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Bit-interleaved Coded Modulation: Fundamental Understandings

Final Report Summary - B-FUN (Bit-interleaved Coded Modulation: Fundamental Understandings)

Bandwidth is a limited resource in modern communication systems, and to make the most efficient use of it, one needs to combine coding and modulation. Bit-interleaved coded modulation (BICM) is the newest design paradigm of bandwidth-efficient communication systems. Despite not being fully understood theoretically, BICM has been rapidly adopted in commercial systems such as wireless and wired broadband access networks, 3G telephony, ultrawideband transceivers, and digital video broadcasting. It will also be the de facto choice for most, if not all, future telecommunications standards.

Nowadays, BICM systems are widely used, however, preliminary studies have revealed that they perform far from optimal. The objectives of the first part of this project are to analyze the maximum transmission rates of BICM systems from both theoretical and practical points of view. The last part of this project deals with the design of BICM systems that approach the fundamental limits while maintaining a low complexity.

The worked performed was carried out at a theoretical level based on mathematical tools and supported by numerical simulations. Progress was made in terms of understanding the asymptotic performance of achievable rates for BICM systems in both high and low SNR regimes. The results have been published in high impact journals and conferences. The expected impact of these results is to improve the understanding of current coding and modulation systems used in telecommunication standards as well as to improve future designs.

In parallel to the technical activities of the project, the research was involved in teaching activities (via student supervision) as well as using the career development opportunities at the University of Cambridge. The researcher also benefited from the expertise of the host and his research group, as well as interactions with other researchers in the Engineering Department.

The dissemination activities of the project included oral and poster presentations in different conferences around the world, as well as invited talks given in different universities. The project has also been promoted through the researcher's home page ( and via the acknowledgments in all the published papers.