Communication system design and analysis for asynchronous molecular timing channels

Nariman Farsad, Yonathan Murin, Weisi Guo, Chan Byoung Chae, Andrew W. Eckford, Andrea Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Two new asynchronous modulation techniques for molecular timing channels are proposed. One is based on modulating information on the time between two consecutive releases of indistinguishable information particles, and one is based on using distinguishable particles. For comparison, we consider the synchronized modulation scheme where information is encoded in the time of release and decoded from the time of arrival of particles. We show that all three modulation techniques result in a system that can be modeled as an additive noise channel, and we derive the expression for the probability density function of the noise. Next, we focus on binary communication and derive the associated optimal detection rules for each modulation. Since the noise associated with these modulations has an infinite variance, geometric power is used as a measure for the noise power, and we derive an expression for the geometric signal-to-noise ratio (G-SNR) for each modulation scheme. Numerical evaluations indicate that for these systems the bit error rate (BER) is constant at a given G-SNR, similar to the relation between BER and SNR in additive Gaussian noise channels. We also demonstrate that the asynchronous modulation based on two distinguishable particles can achieve a BER performance close to the synchronized modulation scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8561143
Pages (from-to)239-253
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological, and Multi-Scale Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Modeling and Simulation


  • Lévy distribution
  • Molecular communication
  • bit error rate
  • channel models
  • molecular timing channel
  • noise models
  • stable distributions


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