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5082 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 7, NO.

12, DECEMBER 2008

A Simplified Parametric Channel Estimation


Scheme for OFDM Systems
Siyang Liu, Student Member, IEEE, Feifei Wang, Ranran Zhang, and Yuanan Liu, Member, IEEE

Abstract—This paper presents a novel parametric channel are estimated at the receiver, channel estimation of OFDM
estimation scheme for orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing systems can be classified into two types: non-parametric and
(OFDM) systems. In this scheme, two channel parameters, the parametric. Non-parametric channel estimation schemes have
number of channel paths and the multipath time delays, are
estimated using the Hannan-Quinn (HQ) criterion and some already been widely investigated in [1]-[8]. However, they
simple operations; then the channel coefficients are estimated perform worse than parametric channel estimation schemes
by utilizing these estimated channel parameters. Through com- for they do not utilize the multipath structure. In [9], Yang
plexity analysis and computer simulation, it is shown that proposed a parametric channel estimation scheme where the
our proposed scheme not only has better performance than eigenvalue decomposition method (EDM) and the estimation
the classical Yang’s scheme, but also has lower complexity.
Additionally, two metrics, the mean square error (MSE) and the of signal parameters using the rotational invariance technique
channel parameter error probability (CPEP), are analyzed. The (ESPRIT) are employed to estimate the channel parameters.
MSE analysis gives the theoretical lower bound of the MSE that Subsequently, a similar scheme exploiting hopping pilots was
our scheme can attain, and the CPEP characterizes the rate with proposed by Raghavendra [10]. This scheme also uses EDM
which our scheme estimates successfully the channel parameters. and ESPRIT to estimate the channel parameters. However,
the computational complexity of these two methods is high.
Index Terms—Parametric channel estimation, Hannan-Quinn In [11], Raghavendra proposed another parametric channel
(HQ) criterion, OFDM. estimation scheme. The scheme does not need to implement
EDM and ESPRIT. However, it is a recursive method, and its
I. I NTRODUCTION complexity is also high.
In this paper, we propose a novel parametric channel esti-
O RTHOGONAL frequency-division multiplexing
(OFDM) is considered as a promising transmission
technique for future wireless communication systems due to
mation scheme. This scheme not only has better performance
than Yang’s scheme, but also has lower complexity.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. In
its attractive features such as high data rate, simple receiver,
Section II, we introduce the channel model and the OFDM
and its ability to combat frequency selective fading. OFDM
system model. The details of the proposed parametric channel
systems can be categorized into two types: non-coherent and
estimation scheme are presented in Section III, and its per-
coherent. By using differential demodulation, non-coherent
formance is analyzed in Section IV. Section V and Section
OFDM systems do not need to estimate the channel at the
VI provide the complexity analysis and the simulation results,
receiver. However, they suffer a performance loss of 3-4 dB
respectively. The last section is our conclusion.
compared with coherent OFDM systems and cannot employ
Notation: (·)H , (·)T , (·)∗ , (·)−1 , and (·)† denote
non-constant amplitude modulation schemes (e.g., 16 QAM).
the conjugate-transpose, transpose, conjugate, inverse, and
The above limitations restrict wider application of non-
pseudo-inverse operations, respectively.
coherent OFDM systems. Although coherent OFDM systems
need to estimate the channel, they have been receiving more
attention since they have better performance and can support II. C HANNEL M ODEL AND S YSTEM M ODEL
higher data throughput. In this paper, we consider the channel A. Channel Model
estimation of coherent OFDM systems. For simplicity, we do
The multipath baseband channel can be expressed as
not distinguish between coherent and non-coherent OFDM
systems in the following. L−1
 L−1

According to whether the channel parameters, namely, the h(t, τ ) = hl (t)δ(τ − τl ) = hl (t)δ(τ − ξl Ts ) (1)
number of channel paths and the multipath time delays, l=0 l=0

where L denotes the number of channel paths, δ(·) stands for


Manuscript received October 17, 2007; revised March 4, 2008 and June 5,
2008; accepted July 30, 2008. The associate editor coordinating the review Dirac’s delta function, Ts denotes the sampling interval of the
of this paper and approving it for publication was J. Olivier. receiver, τl = ξl Ts is the time delay of the lth channel path,
This work was supported in part by NTT Docomo Beijing Communica- and hl (t) is the corresponding random complex amplitude. We
tions Laboratories and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.
60573111). assume that different channel paths are independent, and that
The authors are with the School of Telecommunication Engineering, each hl (t) is a wide-sense stationary Gaussian process whose
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876, mean value function is zero and variance function is σl2 with
China (e-mail: {liusiyang.bupt, wangff2008ster, zhangran136}@gmail.com; L−1 2
yuliu@bupt.edu.cn). l=0 σl = 1. We also assume that all channel delays fall at
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/T-WC.2008.071151 the sampling instants of the receiver, namely, ξl is an integer.
1536-1276/08$25.00 
c 2008 IEEE

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LIU et al.: A SIMPLIFIED PARAMETRIC CHANNEL ESTIMATION SCHEME FOR OFDM SYSTEMS 5083

Subcarrier
III. N OVEL PARAMETRIC C HANNEL E STIMATION S CHEME
... ...
Comb pilots shown in Fig. 1 are used in our proposed
D scheme. Pilots with unit power are inserted in both time and

...
...

...
...

...
... ...
frequency dimensions. In each OFDM symbol, P = N/D
pilots are transmitted on equally spaced tones ni = iD
... ...
(i = 0, 1, ..., P −1), where D is the frequency interval in terms
of the number of subcarriers between two adjacent pilots in
...
...

...
...

...
... ... the frequency dimension. In light of the pilot design criterion
in [5], P should be larger than ξL−1 .
Symbol The proposed channel estimation scheme consists of two
Fig. 1. Pilot Pattern parts: estimation of channel parameters and estimation of
channel coefficients. The objective of the first part is to
estimate the number of channel paths and the multipath time
As pointed out in [9], the channel is sparse in many cases, delays, and the objective of the second part is to estimate the
i.e., ξL−1 > L. channel frequency responses on all subcarriers by utilizing the
estimated channel parameters.
B. System Model
A. Estimation of Channel Parameters
Consider an OFDM system with N subcarriers
and K OFDM symbols in each frame. Let The channel frequency responses on the pilot subcarriers
Xk = [X0,k , X1,k , . . . , XN −1,k ]T denote the frequency- can be estimated via the least squares (LS) criterion, viz.,
domain signal vector of the kth symbol, where Xn,k is the Yni ,k
Ĥni ,k = = Hni ,k + εni ,k (6)
transmitted data on the nth subcarrier, n = 0, 1, . . . , N − 1, Xni ,k
k = 0, 1, . . . , K − 1. The time-domain signal vector
xk = [x0,k , x1,k , . . . , xN −1,k ]T is obtained by computing where εni ,k = θni ,k /Xni ,k . Because the power of Xni ,k is
the inverse fast Fourier transform (IFFT) of Xk . In matrix unitary, the mean of εni ,k is zero and the variance of εni ,k is
notation, it can be expressed as σ 2 . In vector notation, the above equation can be represented
as
xk = F H X k (2) Ĥk = Hk + k (7)

where F is the N × N fast Fourier √ transform (FFT) ma- where Ĥk = [Ĥn0 ,k , Ĥn1 ,k , . . . , ĤnP −1 ,k ]T , Hk =
trix whose (p, q)th element is 1/ N e−j2πpq/N (p, q = [Hn0 ,k , Hn1 ,k , . . . , HnP −1 ,k ]T , and k = [εn0 ,k , εn1 ,k , . . . ,
0, 1, . . . , N − 1). Then, the time-domain sequences are mod- εnP −1 ,k ]T .
ulated and emitted from the antenna after appending a cyclic 1) Principle of Proposed Channel Parameter Estimation
prefix (CP). The duration Tb of each OFDM symbol is According to (5), Hk can be expressed as
(N + G)Ts , where G is the number of CP samples.
At the receiver, the received signal is first sampled Hk = Ghk (8)
by an analog-to-digital converter. Then, the receiver strips
where G is a P ×L matrix whose (p, q)th entry is e−j2πnp ξq /N
off the CP and obtains the time-domain received symbol
(p = 0, 1, . . . , P − 1, q = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1), and hk =
yk = [y0,k , y1,k , . . . , yN −1,k ]T . yk is sent to an FFT
[h0,k , h1,k , . . . , hL−1,k ]T . Then, Rk = E{Ĥk ĤkH } can be
unit to obtain the frequency-domain received symbol Yk =
derived as
[Y0,k , Y1,k , . . . , YN −1,k ]T , which is expressed as    
Rk = E Hk HkH + E k H k
Yk = F y k . (3)
= GΨk GH + σ 2 IP (9)
The relationship between Yn,k and Xn,k can be expressed
where Ψk = E{hk hH k }, and IP is the P × P identity matrix.
as
Because different channel paths are independent, Ψk is a
Yn,k = Hn,k Xn,k + θn,k (4) diagonal matrix with the lth diagonal element ψl,k = σl2 .
where Hn,k and θn,k denote the channel gain and the noise, We can see that both Ψk and Rk are independent of k. For
respectively, on the nth subcarrier of the kth symbol. The notational convenience, Ψk and Rk are concisely written as
mean of θn,k is zero and the variance of θn,k is σ 2 . Hn,k is Ψ and R in the following.
Due to the sparsity of the multipath fading channel, we
L−1
 can construct a P × 1 vector h̃k = [h̃0,k , h̃1,k , . . . , h̃P −1,k ]T ,
Hn,k = hl,k e−j2πnξl /N (5) where
l=0 
hl,k i = ξl , l = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1
where hl,k is the simplified notation of hl (kTb ). In this paper, h̃i,k = . (10)
0 i = ξl , l = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1
the channel is assumed to be constant during each OFDM
symbol. Then, (8) can be rewritten as
Hk = G̃h̃k (11)

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5084 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 7, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2008

where G̃ is a P ×P matrix whose (p, q)th entry is e−j2πnp q/N noise power when the number of samples is limited. MDL and
(p, q = 0, 1, . . . , P − 1). Correspondingly, (9) can be trans- AIC have been applied to detect the number of channel taps
formed as [9-11]. In this paper, we apply the HQ criterion proposed in
R = G̃Ψ̃G̃H + σ 2 IP (12) [14] to detect the number of channel taps.
where Ψ̃ = E{h̃k h̃H 2) The Proposed Channel Parameter Estimation Algorithm
k } is a P × P diagonal matrix whose ith
diagonal element ψ̃i is The algorithm comprises two parts. In the first part the
 2 estimated number of channel paths L̂ is obtained by employing
σl i = ξl , l = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1 the HQ criterion [14] to the diagonal elements of Φ̂. Then,
ψ̃i = . (13)
0 i = ξl , l = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1 the multipath time delays are obtained by extracting the
Since the pilots in the frequency
√ dimension are equally spaced corresponding indices of the L̂ largest values of the diagonal
(ni = iD), G̃ is equal to P P , where √ P is the P × P elements of Φ̂. The detailed steps are shown below.
FFT matrix whose (p, q)th element is 1/ P e−j2πpq/P (p, q = (III-A1). Extract the diagonal entries of Φ̂ and denote them
0, 1, . . . , P − 1). Thus, as ϕ = [φ0 , φ1 , . . . , φP −1 ]T .
(III-A2). Let ϕ̄ = dsort(ϕ) = [φ̄0 , φ̄1 , . . . , φ̄P −1 ]T , where
G̃G̃H = G̃H G̃ = P IP . (14) dsort(·) stands for sorting the vector in descending order.
Then, R can be further transformed as (III-A3). By the HQ criterion, the number of channel paths
can be estimated as
R = G̃ΦG̃H (15)
2 L̂ = arg min (f1 (
) − f2 (
)) K + f3 (
) (20)
where Φ = Ψ̃ + σP IP is a P × P diagonal matrix with its ∈{0,1,...,P −1}

ith diagonal element φi given by where  


 2 P −1
φ̄i
σl + σ 2 /P i = ξl , l = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1 f1 (
) = (P −
)ln i=
, (21)
φi = . P −

σ 2 /P i = ξl , l = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1
(16) P −1
From the above equation, we can see that the multiplicity of 
f2 (
) = lnφ̄i , (22)
σ 2 /P in the diagonal elements of Φ is P − L. In addition,
i=
σ 2 /P is smaller than σl2 + σ 2 /P . Therefore, if Φ is obtained,
the number of channel paths can be obtained by counting and
1
the multiplicity of the smallest diagonal elements, and the f3 (
) =
(2P −
) ln ln K. (23)
2
multipath time delays are just the indices of the largest
diagonal elements. Φ can be obtained by transforming (15) (III-A4). Find the indices of the L̂ largest values of ϕ and
using sort the index values in ascending order. The estimated time
1 delays ξˆl (l = 0, 1, . . . , L̂ − 1) are the sorted index values.
Φ = G̃−1 R(G̃H )−1 = 2 G̃H RG̃. (17)
P
However, R in the above equation cannot be accurately B. Estimation of Channel Coefficients
obtained. It can only be estimated using According to (7) and (8), the relationship between Ĥk and
K−1
 hk is expressed as
1
R̂ = Ĥk ĤkH . (18)
K Ĥk = Ghk + k . (24)
k=0

Thus, Φ is estimated as Due to the unknown L and ξl , G is also unknown at the


1 H estimator. However, we have estimated L and ξl in Section
Φ̂ = G̃ R̂G̃. (19) III-A; hence, we can get an estimate Ĝ of G, where Ĝ is
P2
a P × L̂ matrix whose (p, q)th entry is e−j2πnp ξ̂q /N (p =
We cannot guarantee that Φ̂ is a diagonal matrix and also 0, 1, . . . , P − 1, q = 0, 1, . . . , L̂ − 1). Then, the linear estimate
cannot guarantee that the multiplicity of the smallest diagonal of hk can be calculated using
elements of Φ̂ is P − L. Hence, the method that estimates
the number of channel taps by finding the smallest diagonal ĥk = Ĝ† Ĥk (25)
elements of Φ fails for finite frame lengths K (if K → ∞ where ĥk = [ĥ0,k , ĥ1,k , . . . , ĥL−1,k ]T . Ĝ is composed of the
, R can be accurately obtained by (18)). However, the ξˆ0 , ξ̂1 , . . . , ξ̂L̂−1 columns of G̃. From (14), we obtain
{ξl |l = 0, 1, . . . , L − 1}th diagonal elements of Φ̂ are larger,
in general, than the other diagonal entries, especially when 1 H
Ĝ† = Ĝ . (26)
the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is high, and the diagonal P
elements of Φ̂ can still be utilized to estimate the channel Thus, (25) is rewritten as
parameters. In fact, a similar problem has already been widely 1 H
investigated in model selection and detection of the number Ĝ Ĥk .
ĥk = (27)
P
of the signal sources [12-14]. These references employ some
After estimating the time-domain channel, the frequency-
information-theoretic criteria, such as, minimum description
domain channel on all tones can be estimated by
length (MDL), Akaike’s information criterion (AIC), and
Hannan-Quinn (HQ) criterion, to detect the multiplicity of the Ĥk = F̂ ĥk (28)

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LIU et al.: A SIMPLIFIED PARAMETRIC CHANNEL ESTIMATION SCHEME FOR OFDM SYSTEMS 5085

TABLE I 1 ˜T   H
¯∗ ,
S TEPS OF THE P ROPOSED C HANNEL E STIMATION S CHEME MSE2 = −2Re fn E hk hH
k G Ĝf n (34)
P
Step 1: Estimate the channel on pilot subcarriers using (6).   H
1
Step 2: Calculate R̂ using (18). MSE3 = 2 f¯nT ĜH GE hk hHk G Ĝf¯n∗ , (35)
Step 3: Compute Φ̂ using (19). P
Step 4: Determine the channel parameters using (III-A1) to (III-A4). and
Step 5: Estimate all channel coefficients using (27) and (28).
1 ¯T H  H  ¯∗
MSE4 = f Ĝ E k k Ĝfn
P2 n
σ 2 ¯T H ¯∗ σ 2 ¯T ¯∗ σ 2 L̂
where Ĥk = [Ĥ0,k , Ĥ1,k , . . . , ĤN −1,k T = f Ĝ Ĝ f = f f = . (36)
√ ] , and F̂ is composed
n n n n
P2 P P
ˆ ˆ
of the ξ̂0 , ξ1 , . . . , ξL̂−1 columns of N F .
If the channel parameters are correctly detected, Ĝ = G,
If the channel parameters are correctly estimated, Ĝ = G f¯n = f˜n and L̂ = L. Thus, (34)-(36) can be further
and F̂ = F√, where F is composed of the ξ0 , ξ1 , . . . , ξL−1 transfomed as
columns of N F . 

1 ˜T   H
˜∗
Herein, time dimension interpolation is not exploited to MSE2 = −2Re fn E hk hH k G G fn
estimate the channel. Actually, it can be used to further P
 
enhance the estimator’s performance. However, for analyti- = −2Re f˜nT E hk hH k f˜n∗ , (37)
cal convenience in the following, only frequency dimension
interpolation is utilized. 1 ˜T H   H
In conclusion, the basic steps of the proposed scheme are MSE3 = 2
fn G GE hk hH k G Gf˜n∗
P   ∗
summarized in Table I. = f˜nT E hk hH f˜n , (38)
k
Remarks:
 In our scheme, all channel taps are assumed to fall at the and
σ2 L
sampling instants of the receiver, namely, all channel taps are MSE4 = . (39)
P
assumed to be sample-spaced. However, in practical systems,   ∗
the channel taps may not be sample-spaced. In this case, f˜nT E hk hHk f˜n in the above equations is a real value. By
energy leakage is induced. Energy leakage will cause an error substituting (33), (37), (38) and (39) into (32), we have
floor. By over-sampling [8], [11], a sample-spaced channel can σ2 L
be realized. Even if this is not possible, over-sampling can also MSE = MSE4 = . (40)
P
reduce the error floor. Other techniques, e.g., windowing [7],
This equation points out that once the channel parameters are
can reduce the error floor too.
correctly estimted, the MSE of parametric channel estimation
only depends on the noise power, the number of channel taps
IV. P ERFORMANCE E VALUATION and the number of pilots. However, in certain cases (e.g., when
Two metrics, the mean square error (MSE) and the channel the SNR is low), the channel parameters cannot be correctly
parameter error probability (CPEP), are used in this section estimated. If the channel parameters are falsely estimated, the
to scale the performance of the parametric channel estimation MSE will be larger than the value given by (40); hence, the
scheme. value given by (40) is the theoretical lower bound of the MSE.
It should be noted that it is hard to get an accurate MSE
expression when the channel parameters are falsely estimated.
A. Mean Square Error In this case, it is hard to determine which parameter is falsely
The MSE is defined as estimated, and of course we cannot determine Ĝ, f¯nT and L̂.
 2
Thus, the MSE given by (32)-(36) cannot be determined.

MSE = E Hn,k − Ĥn,k . (29)
B. Channel Parameter Error Probability
Based on Section III, the following equations can be ob-
As shown above, when the channel parameters are correctly
tained:
estimated, we can get the MSE expression given by (40),
Hn,k = f˜nT hk (30) whereas when the channel parameters are falsely estimated,
and we cannot derive an accurate MSE expression. In order to
1 ¯T H characterize the rate with which the algorithm estimates suc-
Ĥn,k = f Ĝ (Ghk + k ) (31)
P n cessfully the channel parameters, we propose using a metric,
the channel parameter error probability (CPEP), defined as
where f˜nT and f¯nT denote the nth row of F and F̂ , respec-
follows:
tively.
By substituting (30) and (31) into (29), we have CPEP = 1 − Pr{Correct estimation of
all channel parameters}
MSE = MSE1 + MSE2 + MSE3 + MSE4 (32)
= 1 − Pr{Correct estimation of
where L, ξ0 , ξ1 , . . . , ξL − 1}.
    ∗

MSE1 = E Hn,k Hn,k = f˜nT E hk hH
k f˜n , (33) (41)

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5086 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 7, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2008

When CPEP = 0, all channel parameters are correctly es- Step 1: Calculate the correlation matrix R based on the
timated, and the MSE of the estimator is given by (40). forward-backward approach,
However, it is not easy to get a closed-form expression for the K−1
CPEP, and its value can only be obtained through simulation. 1 
R= R̃k R̃H
k (43)
In the simulation, the CPEP is calculated as K
k=0

Number of simulation runs where where R̃k = 2Γ 1
Qk QH H ∗
k + J(Qk Qk ) J with
all channel parameters are correctly estimated ⎡ ⎤
CPEP = 1− . Ĥn0 ,k Ĥn1 ,k · · · ĤnΓ−1 ,k
Total number of simulation runs
(42) ⎢ Ĥn ,k Ĥn2 ,k ··· ĤnΓ ,k ⎥
⎢ 1 ⎥
Qk = ⎢ .. .. . .. ⎥ , (44)
⎣ . . . . . ⎦
V. C OMPLEXITY A NALYSIS
ĤnP −Γ ,k ĤnP −Γ+1 ,k · · · ĤnP −1 ,k
In this section, the complexity of four schemes, our pro-
Γ is an adjustable parameter that affects the accuracy of R,
posed scheme, the classical Yang’s scheme [9], Raghaven-
and J is a (P −Γ+1)×(P −Γ+1) matrix whose anti-diagonal
dra’s scheme [10], and LiYe’s scheme [3], is analyzed. The
entries are one and the other entries are zero. P −Γ+1 should
focus is mainly on multiplication/division (MD) and addi-
be larger than the maximum multipath time delay ξL−1 .
tion/subtraction (AS). Some simple operations, e.g., transpose
Step 2: Perform the eigenvalue decomposition of R as
operation, are neglected.
P
 −Γ
R= λp up uH p (45)
A. Complexity of Proposed Scheme p=0

The complexity of each step in Table I is listed as follows. where λ0 ≥ λ1 ≥ · · · ≥ λP −Γ are the eigenvalues of R, and
Step 1: nearly P K MDs. u0 , u1 , . . . , uP −Γ are the corresponding eigenvectors.
Step 2: nearly (K + 1)P 2 MDs and (K − 1)P 2 ASs. Step 3: Exploit the MDL criterion to estimate the number
Step 3: nearly 2P 3 + P 2 MDs and 2P 3 − 2P 2 ASs. of channel paths, that is,
Step 4: This step includes 4 substeps. The complexity of
substep III-A1 can be neglected. Substep III-A2 needs to sort L̂ = arg min (g1 (
) − g2 (
)) K + g3 (
) (46)
∈{0,1,...,P −Γ}
P numbers. Sorting P numbers needs roughly O(P log2 (P ))
where
comparisons. Calculating f1 (
) in substep III-A3 needs nearly  
P −Γ
2 MDs and P −
ASs; calculating f2 (
) needs nearly P −1−
i= λi
ASs; calculating f3 (
) needs 4 MDs and 1 ASs; calculating g1 (
) = (P − Γ + 1 −
)ln , (47)
P −Γ+1−

(f1 (
) − f2 (
)) K + f3 (
) needs 1 MDs and 2 ASs; hence,
substep III-A3 needs nearly 7P MDs and P 2 + 3P ASs. P
 −Γ
Substep III-A4 needs to sort L numbers and needs roughly g2 (
) = lnλi , (48)
O(Llog2 (L)) comparisons. Herein, L̂ is assumed to be cor- i=
rectly detected. In summary, this step needs nearly 7P MDs, and
P 2 + 3P ASs, and O(P log2 (P ) + Llog2 (L)) comparisons. 1
g3 (
) =

(2(P − Γ + 1) −
) ln K. (49)
Step 5: Calculating ĥk according to (27) needs nearly KLP 2
MDs and KL(P − 1) ASs; computing Ĥk according to (28) Step 4: ESPRIT is adopted to acquire the multipath time
needs nearly KN L MDs and KN (L−1) ASs; hence, this step delays. Let U = [u0 , u1 , ..., uL̂−1 ]. U1 and U2 are composed
needs nearly (P + N )LK MDs and (P + N )LK − (L + N )K of the first P − Γ rows of U and the last P − Γ rows of U ,
ASs. Herein, L̂ is assumed to be correctly detected. respectively. Calculate the eigenvalue ηl (l = 0, 1, . . . , L̂ − 1)
Except for the operations in Step 4 that are real, all of the following matrix
other operations are complex. One complex MD operation
needs 6 floating-point operations (flops) and one complex AS Ξ = (U1H U1 )−1 U1H U2 . (50)
operation needs 2 flops. Therefore, the total number of flops The time delay of the lth path is given by
needed in this scheme is nearly
ξˆl = arg(ηl∗ )N/(2πD) (51)
3 2 2
16P +8KP +7P +8(P +N )LK−2(L+N )K+6P K+10P.
where arg(ηl∗ ) denotes the phase angle of ηl∗ in the interval
Besides these flops, our scheme also needs roughly [0, 2π).
O(P log2 (P ) + Llog2 (L)) comparisons. Step 5: After estimating the channel parameters, the channel
coefficients can also be estimated using (27) and (28).
Yang’s scheme needs to compute the inverse of a matrix.
B. Complexity of Yang’s Scheme There are many methods to calculate it. Among these methods,
Before analyzing the complexity, Yang’s scheme is first the computation via singular value decomposition (SVD) is the
reviewed. The pilot pattern used in Yang’s scheme is the same most numerically stable way [15]-[16]. We adopt this method
as the pattern used in our scheme. The steps of Yang’s scheme to compute the inverse of a matrix. The complexity of Yang’s
are briefly reviewed below. scheme is given below.

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LIU et al.: A SIMPLIFIED PARAMETRIC CHANNEL ESTIMATION SCHEME FOR OFDM SYSTEMS 5087

11
10
Step 1: Obtaining Ĥnp ,k needs P K MDs; forming R̃k LiYe K=20
needs (KΓ + K)(P − Γ + 1)2 MDs and KΓ(P − Γ + 1)2 10
LiYe K=100
Yang or Raghavendra K=20
ASs; computing R needs K(P − Γ + 1)3 + (P − Γ + 1)2 MDs 10
Yang or Raghavendra K=100
Proposed K=20
and (KP − KΓ + K − 1)(P − Γ + 1)2 ASs; hence, this step Proposed K=100
needs nearly K(P −Γ+1)3 +(KΓ+K +1)(P −Γ+1)2 +P K
9
10

MDs and (KP + K − 1)(P − Γ + 1)2 ASs.


Step 2: In light of [16], performing eigenvalue decomposi-

Flops
8
10

tion of R needs nearly 6(P − Γ + 1)3 MDs and 6(P − Γ + 1)3


ASs. 7
10
Step 3: Calculating g1 (
) needs nearly 2 MDs and P −
Γ −
+ 3 ASs; calculating g2 (
) needs nearly P − Γ −
6
10
ASs; calculating g3 (
) needs 4 MDs and 3 ASs; calculating
(g1 (
) − g2 (
)) K +g3 (
) needs 1 MDs and 2 ASs; hence, this 5
10
step needs nearly 7(P −Γ+1) MDs and (P −Γ)2 +9(P −Γ)+8 16 32 64
Number of Pilot Subcarriers
128 256

ASs. Fig. 2. Complexity Comparison


Step 4: The multiplication of U1H and U1 needs nearly
L (P − Γ) MDs and L2 (P − Γ − 1) ASs; taking the inverse
2

of U1H U1 through SVD decomposition needs nearly 7L3 + L should be larger than ξL−1 . Generally, we can let L be
L2 MDs and 7L3 − L2 ASs; the multiplication of (U1H U1 )−1 equal to the length G of the CP.
and U1H needs nearly L2 (P − Γ) MDs and L(L − 1)(P − The complexity of LiYe’s scheme is given below.
Γ) ASs; the multiplication of (U1H U1 )−1 U1H and U2 needs Step 1: nearly P K MDs.
nearly L2 (P − Γ) MDs and L2 (P − Γ − 1) ASs; performing
Step 2: The multiplication of Ḡ and Λ needs nearly N G
eigenvalue decomposition of Ξ needs nearly 6L3 MDs and
MDs; the multiplication of G̃H and Ĥk needs nearly KP 2
6L3 ASs; hence, this step needs nearly 13L3 +3L2 (P −Γ)+L2
MDs and KP (P − 1) ASs; the multiplication of ḠΛ and
MDs and 13L3 + 2L2 (P − Γ − 1) − L2 + L(L − 1)(P − Γ)
G̃H Ĥk needs nearly KN G MDs and KN (G−1) ASs; hence,
ASs. Herein, L̂ is assumed to be correctly detected.
this step needs nearly KP 2 + (K + 1)N GMDs and KP (P −
Step 5: nearly (P + N )LK MDs and (P + N )LK − (L +
1) + KN (G − 1)ASs.
N )K ASs.
The total number of flops needed in this scheme is nearly
Except for the operations in Step 3 that are real, all other
operations are complex. The total number of flops needed in 8KP 2 + 8KN G + 6N G + 4KP − 2KN.
this scheme is nearly
Fig. 2 depicts the complexity comparison of the above four
(6K +48)(P −Γ+1)3 +(6KΓ+2KP +8K +5)(P −Γ+1)2 schemes in the case of L = 6, N = 256, and G = 16. Γ = 10
+ (24L2 − 2L + 14)(P − Γ + 1) + 6P K + 104L3 − 24L2 + 2L is adopted in Yang’s scheme and Raghavendra’s scheme. The
horizontal axis is the number P of pilot subcarriers, and the
+ 8(P + N )LK − 2(L + N )K.
vertical axis is the flops. Based on the figure, the following
can be concluded.
C. Complexity of Raghavendra’s Scheme  The proposed scheme is more computationally efficient than
The steps of Raghavendra’s scheme [10] are the same as that Yang’s scheme and Raghavendra’s scheme.
of Yang’s scheme. Only hopping pilots are adopted to improve  The complexity gap between the proposed scheme and
the performance of Yang’s scheme. Hence, the complexity of Yang’s scheme (or Raghavendra’s scheme) increases with
Raghavendra’s scheme is the same as that of Yang’s scheme. P . This finding imply that the larger the number of pilot
subcarriers is, the more computationally efficient the proposed
D. Complexity of LiYe’s Scheme scheme is.
 The complexity of Yang’s scheme and Raghavendra’s
LiYe’s estimator is a two-dimensional minimum mean
scheme grows faster with K compared to the proposed
square error (MMSE) filter [2-3]. For fair comparison, only
scheme. This finding imply that the larger the frame lengths
frequency dimension interpolation is exploited to estimate the
are, the more computationally efficient the proposed scheme
channel. The steps of LiYe’s scheme are briefly shown below.
is.
Step 1: Estimate the channel Hk on the pilot subcarriers
 When P is small, the complexity of LiYe’s scheme is larger
using (6).
Step 2: When comb pilots shown in Fig. 1 are used, the than that of the other three parametric channel estimation
schemes, whereas when P is large, LiYe’s scheme is less
channel responses on all tones are estimated as
complex than the other three parametric channel estimation
Ĥk = ḠΛG̃H Ĥk (52) schemes. The complexity CT 1 of the parametric channel
√ estimation scheme includes two parts: the complexity CP 1 of
where Ḡ is composed of the 1, 2, . . . , P columns of N F ,
estimating the channel parameters and the complexity CR1
Λ is a P × P diagonal matrix whose pth diagonal entry is
 of estimating the channel responses. The complexity CT 2
1
P +Lσ2 p≤L of LiYe’s scheme has only one part, that is, the complexity
Λp = . (53)
0 others CR2 of estimating the channel responses. However, CR2 is

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5088 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 7, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2008

1 1

0.9 0.9

0.8 0.8

0.7 0.7
Yang (Γ=2)
0.6 0.6 Raghavendra (Γ=2)
Yang (Γ=2) Yang (Γ=10)
CPEP

CPEP
0.5 Raghavendra (Γ=2) 0.5 Raghavendra (Γ=10)
Yang (Γ=10) Yang (Γ=20)
0.4 Raghavendra (Γ=10) 0.4 Raghavendra (Γ=20)
Proposed Proposed
0.3 0.3

0.2 0.2

0.1 0.1

0 0
2 3 4 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 2 3 4 5 10 20 40 60 80 100
Frame Lengths Frame Lengths

Fig. 3. CPEP of various schemes versus frame lengths over a COST207 TU Fig. 5. CPEP of various schemes versus frame lengths over a COST207 RA
6-path channel 6-path channel

0 0
10 10
LiYe LiYe
Yang (Γ=10) Yang (Γ=10)
Raghavendra (Γ=10) Raghavendra (Γ=10)
Proposed Proposed
-1 -1
10 Theoretical Bound 10 Theoretical Bound

-2
-2 MSE
MSE

10 10

-3 -3
10 10

-4 -4
10 10
2 3 4 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 4550 2 3 4 5 10 20 40 60 80 100
Frame Lengths Frame Lengths

Fig. 4. MSE of various schemes and theoretical bound versus frame lengths Fig. 6. MSE of various schemes and theoretical bound versus frame lengths
over a COST207 TU 6-path channel over a COST207 RA 6-path channel

larger than CR1 since many nonexistent channel paths are that of LiYe’s scheme and the theoretical bound given by (40)
utilized in LiYe’s scheme to estimate the channel. When P are also plotted for comparison.
is small, CR1 is dominant in CT 1 , and CP 1 is so small that
CP 1 < CR2 − CR1 , hence, CT 1 = CP 1 + CR1 < CT 2 = CR2 ; A. Performance vs. Frame Lengths
when P is large, CP 1 rapidly increases and significantly
exceeds CR2 −CR1 , hence, CT 1 = CP 1 +CR1 > CT 2 = CR2 . We know that the frame lengths K affect the accuracy of
the correlation matrix R and further affect the performance
of channel parameter estimation. In this subsection, we give
VI. S IMULATION R ESULTS some simulation results to show the performance variation
A bandwidth of 10 MHz with a carrier frequency at 5 GHz of each scheme for varying frame lengths K. Figs. 3 and 4
is assumed for transmission. The total bandwidth is divided show the CPEP and the MSE of each scheme, respectively,
into 512 subbands. The number of CP samples is 64. The versus the frame lengths over a COST207 TU 6-path channel.
duration of the CP and that of each data block are 6.4 μs Figs. 5 and 6 show the CPEP and the MSE of each scheme,
and 51.2 μs, respectively. COST207 typical urban (TU) 6- respectively, versus the frame lengths over a COST207 RA
path channel with time delays [0, 0.2, 0.5, 1.6, 2.3, 5] μs and 6-path channel. In these figures, SNR = 20 dB is adopted.
COST207 rural area (RA) 6-path channel with time delays Since the performance of Yang’s scheme and Raghavendra’s
[0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5] μs [17] are considered, respectively. scheme varies with Γ, we plot several performance curves
The mobile speed is 30 km/h, and the corresponding Doppler corresponding to different Γ. As shown in Section V, P −Γ+1
frequency is 139 Hz. should be larger than the maximum multipath time delay ξL−1 .
We compare the proposed scheme and other schemes based In COST207 TU 6-path channel, the maximum multipath time
on two metrics, the CPEP and the MSE. In CPEP figures, delay ξL−1 is 50, whereas in COST207 RA 6-path channel, the
the performance of Yang’s scheme and that of Raghavendra’s maximum multipath time delay ξL−1 is 5. Therefore, in Fig.
scheme are given to evaluate the proposed scheme. In MSE 5, we can let Γ equal 20, but, in Fig. 3, this is not possible.
figures, besides the performance of the above two schemes, In addition, for the clarity of figures, in MSE figures, only

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LIU et al.: A SIMPLIFIED PARAMETRIC CHANNEL ESTIMATION SCHEME FOR OFDM SYSTEMS 5089

1 1

0.9 0.9

0.8 0.8

0.7 0.7

0.6 0.6 Yang (Γ=2)


Raghavendra (Γ=2)
CPEP

CPEP
0.5 0.5 Yang (Γ=10)
Raghavendra (Γ=10)
0.4 0.4 Yang (Γ=20)
Raghavendra (Γ=20)
0.3 0.3 Proposed
Yang (Γ=2)
0.2 Raghavendra (Γ=2) 0.2
Yang (Γ=10)
0.1 Raghavendra (Γ=10) 0.1
Proposed
0 0
-10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
SNR(dB) SNR(dB)

Fig. 7. CPEP of various schemes versus SNR over a COST207 TU 6-path Fig. 9. CPEP of various schemes versus SNR over a COST207 RA 6-path
channel channel
0
0 10
10
LiYe
LiYe
Yang (Γ=10)
Yang (Γ=10)
-1 Raghavendra (Γ=10)
-1 Raghavendra (Γ=10) 10
10 Proposed
Proposed
Theoretical Bound
Theoretical Bound
-2
-2 10
10

-3
-3 MSE 10
MSE

10

-4
-4 10
10

-5
-5 10
10

-6
-6 10
10 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
SNR(dB)
SNR(dB)

Fig. 8. MSE of various schemes and theoretical bound versus SNR over a Fig. 10. MSE of various schemes and theoretical bound versus SNR over a
COST207 TU 6-path channel COST207 RA 6-path channel

channel taps, LiYe’s scheme performs much worse than the


the performance of Yang’s scheme and Raghavendra’s scheme
other parametric channel estimation schemes. Herein, due to
with Γ = 10 is given.
not utilizing time dimension interpolation, the performance of
From Figs. 3 and 5, we can see that adopting hopping LiYe’s scheme does not vary with the frame lengths.
pilots (i.e., Raghavendra’s scheme) does not significantly
improve the performance of Yang’s scheme. In some cases
(e.g., Γ = 2), Raghavendra’s scheme performs better than B. Performance vs. SNR
Yang’s scheme. However, in some cases (e.g., Γ = 10), they In this subsection, we give the performance of the proposed
have similar performance. A significant shortcoming of Yang’s scheme and the other schemes versus the SNR when the frame
scheme and Raghavendra’s scheme is that their performance lengths are 100. Figs. 7 and 8 illustrate the CPEP and the MSE
does not improve monotonically as Γ increases. For example, of each scheme, respectively, versus the SNR over a COST207
in Fig. 5, Yang’s scheme and Raghavendra’s scheme with TU 6-path channel. Figs. 9 and 10 illustrate the CPEP and the
Γ = 20 perform worse than those with Γ = 10. Therefore, MSE of each scheme, respectively, versus the SNR over a
it can be deduced that, in practical systems, it is hard to COST207 RA 6-path channel.
configure a proper Γ. Our scheme does not have this problem. Figs. 7 and 9 show that all parametric channel estimation
Fig. 3 shows that the proposed scheme performs a little worse schemes can correctly estimate the channel parameters in
than Yang’s scheme and Raghavendra’s scheme with Γ = 10. the high SNR regime. However, in the low SNR regime,
However, in Fig. 5, it performs better than Yang’s scheme and the channel parameters cannot be correctly estimated because
Raghavendra’s scheme no matter which Γ is chosen. the channel paths with low power are overwhelmed by the
It is evident from Figs. 4 and 6 that once the channel param- noise. Simultaneously, we can observe that the performance
eters are accurately estimated, parametric channel estimation of the proposed scheme is better than that of Yang’s scheme
can attain the theoretical bound which only depends on the and Raghavendra’s scheme. Additionally, the fact that Yang’s
noise power, the number of channel taps and the number of scheme and Raghavendra’s scheme do not perform better
pilots. Since the signal energy is leaked to the nonexistent following the increase of Γ can also be observed from Figs.

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5090 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 7, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2008

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