A Factor Graph Approach to Joint OFDM Channel Estimation and Decoding in Impulsive Noise Environments

Nassar, Marcel, Schniter, Philip, Evans, Brian L.

arXiv.org Machine Learning 

We propose a novel receiver for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) transmissions in impulsive noise environments. Impulsive noise arises in many modern wireless and wireline communication systems, such as Wi-Fi and powerline communications, due to uncoordinated interference that is much stronger than thermal noise. We first show that the bit-error-rate optimal receiver jointly estimates the propagation channel coefficients, the noise impulses, the finite-alphabet symbols, and the unknown bits. We then propose a near-optimal yet computationally tractable approach to this joint estimation problem using loopy belief propagation. In particular, we merge the recently proposed "generalized approximate message passing" (GAMP) algorithm with the forward-backward algorithm and soft-input soft-output decoding using a "turbo" approach. Numerical results indicate that the proposed receiver drastically outperforms existing receivers under impulsive noise and comes within 1 dB of the matched-filter bound. Meanwhile, with N tones, the proposed factor-graph-based receiver has only O(N log N) complexity, and it can be parallelized.

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