Signaling with imperfect channel state information: A battery power efficiency comparison

Fengzhong Qu, Dongliang Duan, Liuqing Yang, Ananthram Swami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Due to complexity considerations, pulse-based modulations such as pulse position modulation (PPM) and on-off keying (OOK) are well suited for wireless sensor networks (WSNs) since they provide the possibility of carrier-less signaling and, more importantly, noncoherent reception bypassing channel estimation at the receiver. In this paper, we compare PPM and OOK in terms of their battery power efficiencies, using a nonlinear battery model, and under the same bandwidth occupancy, bandwidth efficiency and cutoff rate requirement. Cutoff rate is used as our comparison criterion because it leads to a tractable analysis that is often impossible through direct evaluation of random coding exponent or capacity. In addition, cutoff rate gives a universal expression for both coherent and noncoherent detection by simply setting various channel state information (CSI) qualities. Our system model integrates typical WSN transmission and reception modules with realistic nonlinear battery models. Circuit power consumption, dc-dc converter efficiency, and power amplifier efficiency are also taken into consideration. Our analytical results characterize the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)-cutoff rate-CSI region where PPM is more power efficient than OOK, and vice versa. We provide an interpretation in terms of the transmission range and symbol set size. Numerical results are also provided to verify the analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4486-4495
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received September 8, 2007; revised March 13, 2008. Published August 13, 2008 (projected). The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Dr. Hongbin Li. This work is in part supported by Office of Naval Research under Grant N00014-07-1-0868, and the Army Research Office under Contract W911NF-07-D-0001. Parts of the results in this paper have been presented at Military Communications Conference (MILCOM), Orlando, FL, October 29–31, 2007.


  • Battery power efficiency (BPE)
  • Imperfect channel state information (CSI)
  • On-off keying (OOK) modulation
  • Pulse-position modulation (PPM)
  • Wireless sensor networks (WSNs)


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