Date of Award

Summer 2003

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Yeheskel Bar-Ness

Second Advisor

Alexander Haimovich

Third Advisor

Hongya Ge

Fourth Advisor

Ali Abdi

Fifth Advisor

Roy D. Yates


Multicarrier modulation and multiuser systems have generated a great deal of research during the last decade. Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) is a multicarrier modulation generated with the inverse Discrete Fourier Transform, which has been adopted for standards in wireless and wire-line communications. Multiuser wireless systems using multicarrier modulation suffer from the effects of dispersive fading channels, which create multi-access, inter-symbol, and inter-carrier interference (MAI, ISI, ICI). Nevertheless, channel dispersion also provides diversity, which can be exploited and has the potential to increase robustness against fading. Multiuser multi-carrier systems can be implemented using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), a flexible orthogonal multiplexing scheme that can implement time and frequency division multiplexing, and using multicarrier code division multiple access (MC-CDMA). Coding, interference cancellation, and resource sharing schemes to improve the performance of multiuser multicarrier systems on wireless channels were addressed in this dissertation.

Performance of multiple access schemes applied to a downlink multiuser wireless system was studied from an information theory perspective and from a more practical perspective. For time, frequency, and code division, implemented using OFDMA and MC-CDMA, the system outage capacity region was calculated for a correlated fading channel. It was found that receiver complexity determines which scheme offers larger capacity regions, and that OFDMA results in a better compromise between complexity and performance than MC-CDMA. From the more practical perspective of bit error rate, the effects of channel coding and interleaving were investigated. Results in terms of coding bounds as well as simulation were obtained, showing that OFDMAbased orthogonal multiple access schemes are more sensitive to the effectiveness of the code to provide diversity than non-orthogonal, MC-CDMA-based schemes.

While cellular multiuser schemes suffer mainly from MAI, OFDM-based broadcasting systems suffer from ICI, in particular when operating as a single frequency network (SFN). It was found that for SFN the performance of a conventional OFDM receiver rapidly degrades when transmitters have frequency synchronization errors. Several methods based on linear and decision-feedback ICI cancellation were proposed and evaluated, showing improved robustness against ICI.

System function characterization of time-variant dispersive channels is important for understanding their effects on single carrier and multicarrier modulation. Using time-frequency duality it was shown that MC-CDMA and DS-CDMA are strictly dual on dispersive channels. This property was used to derive optimal matched filter structures, and to determine a criterion for the selection of spreading sequences for both DS and MC CDMA. The analysis of multiple antenna systems provided a unified framework for the study of DS-CDMA and MC-CDMA on time and frequency dispersive channels, which can also be used to compare their performance.