Differential Spatial Modulation

Yuyang Bian, Xiang Cheng, Miaowen Wen, Liuqing Yang, H. Vincent Poor, Bingli Jiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


Spatial modulation (SM) is a newly emerging multiple-input-multiple-output technique that activates only a single antenna for transmission at any time instant and uses the index of the active antenna as an additional information-carrying mechanism. However, by its nature, SM decoding is coherent in that channel state information (CSI) is required at the receiver. In fact, coherent SM decoding can be very complex due to the heavily entangled channel estimation and symbol detection. In this correspondence, a differential SM scheme that completely bypasses any CSI at the transmitter or receiver, while preserving the single active transmit antenna property, is developed. The proposed scheme can be applied to any constant energy constellation such as phase-shift keying (PSK) and to systems with arbitrary numbers of transmit and receive antennas. Simulation results are presented under various system configurations. With the same spectral efficiency, the proposed scheme is capable of paying no more than 3 dB of signal-to-noise ratio penalty compared with coherent SM and outperforming the single-antenna differential PSK and differential space-time coding schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6879496
Pages (from-to)3262-3268
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Automotive Engineering


  • Channel estimation
  • differential modulation
  • multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO)
  • spatial modulation (SM)


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