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# Proakis, J.G.

Channel Equalization
Mobile Communications Handbook
Ed. Suthan S. Suthersan
Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC, 1999
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
Channel Equal i zati on
John G. Proaki s
Northeastern University
5.1 Characterization of Channel Distortion
5.2 Characterization of Intersymbol Interference
5.3 Linear Equalizers
5.4 Decision-Feedback Equalizer
5.5 Maximum-Likelihood SequenceDetection
5.6 Conclusions
DeningTerms
References
Further Information
5.1 Characterizationof Channel Distortion
Many communication channels, including telephone channels, and some radio channels, may be
generally characterized asband-limited linear lters. Consequently, such channelsaredescribed by
their frequency responseC(f ), which may beexpressed as
C(f ) = A(f )e
j(f )
(5.1)
whereA(f ) iscalledtheamplituderesponseand(f ) iscalledthephaseresponse. Another character-
isticthat issometimesused in placeof thephaseresponseistheenvelopedelayor groupdelay, which
isdened as
(f ) =
1
2
d(f )
df
(5.2)
A channel issaid to benondistortingor ideal if, within thebandwidth W occupied by thetrans-
mitted signal, A(f ) = const and (f ) isalinear function of frequency [ or theenvelopedelay (f )
= const] . On theother hand, if A(f ) and (f ) arenot constant within thebandwidth occupied by
thetransmittedsignal, thechannel distortsthesignal. If A(f ) isnot constant, thedistortion iscalled
amplitudedistortion and if (f ) is not constant, the distortion on the transmitted signal is called
delaydistortion.
Asaresult of theamplitudeanddelaydistortioncausedbythenonideal channel frequencyresponse
characteristicC(f ), asuccessionof pulsestransmittedthroughthechannel at ratescomparabletothe
bandwidth W aresmeared to thepoint that they areno longer distinguishableaswell-dened pulses
at thereceivingterminal. Instead, they overlap and, thus, wehaveintersymbol interference(ISI).
Asan exampleof theeffect of delay distortion on atransmitted pulse, Fig. 5.1(a) illustratesaband-
limitedpulsehavingzerosperiodicallyspacedin timeat pointslabeled T , 2T , etc. If information
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
isconveyed by thepulseamplitude, asin pulseamplitudemodulation (PAM), for example, then one
can transmit asequenceof pulses, each of which hasapeak at theperiodiczerosof theother pulses.
Transmission of thepulsethroughachannel modeledashavingalinear envelopedelaycharacteristic
(f ) [ quadraticphase(f )] , however, resultsin thereceived pulseshown in Fig. 5.1(b) havingzero
crossingsthat arenolonger periodicallyspaced. Consequentlyasequenceof successivepulseswould
besmeared into oneanother, and thepeaksof thepulseswould no longer bedistinguishable. Thus,
thechannel delay distortion resultsin intersymbol interference. Aswill bediscussed in thischapter,
it ispossibleto compensatefor thenonideal frequency responsecharacteristicof thechannel by use
of alter or equalizer at thedemodulator. Figure5.1(c) illustratestheoutput of alinear equalizer
that compensatesfor thelinear distortion in thechannel.
Theextent of theintersymbol interferenceon atelephonechannel can beappreciatedbyobserving
afrequency responsecharacteristic of thechannel. Figure5.2 illustratesthemeasured averageam-
plitudeand delay asafunction of frequency for amedium-range(180725mi) telephonechannel of
theswitchedtelecommunicationsnetwork asgiven byDuffyandTratcher, 1971. Weobservethat the
responseof theaveragechannel isshown in Fig. 5.3. Itsduration isabout 10 ms. In comparison,
thetransmitted symbol rateson such achannel may beof theorder of 2500 pulsesor symbolsper
second. Hence, intersymbol interferencemight extend over 2030symbols.
Besides telephone channels, there are other physical channels that exhibit some form of time
dispersion and, thus, introduceintersymbol interference. Radio channels, such asshort-waveiono-
spheric propagation (HF), tropospheric scatter, and mobile cellular radio are three examples of
time-dispersivewirelesschannels. In thesechannels, timedispersion and, hence, intersymbol inter-
ferenceistheresult of multiplepropagation pathswith different path delays. Thenumber of paths
areusually called time-variant multipath channels. Thetime-variant multipath conditionsgiverise
to awidevariety of frequency responsecharacteristics. Consequently, thefrequency responsechar-
acterization that isusedfor telephonechannelsisinappropriatefor time-variant multipathchannels.
in brief, is a two-dimensional representation of theaveragereceived signal power as a function of
relativetimedelay and Doppler frequency (seeProakis[4] ).
For illustrativepurposes, ascatteringfunctionmeasuredonamedium-range(150mi) tropospheric
scatter channel is shown in Fig. 5.4. The total time duration (multipath spread) of the channel
frequency is a littleless than 1 Hz on thestrongest path and somewhat larger on theother paths.
Typically, if oneistransmittingat arateof 10
7
of 0.7swill result in intersymbol interferencethat spansabout seven symbols.
5.2 Characterizationof Intersymbol Interference
In adigital communication system, channel distortion causesintersymbol interference, asillustrated
in the preceding section. In this section, we shall present a model that characterizes the ISI. The
digital modulation methodsto which thistreatment appliesarePAM, phase-shift keying(PSK) and
may beexpressed as
s(t ) = v
c
(t ) cos 2f
c
t v
s
(t ) sin 2f
c
t
= Re
_
v(t ) e
j2f
c
t
_
(5.3)
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FIGURE5.1: Effect of channel distortion: (a) channel input, (b) channel output, (c) equalizer output.
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
FIGURE5.2: Averageamplitudeand delay characteristicsof medium-rangetelephonechannel.
wherev(t ) = v
c
(t ) + jv
s
(t ) iscalled theequivalent low-passsignal, f
c
isthecarrier frequency, and
Re[ ] denotesthereal part of thequantity in brackets.
In general, theequivalent low-passsignal isexpressed as
v(t ) =

n=0
I
n
g
T
(t nT ) (5.4)
where g
T
(t ) is the basic pulse shape that is selected to control the spectral characteristics of the
transmitted signal, {I
n
} the sequence of transmitted information symbols selected from a signal
constellation consistingof M points, and T thesignal interval (1/T isthesymbol rate). For PAM,
PSK, andQAM, thevaluesof I
n
arepointsfromM-arysignal constellations. Figure5.5illustratesthe
signal constellationsfor thecaseof M = 8 signal points. Notethat for PAM, thesignal constellation
is one dimensional. Hence, the equivalent low-pass signal v(t ) is real valued, i.e., v
s
(t ) = 0 and
v
c
(t ) = v(t ). For M-ary(M > 2) PSKandQAM, thesignal constellationsaretwodimensional and,
hence, v(t ) iscomplex valued.
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FIGURE5.3: Impulseresponseof averagechannel with amplitudeand delay shown in Fig.5.2.
FIGURE5.4: Scatteringfunction of amedium-rangetroposphericscatter channel.
Thesignal s(t ) istransmitted over abandpasschannel that may becharacterized by an equivalent
low-pass frequency response C(f ). Consequently, the equivalent low-pass received signal can be
represented as
r(t ) =

n=0
I
n
h(t nT ) +w(t ) (5.5)
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7 5 3 1 1 3 5 7
000 001 011 010 110 111 101 100
100
000
001
011
010
110
111
101
2
(1, 1)
2
2
(1 + 3, 0)
(a) PAM
(b) PSK
(c) QAM
FIGURE5.5: M = 8 signal constellationsfor PAM, PSK, and QAM.
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
whereh(t ) = g
T
(t ) c(t ), and c(t ) istheimpulseresponseof theequivalent low-passchannel, the
asterisk denotesconvolution, and w(t ) representstheadditivenoisein thechannel.
To characterize the ISI, suppose that the received signal is passed through a receiving lter and
then sampled at therate1/T samples/s. In general, theoptimumlter at thereceiver ismatched to
thereceived signal pulseh(t ). Hence, thefrequency responseof thislter isH

(f ). Wedenoteits
output as
y(t ) =

n=0
I
n
x(t nT ) +(t ) (5.6)
wherex(t ) isthesignal pulseresponseof thereceivinglter, i.e., X(f ) = H(f )H

(f ) = |H(f )|
2
,
and (t ) istheresponseof thereceiving lter to thenoisew(t ). Now, if y(t ) issampled at times
t = kT, k = 0, 1, 2, . . . , wehave
y(kT ) y
k
=

n=0
I
n
x(kT nT ) +(kT )
=

n=0
I
n
x
kn
+
k
, k = 0, 1, . . . (5.7)
Thesamplevalues{y
k
} can beexpressed as
y
k
= x
0
_
_
_
_
I
k
+
1
x
0

n=0
n=k
I
n
x
kn
_
_
_
_
+
k
, k = 0, 1, . . . (5.8)
Thetermx
0
isan arbitraryscalefactor, which wearbitrarilyset equal tounityfor convenience. Then
y
k
= I
k
+

n=0
n=k
I
n
x
kn
+
k
(5.9)
ThetermI
k
representsthedesired information symbol at thekth samplinginstant, theterm

n=0
n=k
I
n
x
kn
(5.10)
representstheISI, and
k
For PAMsignals, wecandisplaythereceivedsignal y(t ) onthevertical input withthehorizontal sweep
rateset at 1/T . Theresultingoscilloscopedisplay iscalled an eyepatternbecauseof itsresemblance
to thehuman eye. For example, Fig. 5.6 illustratestheeyepatternsfor binary and four-level PAM
modulation. Theeffect of ISI isto causetheeyeto close, thereby reducing themargin for additive
noiseto causeerrors. Figure5.7 graphically illustratestheeffect of ISI in reducingtheopeningof a
binary eye. Notethat intersymbol interferencedistortstheposition of thezero crossingsand causes
areduction in theeyeopening. Thus, it causesthesystem to bemoresensitiveto asynchronization
error.
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BINARY QUATERNARY
FIGURE5.6: Examplesof eyepatternsfor binary and quaternary amplitudeshift keying(or PAM).
Sensitivity
to timing
error
Optimum sampling
time
Distortion of
zero crossings
Peak distortion
Noise margin
FIGURE5.7: Effect of intersymbol interferenceon eyeopening.
For PSKand QAM it iscustomary to display theeyepattern asatwo-dimensional scatter diagram
illustrating the sampled values {y
k
} that represent the decision variables at the sampling instants.
Figure5.8illustratessuchaneyepatternfor an8-PSKsignal. Intheabsenceof intersymbol interference
and noise, the superimposed signals at the sampling instants would result in eight distinct points
corresponding to theeight transmitted signal phases. Intersymbol interferenceand noiseresult in
k
} from thedesired 8-PSK signal. Thelarger theintersymbol
signal points.
In practice, thetransmitter and receiver ltersaredesigned for zero ISI at thedesired sampling
timest = kT . Thus, if G
T
(f ) isthefrequency responseof thetransmitter lter and G
R
(f ) isthe
frequencyresponseof thereceiver lter, then theproduct G
T
(f ) G
R
(f ) isdesignedtoyieldzeroISI.
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FIGURE5.8: Two-dimensional digital eyepatterns.
For example, theproduct G
T
(f ) G
R
(f ) may beselected as
G
T
(f )G
R
(f ) = X
rc
(f ) (5.11)
whereX
rc
(f ) istheraised-cosinefrequency responsecharacteristic, dened as
X
rc
(f ) =
_

_
T, 0 |f | (1 )/2T
T
2
1 +cos
T

_
|f |
1
2T
_
,
1
2T
|f |
1 +
2T
0, |f | >
1 +
2T
(5.12)
where iscalled therolloff factor, which takesvaluesin therange0 1, and 1/T isthesymbol
rate. Thefrequency responseX
rc
(f ) isillustrated in Fig. 5.9(a) for = 0, 1/2, and 1. Notethat
when = 0, X
rc
(f ) reducesto an ideal brick wall physically nonrealizablefrequency responsewith
bandwidth occupancy 1/2T . Thefrequency 1/2T iscalled theNyquist frequency. For > 0, the
bandwidth occupied by thedesired signal X
rc
(f ) beyond theNyquist frequency 1/2T iscalled the
excessbandwidth, and isusually expressed asa percentageof theNyquist frequency. For example,
when = 1/2, theexcessbandwidth is50%and when = 1, theexcessbandwidth is100%. The
signal pulsex
rc
(t ) havingtheraised-cosinespectrumis
x
rc
(t ) =
sin t /T
t /T
cos (t /T )
1 4
2
t
2
/T
2
(5.13)
Figure5.9(b) illustratesx
rc
(t ) for = 0, 1/2, and 1. Notethat x
rc
(t ) = 1 at t = 0 and x
rc
(t ) = 0
at t = kT, k = 1, 2, . . . . Consequently, at thesamplinginstantst = kT, k = 0, thereisno ISI
from adjacent symbolswhen thereisno channel distortion. In thepresenceof channel distortion,
however, theISI given byEq. (5.10) isnolonger zero, and achannel equalizerisneeded tominimize
itseffect on systemperformance.
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= 0; 0.5
= 1
= 0 = 0.5
2T 0

1
3T 4T
= 1
x (t)
rc
(a)
X (f)
rc
= 0
= 0.5
= 1
f
1
2T
1
T
0 1
2T

1
T
(b)
T
FIGURE5.9: Pulseshavingaraised cosinespectrum.
5.3 Linear Equalizers
Themost common typeof channel equalizer used in practicetoreduceSI isalinear transversal lter
i
}, asshown in Fig. 5.10.
On channelswhosefrequency responsecharacteristicsareunknown, but timeinvariant, wemay
parametersremainxedduringthetransmissionof data. Suchequalizersarecalledpresetequalizers.
On the other hand, adaptiveequalizersupdate their parameters on a periodic basis during the
transmission of dataand, thus, they arecapableof trackingaslowly time-varyingchannel response.
First, let us consider the design characteristics for a linear equalizer from a frequency domain
viewpoint. Figure5.11 showsablock diagram of asystem that employsalinear lter asachannel
equalizer.
The demodulator consists of a receiver lter with frequency responseG
R
(f ) in cascade with a
channel equalizinglter that hasafrequencyresponseG
E
(f ). Asindicatedin theprecedingsection,
R
(f ) ismatchedtothetransmitter response, i.e., G
R
(f ) = G

T
(f ), and
theproduct G
R
(f )G
T
(f ) isusually designed sothat thereiszeroISI at thesamplinginstantsas, for
example, when G
R
(t )G
T
(f ) = X
rc
(f ).
For thesystemshown in Fig. 5.11, in whichthechannel frequencyresponseisnot ideal, thedesired
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FIGURE5.10: Linear transversal lter.
FIGURE5.11: Block diagramof asystemwith an equalizer.
condition for zero ISI is
G
T
(f )C(f )G
R
(f )G
E
(f ) = X
rc
(f ) (5.14)
whereX
rc
(f ) isthedesired raised-cosinespectral characteristic. SinceG
T
(f )G
R
(f ) = X
rc
(f ) by
design, thefrequency responseof theequalizer that compensatesfor thechannel distortion is
G
E
(f ) =
1
C(f )
=
1
|C(f )|
e
j
c
(f )
(5.15)
Thus, the amplitude response of the equalizer is |G
E
(f )| = 1/|C(f )| and its phase response is

E
(f ) =
c
(f ). In this case, the equalizer is said to be theinversechannel lter to the channel
response.
Wenotethat theinversechannel lter completely eliminatesISI caused by thechannel. Sinceit
forces the ISI to be zero at the sampling instants t = kT, k = 0, 1, . . . , the equalizer is called a
zero-forcingequalizer. Hence, theinput to thedetector issimply
z
k
= I
k
+
k
, k = 0, 1, . . . (5.16)
where
k
k
isthedesired symbol.
In practice, theISI causedbychannel distortion isusuallylimitedtoanitenumber of symbolson
either sideof thedesiredsymbol. Hence, thenumber of termsthat constitutetheISI inthesummation
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given by Eq. (5.10) isnite. Asaconsequence, in practicethechannel equalizer isimplemented asa
nitedurationimpulseresponse(FIR) lter, or transversal lter, withadjustabletapcoefcients{c
n
},
asillustrated in Fig. 5.10. Thetimedelay between adjacent tapsmay beselected aslargeasT , the
symbol interval, in whichcasetheFIRequalizer iscalledasymbol-spacedequalizer. In thiscase, the
input totheequalizer isthesampled sequencegiven by Eq. (5.7). Wenotethat when thesymbol rate
1/T < 2W, however, frequenciesin thereceived signal abovethefoldingfrequency 1/T arealiased
intofrequenciesbelow1/T . In thiscase, theequalizer compensatesfor thealiasedchannel-distorted
signal.
On theother hand, when thetimedelay between adjacent tapsisselectedsuchthat 1/ 2W >
1/T , no aliasingoccursand, hence, theinversechannel equalizer compensatesfor thetruechannel
distortion. Since < T , thechannel equalizer issaid to havefractionallyspacedtapsand it iscalled
afractionallyspacedequalizer. In practice, isoften selected as = T/2. Noticethat, in thiscase,
thesamplingrateat theoutput of thelter G
R
(f ) is2/T .
Theimpulseresponseof theFIRequalizer is
g
E
(t ) =
N

n=N
c
n
(t n) (5.17)
and thecorrespondingfrequency responseis
G
E
(f ) =
N

n=N
c
n
e
j2f n
(5.18)
where {c
n
} are the (2N + 1) equalizer coefcients and N is chosen sufciently large so that the
equalizer spans the length of the ISI, i.e., 2N + 1 L, where L is the number of signal samples
spanned by theISI. SinceX(f ) = G
T
(f )C(f )G
R
(f ) and x(t ) isthesignal pulsecorrespondingto
X(f ), then theequalized output signal pulseis
q(t ) =
N

n=N
c
n
x(t n) (5.19)
Thezero-forcingcondition can nowbeapplied to thesamplesof q(t ) taken at timest = mT . These
samplesare
q(mT ) =
N

n=N
c
n
x(mT n), m = 0, 1, . . . , N (5.20)
Sincethereare2N + 1 equalizer coefcients, wecan control only 2N + 1 sampled valuesof q(t ).
Specically, wemay forcetheconditions
q(mT ) =
N

n=N
c
n
x(mT n) =
_
1, m = 0
0, m = 1, 2, . . . , N
(5.21)
which may beexpressed in matrix formasXc = q, whereX isa(2N +1) (2N +1) matrix with
elements{x(mT n)}, c isthe(2N + 1) coefcient vector and q isthe(2N + 1) column vector
with onenonzero element. Thus, weobtain aset of 2N + 1 linear equationsfor thecoefcientsof
thezero-forcingequalizer.
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Weshouldemphasizethat theFIRzero-forcingequalizer doesnot completelyeliminateISI because
it hasanitelength. AsN isincreased, however, theresidual ISI can bereduced, and in thelimit as
N , theISI iscompletely eliminated.
EXAMPLE5.1:
Consider achannel distorted pulsex(t ), at theinput to theequalizer, given by theexpression
x(t ) =
1
1 +
_
2t
T
_
2
where1/T isthesymbol rate. Thepulseissampled at therate2/T and equalized by azero-forcing
equalizer. Determinethecoefcientsof ave-tap zero-forcingequalizer.
Solution5.1 AccordingtoEq. (5.21), thezero-forcingequalizer must satisfy theequations
q(mT ) =
2

n=2
c
n
x (mT nT/2) =
_
1, m = 0
0, m = 1, 2
Thematrix X with elementsx(mT nT/2) isgiven as
X =
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
1
5
1
10
1
17
1
26
1
37
1
1
2
1
5
1
10
1
17
1
5
1
2
1
1
2
1
5
1
17
1
10
1
5
1
2
1
1
37
1
26
1
17
1
10
1
5
_

_
(5.22)
Thecoefcient vector c and thevector q aregiven as
c =
_
_
_
_
_
_
c
2
c
1
c
0
c
1
c
2
_

_
q =
_
_
_
_
_
_
0
0
1
0
0
_

_
(5.23)
Then, thelinear equationsXc = q can besolved by invertingthematrix X. Thus, weobtain
c
opt
= X
1
q =
_
_
_
_
_
_
2.2
4.9
3
4.9
2.2
_

_
(5.24)
Onedrawback to thezero-forcingequalizer isthat it ignoresthepresenceof additivenoise. Asa
consequence, itsusemay result in signicant noiseenhancement. Thisiseasily seen by notingthat
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in a frequency range where C(f ) is small, the channel equalizer G
E
(f ) = 1/C(f ) compensates
by placing alargegain in that frequency range. Consequently, thenoisein that frequency rangeis
greatly enhanced. An alternativeisto relax thezero ISI condition and select thechannel equalizer
characteristic such that thecombined power in theresidual ISI and theadditivenoiseat theoutput
of theequalizer isminimized. A channel equalizer that isoptimized based on theminimum mean
squareerror (MMSE) criterion accomplishesthedesired goal.
To elaborate, let usconsider thenoisecorrupted output of theFIRequalizer, which is
z(t ) =
N

n=N
c
n
y(t n) (5.25)
wherey(t ) istheinput to theequalizer, given by Eq. (5.6). Theequalizer output issampled at times
t = mT . Thus, weobtain
z(mT ) =
N

n=N
c
n
y(mT n) (5.26)
Thedesired responseat theoutput of theequalizer at t = mT isthetransmitted symbol I
m
. The
error isdenedasthedifferencebetweenI
m
andz(mT ). Then, themeansquareerror (MSE) between
theactual output samplez(mT ) and thedesired valuesI
m
is
MSE = E |z(mT ) I
m
|
2
= E
_
_

n=N
c
n
y(mT n) I
m

2
_
_
=
N

n=N
N

k=N
c
n
c
k
R
Y
(n k)
2
N

k=N
c
k
R
IY
(k) +E
_
|I
m
|
2
_
(5.27)
wherethecorrelationsaredened as
R
Y
(n k) = E
_
y

(mT n)y(mT k)
_
R
IY
(k) = E
_
y(mT k)I

m
_
(5.28)
and theexpectation istaken with respect to therandominformation sequence{I
m
noise.
TheminimumMSEsolution isobtained by differentiatingEq. (5.27) with respect to theequalizer
coefcients{c
n
}. Thus, weobtain thenecessary conditionsfor theminimumMSEas
N

n=N
c
n
R
Y
(n k) = R
IY
(k), k = 0, 1, 2, . . . , N (5.29)
Thesearethe(2N +1) linear equationsfor theequalizer coefcients. In contrast tothezero-forcing
solution alreadydescribed, theseequationsdepend on thestatistical properties(theautocorrelation)
of thenoiseaswell astheISI through theautocorrelation R
Y
(n).
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Inpractice, theautocorrelationmatrixR
Y
(n) andthecrosscorrelationvector R
IY
(n) areunknown
apriori. Thesecorrelation sequencescan beestimated, however, by transmitting atest signal over
thechannel and usingthetime-averageestimates

R
Y
(n) =
1
K
K

k=1
y

(kT n)y(kT )

R
IY
(n) =
1
K
K

k=1
y(kT n)I

k
(5.30)
in placeof theensembleaveragesto solvefor theequalizer coefcientsgiven by Eq. (5.29).
Wehaveshownthat thetapcoefcientsof alinear equalizer canbedeterminedbysolvingaset of linear
equations. In thezero-forcing optimization criterion, thelinear equationsaregiven by Eq. (5.21).
On the other hand, if the optimization criterion is based on minimizing the MSE, the optimum
equalizer coefcientsaredetermined by solvingtheset of linear equationsgiven by Eq. (5.29).
In both cases, wemay expresstheset of linear equationsin thegeneral matrix form
Bc = d (5.31)
whereB isa(2N +1) (2N +1) matrix, c isacolumn vector representingthe2N +1 equalizer
coefcients, and d a(2N +1)-dimensional column vector. Thesolution of Eq. (5.31) yields
c
opt
= B
1
d (5.32)
In practical implementationsof equalizers, thesolution of Eq. (5.31) for theoptimumcoefcient
vector isusuallyobtainedbyaniterativeprocedurethat avoidstheexplicit computationof theinverse
of thematrix B. Thesimplest iterativeprocedureisthemethod of steepest descent, in which one
begins by choosing arbitrarily the coefcient vector c, say c
0
. This initial choice of coefcients
correspondsto apoint on thecriterion function that isbeing optimized. For example, in thecase
of theMSEcriterion, theinitial guessc
0
(2N+1)-dimensional spaceof coefcients. Thegradient vector, denedasg
0
, whichisthederivative
of theMSEwithrespect tothe2N+1 lter coefcients, isthencomputedat thispoint onthecriterion
surface, and each tap coefcient ischanged in thedirection oppositeto itscorresponding gradient
component. The change in the jth tap coefcient is proportional to the size of the jth gradient
component.
For example, thegradient vector denoted asg
k
, for theMSEcriterion, found bytakingthederiva-
tivesof theMSEwith respect to each of the2N +1 coefcients, is
g
k
= Bc
k
d, k = 0, 1, 2, . . . (5.33)
Then thecoefcient vector c
k
isupdated accordingto therelation
c
k+1
= c
k
g
k
(5.34)
where isthestep-sizeparameter for theiterativeprocedure. To ensureconvergenceof theiterative
procedure, ischosentobeasmall positivenumber. Insuchacase, thegradient vector g
k
converges
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
toward zero, i.e., g
k
0ask , and thecoefcient vector c
k
c
opt
asillustrated in Fig. 5.12
based on two-dimensional optimization. In general, convergence of the equalizer tap coefcients
to c
opt
cannot beattained in a nitenumber of iterations with thesteepest-descent method. The
optimumsolution c
opt
, however, can beapproachedascloselyasdesiredin afewhundrediterations.
In digital communication systemsthat employ channel equalizers, each iteration correspondsto a
timeinterval for sendingonesymbol and, hence, afewhundred iterationsto achieveconvergenceto
c
opt
correspondsto afraction of asecond.
Adaptive channel equalization is required for channels whose characteristics change with time.
In such a case, theISI varieswith time. Thechannel equalizer must track such timevariationsin
the channel response and adapt its coefcients to reduce the ISI. In the context of the preceding
discussion, theoptimumcoefcient vector c
opt
varieswith timedueto timevariationsin thematrix
B and, for thecaseof theMSEcriterion, timevariationsin thevector d. Under theseconditions, the
iterativemethod described can bemodied to useestimatesof thegradient components. Thus, the
algorithmfor adjustingtheequalizer tap coefcientsmay beexpressed as
c
k+1
= c
k
g
k
(5.35)
where g
k
denotes an estimate of the gradient vector g
k
and c
k
denotes the estimate of the tap
coefcient vector.
In thecaseof theMSEcriterion, thegradient vector g
k
given by Eq. (5.33) may also beexpressed
as
g
k
= E
_
e
k
y

k
_
An estimate g
k
of thegradient vector at thekth iteration iscomputed as
g
k
= e
k
y

k
(5.36)
wheree
k
denotesthedifferencebetween thedesiredoutput fromtheequalizer at thekth timeinstant
and the actual output z(kT ), and y
k
denotes the column vector of 2N + 1 received signal values
contained in theequalizer at timeinstant k. Theerror signal e
k
isexpressed as
e
k
= I
k
z
k
(5.37)
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
wherez
k
= z(kT ) istheequalizer output given by Eq. (5.26) and I
k
isthedesired symbol. Hence,
by substituting Eq. (5.36) into Eq. (5.35), weobtain theadaptivealgorithm for optimizing thetap
coefcients(based on theMSEcriterion) as
c
k+1
= c
k
+e
k
y

k
(5.38)
Since an estimate of the gradient vector is used in Eq. (5.38) the algorithm is called a stochastic
A block diagram of an adaptiveequalizer that adaptsitstap coefcientsaccordingto Eq. (5.38) is
illustrated in Fig. 5.13. Notethat thedifferencebetween thedesired output I
k
and theactual output
z
k
fromtheequalizer isusedtoformtheerror signal e
k
. Thiserror isscaledbythestep-sizeparameter
, and thescaled error signal e
k
multipliesthereceived signal values{y(kT n)} at the2N +1
taps. Theproductse
k
y

## (kT n) at the(2N + 1) tapsarethen added to thepreviousvaluesof

thetap coefcientstoobtain theupdated tap coefcients, accordingtoEq. (5.38). Thiscomputation
isrepeatedaseach newsymbol isreceived. Thus, theequalizer coefcientsareupdatedat thesymbol
rate.

+

Input
+
Output
Detector
{y }
k
{e }
k
c
N+1 c
N
c
1
c
0
c
N
{z }
k
{I }
k
FIGURE5.13: Linear adaptiveequalizer based on theMSEcriterion.
{I
m
} over thechannel. At thedemodulator, theequalizer employstheknown sequenceto adjust its
coefcients. Upon initial adjustment, the adaptive equalizer switches from a trainingmodeto a
decision-directedmode, in which case the decisions at the output of the detector are sufciently
reliableso that theerror signal isformed by computingthedifferencebetween thedetector output
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
and theequalizer output, i.e.,
e
k
=

I
k
z
k
(5.39)
where

I
k
istheoutput of thedetector. In general, decision errorsat theoutput of thedetector occur
infrequently and, consequently, such errors have little effect on the performance of the tracking
algorithmgiven by Eq. (5.38).
Aruleof thumbfor selectingthestep-sizeparameter soastoensureconvergenceandgoodtracking
capabilitiesin slowly varyingchannelsis
=
1
5(2N +1)P
R
(5.40)
whereP
R
signal (seeProakis[ 4] ).
Theconvergencecharacteristic of thestochastic gradient algorithm in Eq. (5.38) isillustrated in
Fig. 5.14. Thesegraphswereobtained from acomputer simulation of an 11-tap adaptiveequalizer
operatingon achannel with arather modest amount of ISI. Theinput signal-plus-noisepower P
R
was normalized to unity. The rule of thumb given in Eq. (5.40) for selecting the step size gives
= 0.018. Theeffect of making too largeisillustrated by thelargejumpsin MSEasshown for
= 0.115. As isdecreased, theconvergenceisslowed somewhat, but alower MSEisachieved,
indicatingthat theestimated coefcientsarecloser to c
opt
.
FIGURE5.14: Initial convergencecharacteristicsof theLMSalgorithmwith different step sizes.
Althoughwehavedescribedin somedetail theoperation of an adaptiveequalizer that isoptimized
on thebasisof theMSEcriterion, theoperation of an adaptiveequalizer based on thezero-forcing
method isvery similar. Themajor differenceliesin themethod for estimatingthegradient vectors
g
k
at each iteration. A block diagramof an adaptivezero-forcingequalizer isshown in Fig. 5.15.
For moredetailson thetap coefcient updatemethod for azero-forcing equalizer, thereader is
referred to thepapersby Lucky [ 2, 3] , and thetext by Proakis[ 4] .
c 1999by CRCPressLLC

Input
Output
Detector
y
k I
k
~

k
T T T T
~ ~

5.4 Decision-Feedback Equalizer
Thelinear lter equalizersdescribed in theprecedingsection arevery effectiveon channels, such as
wirelinetelephonechannels, wheretheISI isnot severe. Theseverity of theISI isdirectly related
to thespectral characteristicsand not necessarily to thetimespan of theISI. For example, consider
theISI resulting from thetwo channels that areillustrated in Fig. 5.16. Thetimespan for theISI
in channel A is5 symbol intervalson each sideof thedesired signal component, which hasavalue
of 0.72. On theother hand, thetimespan for theISI in channel Bisonesymbol interval on each
sideof thedesired signal component, which hasavalueof 0.815. Theenergy of thetotal responseis
normalized to unity for both channels.
In spite of the shorter ISI span, channel B results in more severe ISI. This is evidenced in the
frequency responsecharacteristicsof thesechannels, which areshown in Fig. 5.17. Weobservethat
channel Bhasaspectral null [ thefrequency responseC(f ) = 0 for somefrequenciesin theband
|f | W] at f = 1/2T , whereas this does not occur in the case of channel A. Consequently, a
linear equalizer will introducealargegain in itsfrequency responseto compensatefor thechannel
null. Thus, the noise in channel B will be enhanced much more than in channel A. This implies
that theperformanceof thelinear equalizer for channel B will besufciently poorer than that for
channel A. This fact is borne out by the computer simulation results for the performance of the
two linear equalizersshown in Fig. 5.18. Hence, thebasic limitation of alinear equalizer isthat it
performs poorly on channels having spectral nulls. Such channels areoften encountered in radio
communications, such asionospheric transmission at frequenciesbelow30 MHz and mobileradio
channels, such asthoseused for cellular radio communications.
A decision-feedbackequalizer(DFE) isanonlinear equalizer that employspreviousdecisionsto
eliminate the ISI caused by previously detected symbols on the current symbol to be detected. A
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FIGURE5.16: Two channelswith ISI.
simple block diagram for a DFEis shown in Fig. 5.19. The DFEconsists of two lters. The rst
lter is called a feedforwardlter and it is generally a fractionally spaced FIRlter with adjustable
tap coefcients. Thislter isidentical in form to thelinear equalizer already described. Itsinput is
thereceived ltered signal y(t ) sampled at someratethat is a multipleof thesymbol rate, e.g., at
rate2/T . Thesecond lter isafeedbacklter. It isimplemented asan FIRlter with symbol-spaced
tapshaving adjustablecoefcients. Itsinput istheset of previously detected symbols. Theoutput
of thefeedback lter issubtracted fromtheoutput of thefeedforward lter to formtheinput to the
detector. Thus, wehave
z
m
=
0

n=N
1
c
n
y(mT n)
N
2

n=1
b
n

I
mn
(5.41)
where{c
n
} and{b
n

I
mn
, n = 1, 2, . . . , N
2
arethepreviously detected symbols, N
1
+1 isthelength of thefeedforward
lter, and N
2
is the length of the feedback lter. Based on the input z
m
, the detector determines
which of thepossibletransmittedsymbolsisclosest in distancetotheinput signal I
m
. Thus, it makes
its decision and outputs

I
m
. What makes theDFEnonlinear is thenonlinear characteristic of the
detector that providestheinput to thefeedback lter.
Thetap coefcientsof thefeedforward and feedback ltersareselected to optimizesomedesired
performance measure. For mathematical simplicity, the MSE criterion is usually applied, and a
the block diagram of an adaptive DFE whose tap coefcients are adjusted by means of the LMS
stochastic gradient algorithm. Figure 5.21 illustrates the probability of error performance of the
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
FIGURE5.17: Amplitudespectrafor (a) channel A shown in Fig.5.16(a) and (b) channel Bshown
in Fig.5.16(b).
DFE, obtained by computer simulation, for binary PAM transmission over channel B. Thegain in
performancerelativeto that of alinear equalizer isclearly evident.
Weshould mention that decision errorsfrom thedetector that arefed to thefeedback lter have
asmall effect on theperformanceof theDFE. In general, asmall lossin performanceof oneto two
decibelsispossibleat error ratesbelow10
2
, asillustrated in Fig. 5.21, but thedecision errorsin the
feedback ltersarenot catastrophic.
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FIGURE5.18: Error-rateperformanceof linear MSEequalizer.
FIGURE5.19: Block diagramof DFE.
5.5 Maximum-LikelihoodSequenceDetection
AlthoughtheDFEoutperformsalinear equalizer, it isnot theoptimumequalizer fromtheviewpoint
of minimizing theprobability of error in thedetection of theinformation sequence {I
k
} from the
k
} given in Eq. (5.5). In a digital communication system that transmits
information over achannel that causesISI, theoptimumdetector isamaximum-likelihood symbol
sequencedetector whichproducesat itsoutput themost probablesymbol sequence{

I
k
} for thegiven
k
}. That is, the detector nds the sequence {

I
k
} that maximizes the
likelihoodfunction
({I
k
}) = ln p
_
{y
k
}

{I
k
}
_
(5.42)
wherep({y
k
} | {I
k
}) isthejoint probability of thereceived sequence{y
k
} conditioned on {I
k
}. The
sequenceof symbols{

I
k
} that maximizesthisjoint conditional probability iscalled themaximum-
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
likelihoodsequencedetector.
An algorithm that implements maximum-likelihood sequence detection (MLSD) is the Viterbi
algorithm, which wasoriginally devised for decodingconvolutional codes. For adescription of this
algorithm in thecontext of sequencedetection in thepresenceof ISI, thereader is referred to the
paper by Forney [ 1] and thetext by Proakis[ 4] .
Themajor drawback of MLSD for channelswith ISI istheexponential behavior in computational
complexity asafunction of thespan of theISI. Consequently, MLSD ispractical only for channels
where the ISI spans only a few symbols and the ISI is severe, in the sense that it causes a severe
Fig. 5.22illustratestheerror probabilityperformanceof theViterbi algorithmfor abinaryPAMsignal
transmitted through channel B (seeFig. 5.16). For purposesof comparison, wealso illustratethe
probability of error for aDFE. Both resultswereobtained by computer simulation. Weobservethat
theperformanceof themaximum likelihood sequencedetector isabout 4.5 dB better than that of
theDFEat an error probability of 10
4
. Hence, thisisoneexamplewheretheML sequencedetector
providesasignicant performancegain on achannel with arelatively short ISI span.
5.6 Conclusions
Channel equalizersarewidely used in digital communication systemsto mitigatetheeffectsof ISI
causedbychannel distortion. Linear equalizersarewidelyusedfor high-speedmodemsthat transmit
dataover telephonechannels. For wireless(radio) transmission, suchasinmobilecellular communi-
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
FIGURE5.21: Performanceof DFEwith and without error propagation.
FIGURE5.22: Comparison of performancebetween MLSEand decision-feedback equalization for
channel Bof Fig.5.16.
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
cationsand interofcecommunications, themultipath propagation of thetransmitted signal results
in severeISI. Such channelsrequiremorepowerful equalizerstocombat thesevereISI. Thedecision-
feedback equalizer and theMLSD aretwo nonlinear channel equalizers that aresuitablefor radio
channelswith severeISI.
DeningTerms
Adaptiveequalizer: A channel equalizer whose parameters are updated automatically and
signal.
theuseof thedetected symbolsat theoutput of thedetector.
Decision-feedbackequalizer(DFE): An adaptiveequalizer that consistsof afeedforwardlter
andafeedback lter, wherethelatter isfedwithpreviouslydetectedsymbolsthat areused
toeliminatetheintersymbol interferenceduetothetail in thechannel impulseresponse.
Fractionallyspacedequalizer: A tapped-delay line channel equalizer in which the delay be-
tween adjacent tapsislessthan theduration of atransmitted symbol.
ted symbolscaused by channel distortion in datatransmission.
Maximum-likelihoodsequencedetector: A detector for estimating the most probable se-
quenceof datasymbolsby maximizingthelikelihood function of thereceived signal.
Presetequalizer: A channel equalizer whose parameters are xed (time-invariant) during
transmission of data.
equalizer based on theuseof (noise-corrupted) estimatesof thegradients.
Symbol-spacedequalizer: A tapped-delay linechannel equalizer in which thedelay between
adjacent tapsisequal to theduration of atransmitted symbol.
Trainingmode: Modefor adjustment of theequalizer coefcientsbased on thetransmission
of aknown sequenceof transmitted symbols.
inateintersymbol interferencein asequenceof transmitted datasymbols.
References
[ 1] Forney, G.D., Jr., Maximum-likelihood sequenceestimation of digital sequencesin thepresence
of intersymbol interference. IEEETrans. Inform. Theory, IT-18, 363378, May 1972.
[ 2] Lucky, R.W., Automaticequalizationfor digital communications. Bell Syst.Tech.J.,44, 547588,
Apr. 1965.
[ 3] Lucky, R.W., Techniquesfor adaptiveequalization of digital communication. Bell Syst. Tech. J.,
45, 255286, Feb. 1966.
[ 4] Proakis, J.G., Digital Communications, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill, NewYork, 1995.
c 1999by CRCPressLLC
Further Information
For acomprehensivetreatment of adaptiveequalization techniquesand their performancecharac-
teristics, thereader may refer to thebook by Proakis[ 4] . Thetwo papersby Lucky [ 2, 3] , provide
a treatment on linear equalizers based on the zero-forcing criterion. Additional information on
decision-feedback equalizersmay befound in thejournal papersAn AdaptiveDecision-Feedback
Equalizer byD.A. George, R.R. Bowen, and J.R. Storey, IEEETransactionsonCommunicationsTech-
nology, Vol. COM-19, pp. 281293, June1971, and Feedback Equalization for Fading Dispersive
Channels by P. Monsen, IEEE Transactionson Information Theory, Vol. IT-17, pp. 5664, Jan-
uary 1971. A through treatment of channel equalization based on maximum-likelihood sequence
detection isgiven in thepaper by Forney [ 1] .
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