problem and attain sub-optimal designs in closed form. Simulation results show that without precoding, the average mutual information obtained by the asymptotic design is very close to the one obtained by the optimal design, while saving a huge computational complexity. When having the proposed precoding matrices, the end-to-end mutual information significantly increases while it does not require resources of the system such as transmission power or bandwidth.

## Keywords

- Precoding design
- MIMO spatially correlated channel
- Mutual information and channel capacity
- Multi-hop relay network
- Colored noise

## 1 Introduction

With the fast-paced development of computing technologies, wireless devices have enough computation and communication capabilities to support various multimedia applications. To deliver high-quality multimedia over a wireless channel, multi-input multi-output (MIMO) technology has been emerging as one of the enabling technologies for the next-generation multimedia systems by providing very high-speed data transmission over wireless channels [1]. In the last decade, MIMO has been adopted by almost all new LTE, 3GPP, 3GPP2, and IEEE standards for wireless broadband transmission to support wireless multimedia applications [2-7]. A fundamental assumption of MIMO system design is placing antennas far enough [3] from each other to make fading uncorrelated. It means that different pairs of transmitting and receiving antennas are uncorrelated so that the channel statistical knowledge can be expressed as a diagonal covariance matrix. However, this assumption is no longer held true for compact embedded multimedia system design due to the small form factor. The compact system design will cause a MIMO spatial correlation problem [8-13], leading to a significant deterioration on the system performance. Furthermore, the pervasive use of computing devices such as laptop computers, PDAs, smart phones, automotive computing devices, wearable computers, and video sensors leads to a fast-growing deployment of wireless mesh networks (WMN) [14] to connect these computing devices by a multi-hop wireless channel. Therefore, how to achieve high channel capacity by using multi-hop MIMO transceivers under strict space limitations is the fundamental question targeted in this paper.

In the first part of this paper, we analyze the capacity (or bound on the capacity) of generally correlated wireless multi-hop amplify-and-forward (AF) MIMO channels. For generality, we consider a wireless system, in which the channel at each hop is spatially correlated but independent of that at the other hops, the source symbols are mutually correlated, and the additive Gaussian noises are colored. Although most previous works on wireless channel only consider *white* noise and *uncorrelated* data symbols, the assumption of white noise is not always true (see, e.g.,[15-19]). Moreover, in practice, the case of correlated data symbols arises due to various signal processing operations at the baseband in the transmitter.

For less than three-hop wireless channel, various works have been done on the capacity or bounds on the capacity [1,13,20-24]. For multi-hop relay network, capacity analysis was proposed in [25-27]. In [25], the authors considered rate, diversity, and network size in the analysis. In [26,27], the authors assumed that there is no noise at relay nodes, and the number of antennas is very large. Since these assumptions are not feasible in compact MIMO design with mutual interference, in this paper, we consider a generally correlated system at the wireless fading channel, data symbols, and additive colored Gaussian noises (ACGN). It includes the correlated system assumption in [26,27] as a special case. First, we derive the optimal source symbol covariance to maximize the mutual information between the channel input and the channel output when having the full knowledge of channel at the transmitters. Secondly, the numerical interior point method-based solution and an asymptotic solution in closed form are derived to maximize the average mutual information when having only the channel statistics at the transmitters. Although the asymptotic design is very simple and comes by maximizing an upper bound of the objective function, simulation results show that the asymptotic design performs well as the numerically optimal design.

In the second part of this paper, we apply the precoding technique and then design the precoding matrix to either maximizing the mutual information or minimizing the detection error. It has been shown in [20] that beamforming, which can be considered as a particular case of precoding, increases the mutual information of single-hop MIMO channel. In [28], the outage capacity of multi-hop MIMO networks is investigated, and the performance of several relaying configurations and signaling algorithms is discussed. In [25], the authors considered rate, diversity, and network size in the analysis. The multi-hop capacity of OFDM-based MIMO-multiplexing relaying systems is derived in [29,30] for frequency-selective fading channels. Apparently, in the literature, only references [26,27] actually study the asymptotic capacity and precoding design for wireless correlated multi-hop MIMO relay networks. Under a special case of wireless channels having only white noise at the destination, no noise at all relay levels, and the number of antennas is very large (to infinity); references [26,27] provide the precoding strategy and asymptotic capacity. Since the special wireless channel assumption in [26,27] is not always feasible for compact MIMO design with space limitation and mutual interference at various signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) levels, in this paper, we design precoders for the generally correlated AF system. Obviously, the optimal capacity and precoding design cannot be analytically obtained in closed form as the design problem is very complicated and neither convex nor concave. Similarly to [26,27], for generally correlated multi-hop MIMO channels, we propose asymptotic designs in closed form.

First, instead of designing the optimal precoding strategy to maximize the end-to-end mutual information, we derive the sub-optimal precoding strategy by optimally maximizing the mutual information between the input and output signals at each hop. Since the mutual information and detection error have a very close relationship, we further propose the other sub-optimal precoding strategy by optimally minimizing the mean square error (MSE) of the soft detection of the transmitted signal at each hop. Simulation results show that the asymptotic precoding designs are efficient. They significantly increase the end-to-end mutual information, while do not require any resource of the system such as transmission power or bandwidth.

The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 first describes the correlated wireless multi-hop MIMO model without any precoding techniques and then designs the source signal covariance to maximize the mutual information in two cases: having full knowledge of channel state information at the transmitters and having only the channel statistics at the transmitters. Section 3 first proposes the precoding design to maximize the mutual information and then proposes the precoding design to minimize the soft detection error. Simulation results are provided in Section 4 and Section 5 concludes the paper.

*Notation:* Boldface upper and lower cases denote matrices and column vectors. Superscript ∗ and *H* depict the complex conjugate and the Hermitian adjoint operator, while ⊗ stands for the Kronecker product. **I**
_{
N
} is the *N*×*N* identity matrix. Sometimes, the index *N* are omitted when the size of the identity matrix is clear in the context. E{*z*} is the expectation of the random variable *z* and tr{**A**} is the trace of the matrix **A**. \(\mathcal {I}(.)\) and \(\mathcal {H}(.)\) denote the mutual information and the entropy, respectively. **R**
_{
xy
} depicts the covariance matrix of two random variables *x* and *y*. **A**≤**B** (**A**<**B**, respectively) for symmetric matrices **A** and **B** means that **B**−**A** is a positive semi-definite (definite, respectively) Hermitian matrix.

## 2 The correlated channel and mutual information maximization

## 3 Precoding design for spatially correlated wireless multi-hop MIMO channel

## 4 Simulation results

This section provides simulation results to illustrate the performance of the proposed designs. In all simulation results presented in this section, colored noise is generated by multiplying a matrix **G**
_{
i
} with white noise vector **w**
_{
i
} [19], whose components are \(\mathcal {CN}(0,{\sigma _{w}^{2}})\). This means that the covariance matrix of colored noise is \(\mathbf {R}_{i}={\sigma _{w}^{2}}\mathbf {G}_{i}\mathbf {G}_{i}^{H}\). To have the average power of colored noise the same as that of white noise, **G**
_{
i
} is chosen such that \(\mathsf {tr}\{\mathbf {G}_{i}\mathbf {G}_{i}^{H}\}=a_{i}\), *i*=1,…,*N*. The average transmitted power is chosen to be unity, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in dB is defined as \({\sf SNR}=-10 \mathsf {log}_{10}{{\sigma _{w}^{2}}}\), and the average noise power can be calculated as \({\sigma _{w}^{2}}=10^{- \mathsf {SNR}/10}\).

The wireless channel model is assumed to be quasi-static block fading and spatially correlated by the Kronecker model with \(\sigma _{\textit {hi}}^{2}=1\). The one-ring model in ([13], Equation 6) is used to generate the elements of the covariance matrices Σ
_{
ri
} and **Σ**
_{
ti
}. Specifically, \(\boldsymbol {\Sigma }_{\textit {ti}}(n,m) \approx J_{0}\left (\Delta _{\textit {ti}} \frac {2\pi }{\lambda }d_{\textit {ti}}|m-n|\right)\), *m*,*n*=1,…,*a*
_{
i−1}, and \(\mathbf {\Sigma }_{\textit {ri}}(u,v) \approx J_{0}\left (\Delta _{\textit {ri}} \frac {2\pi }{\lambda }d_{\textit {ri}}|u-v|\right)\), *u*,*v*=1,…,*a*
_{
i
}. Here, we chosen *Δ*
_{
ti
}=5*π*
*i*/180 and *Δ*
_{
ri
}=10*π*
*i*/180 are the angle spreads (in radian) of the transmitter and the receiver at the *i*-th hop; *d*
_{
ti
}=0.5*λ* and *d*
_{
ri
}=0.3*λ* are the spacings of the transmitting and receiving antenna arrays at the *i*-th hop; *λ* is the wavelength and *J*
_{0}(·) is the zeroth-order Bessel function of the first kind. Note that the angle spreads, *Δ*
_{
ti
} and *Δ*
_{
ri
}, the wavelength *λ*, and the antenna spacings, *d*
_{
ti
} and *d*
_{
ri
}, determine how correlated the fading is at the transmitting and receiving antenna arrays at each hop.

When precoding technique is applied, the wireless channel model has 4×4 MIMO antennas, and the vector **x**
_{0} of *a*
_{0} correlated source symbols are generated as **x**
_{0}=**G**
_{
s
}
**s**
_{0}, where **s**
_{0} is a length- *a*
_{0} vector of uncorrelated symbols drawn from the Gray-mapped quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) constellation of unit energy. The matrix **G**
_{
s
} is generated arbitrarily but normalized such that \(\mathbf {G}_{s} \mathbf {G}_{s}^{H}\) has unit elements on the diagonal. This ensures the same transmitted power as in the case of uncorrelated data symbols. Note that the correlation matrix of the source symbols is \(\mathbf {R}_{x_{0}}=\mathbf {G}_{s} \mathbf {G}_{s}^{H}\).

In Figure 5, the wireless channel under consideration has only one hop. In this single-hop scheme, the proposed design to maximize the mutual information is obviously optimal as the end-to-end mutual information is also the mutual information at the only hop. As expected, three systems having the precoding techniques perform better than the system without being applied the precoding technique. It can be observed that the mutual information with the precoding design to maximize the mutual information is better than that of the precoding design to minimize the soft detection error. However, the more important observation is that both the end-to-end mutual information values of the wireless systems having the proposed precoding designs are larger than the mutual information value of the design in ([27], Section V-C). This performance gain is reasonable as the design in ([27], Section V-C) only proposed optimal precoding directions with equal power allocation, while in our designs two precoding problems of transmitted power allocation and transmitted signal direction are optimally designed at each hop.

In Figure 6, the simulation results for the two-hop wireless MIMO channels are illustrated. In this two-hop scheme, although the end-to-end mutual information values of the wireless systems having the proposed precoding designs are better than that of the wireless system having the precoding design in ([27], Section V-C), it is very interesting that the precoding design to minimize the soft detection error gives a better capacity performance than that of the precoding design to maximize the mutual information.

When the wireless channels have four hops, as shown in Figure 7, the precoding design to minimize the individual soft detection error yields a significant performance gain than that of the design to maximize the individual mutual information value. It is also depicted in Figure 7 that all the proposed precoding designs for four-hop wireless channels have a better performance than that of the system without the precoding technique.

## 5 Conclusions

In this paper, the closed-form source symbol covariance is designed to maximize the mutual information between the channel input and the channel output of correlated wireless multi-hop MIMO systems when having the full knowledge of channel at the transmitters. When having only channel statistics at the transmitters, the numerically optimal source symbol covariance and a sub-optimal source symbol covariance in closed form are designed to maximize the average end-to-end mutual information. Moreover, two sets of precoding matrices are sub-optimally designed for generally correlated multi-hop MIMO channels. The first design is obtained by maximizing the mutual information between the input and output signals at each hop while the second design is obtained by minimizing the MSE of the soft detection at each hop. Simulation results show that the proposed precoding designs significantly increase the end-to-end mutual information of the wireless system, while it does not spend system resources such as transmission power or bandwidth.

## 6 Appendix

### Theorem 3.

**y**and

**x**are two random variables of zero mean with the covariance matrix:

**x**|

**y**has the covariance:

**R**

_{ y }.

### Theorem 4.

**x**with the covariance \(\mathsf {E}\{\mathbf {xx}^{H}\}=\mathbf {R}_{x_{0}}\), the entropy [36] of

**x**satisfies:

**x**is a circularly symmetric complex Gaussian random variable with zero mean and covariance \(\mathbf {R}_{x_{0}}\), i.e., among the random variables with the same mean and covariance, the Gaussian one gives the largest entropy.

###
**Proof of Theorem**
**1**.

*F*(

**Q**)= log det(

**I**+

**Q**

**P**) is not readily spectral. However, we can deduce Equation 11 to spectral optimization by making the SVD of

**P**=

**U**

^{ H }

**D**

_{ P }

**U**and changing the variable \(\mathbf {X}=\sqrt {\mathbf {D}_{P}}\mathbf {U}\mathbf {Q}\mathbf {U}^{H}\sqrt {\mathbf {D}_{P}}\) in Equation 12, it can be seen that \(\mathsf {tr}(\mathbf {Q})=\mathsf {tr}(\mathbf {U}^{H}\mathbf {D}_{P}^{-1/2}\mathbf {X}\mathbf {D}_{P}^{-1/2}\mathbf {U})= \mathsf {tr}(\mathbf {D}_{P}^{-1}\mathbf {X})\). Therefore, the optimization problem (12) is now expressed as follows:

**X**→ log det(

**I**+

**X**) is spectral and the function \(\mathbf {X}\rightarrow \text {Trace}(\mathbf {D}_{P}^{-1}\mathbf {X})\) is linear and thus differentiable. According to [43]:

**X**=

**V**

^{ H }

**D**

_{ X }

**V**by SVD.

**X**is an diagonal matrix so Equations 35 and 36 have the same optimal solution. The Lagragian of Equation 36 is:

**I**+

**X**) is concave and − log det(

**I**+

**X**) is convex so Equation 36 is a convex programming. According to the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker (KKT) condition [44] for the optimality of convex programming, the optimal solution to the optimization problem in Equation 36 and the corresponding Lagrange multipliers must satisfy the following necessary and sufficient conditions:

**X**is diagonal, and therefore, Equations 35 and 36 are equivalent. Solving Equations 37 and 38 gives the following water-filling solution:

where *x*
^{+}= max{0,*x*} and *μ* is chosen such that \(\text {Trace}\left (\mathbf {D}_{P}^{-1}\mathbf {X}\right)=P\). The optimal solution is **Q**=**U**
^{
H
}
\(\left (\mathbf {D}_{P}^{-1/2}\mathbf {XD}_{P}^{-1/2}\right)\mathbf {U}=\mathbf {U}^{H}\mathbf {D}_{P}^{-1}\mathbf {XU}\).

## Declarations

### Acknowledgements

This research is funded by Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) under grant number 102.02-2012.28.

## Authors’ Affiliations

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