Adaptive coded modulation for fading channels

Andrea J. Goldsmith, Soon Ghee Chua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

731 Scopus citations


We apply coset codes to adaptive modulation in fading channels. Adaptive modulation is a powerful technique to improve the energy efficiency and increase the data rate over a fading channel. Coset codes are a natural choice to use with adaptive modulation since the channel coding and modulation designs are separable. Therefore, trellis and lattice codes designed for additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channels can be superimposed on adaptive modulation for fading channels, with the same approximate coding gains. We first describe the methodology for combining coset codes with a general class of adaptive modulation techniques. We then apply this methodology to a spectrally efficient adaptive M-ary quadrature amplitude modulation (MQAM) to obtain trellis-coded adaptive MQAM. We present analytical and simulation results for this design which show an effective coding gain of 3 dB relative to uncoded adaptive MQAM for a simple four-state trellis code, and an effective 3.6-dB coding gain for an eight-state trellis code. More complex trellis codes are shown to achieve higher gains. We also compare the performance of trellis-coded adaptive MQAM to that of coded modulation with built-in time diversity and fixed-rate modulation. The adaptive method exhibits a power savings of up to 20 dB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Adaptive coded modulation
  • Coset codes
  • Fading channels
  • Spectral efficiency


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