Signal Processing for Communications


The subtitle of this course could be “Multi-Antenna Interference Handling for Multi-User Multi-Cell Systems”. Indeed the main focus is on the exploitation of multiple antennas to (more easily) handle inter-symbol and inter-user interference. Key concepts here are beamforming, MIMO (Multi-Input Multi-Output), Multi-User MIMO, and Massive MIMO.

After a basic course in digital communications, a wide range of issues arises in the treatment of physical layer procedures in a wide variety of transmission technologies such as xDSL, gigabit Ethernet, powerline systems, DAB/DVB broadcasting and optical communication systems to name a few. These issues involve e.g. multi-rate echo cancellation for full duplex operation on twisted pair telephone lines, synchronization and equalization techniques in a variety of single and multi-carrier systems, impulsive noise in powerline and automotive systems etc. Even just wireless communications encompass a wide range of systems such as satellite, underwater, near-field communications, fixed wireless access, private systems, sensors, IoT, etc. and a wide range of aspects such as relaying, full duplex radio, cognitive radio, location estimation etc.

Whereas these systems will be briefly mentioned, the main focus will be on cellular wireless and the use of multiple antennas at receivers and transmitters. Spatial filtering, spatiotemporal filtering, and multiuser detection for CDMA are all treated in a unified fashion.

Teaching and Learning Methods: Lectures, Exercise and Lab sessions (groups of 1-2 students depending on size of class).

Course Policies: Attendance of Lab sessions is mandatory (25% of final grade).

  • Book: VAN TREES H.L. Detection, Estimation and Modulation Theory Part IV: Optimum Array Processing. 2nd edition, Wiley-Interscience, 2001, 1472p.
  • Book: GOLDSMITH A. Wireless Communications. Cambridge University Press, 2003, 674p.
  • Book: TSE D., VISWANATH P. Fundamentals of Wireless Communication. Cambridge University Press, 2004, 583p.
  • Book: OESTGES C., CLERCKX B. MIMO Wireless Networks: Channels, Techniques and Standards for Multi-Antenna, Multi-User and Multi-Cell Systems. Academic Press, 2nd edition, 2013, 776p.

The slides of the lectures are available.


Desirable: “Digital communications” (DigiCom), “Statistical Signal Processing” (SSP) (though required concepts are reviewed and the course is self-contained).

The course is complementary to “Mobile communication techniques” (MobCom) and “Advanced topics in wireless communications” (ATWireless) and together with these courses forms a whole.

  • Overview of wireline and wireless communication systems and particularities, review of linear modulation, beamforming basics, channel models
  • Spatial Receiver Structures (TDMA)
  • Spatio-Temporal Receiver Structures (TDMA)
  • Spatio-Temporal Interference Cancellation (TDMA)
  • CDMA Multi-User Detection/Interference Cancellation
  • Downlink Processing, OFDM, SDMA, Transmit Diversity, MIMO Spatial Multiplexing
  • Channel Estimation in OFDM systems
  • Multi-cell multi-user systems: massive MIMO, interference alignment, utility optimization, partial channel knowledge at the transmitter (CSIT)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand and apply multi-antenna processing for beamforming, equalization and multi-user interference suppression
  • Master the key concepts of MIMO and Multi-User MIMO
  • Understand the basics of CDMA systems, channel estimation and utility optimization

Nb hours: 42.00


  • Lab reports (25% of the final grade),
  • Final Exam (75% of the final grade) - 2 hours written exam - all documents authorized.