Integrative, Hybrid and Complex Systems Youjian Liu, University of Colorado at Boulder Xinming Huang, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Zhongfeng Wang, Oregon State University Collaborative Research: A Universal Cooperative Communication System-on-Chip
Intellectual Merit: Events such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina have made disaster-tolerant and interoperable communications a national priority. A disaster-tolerant communication network must work despite interference among users as arises when first responders converge at a disaster site. Conventional interference avoidance methods offer diminishing capacity per user as the user density increases. Cooperative communication can solve the problem by taking advantage of the interference, thus saving total network transmit power. However, the performance of existing cooperative communication algorithms vary significantly with the channel statistics for which they are designed and, also, waste received mutual information when the channel is better than the transmission rate or suffer an outage when the channel cannot support the transmission rate. This research explores the design of a cooperative communication system, composed of single or multiple antenna nodes, that works across varying channel conditions in the sense that outage is eliminated and received mutual information is not wasted. The goal of the project is to take an information theoretic solution all the way to a single-chip implementation to advance communication and coding, as well as system-on-chip (SoC) implementation. The project tackles research problems that are at the intersection of three areas: (i) communication theory, (ii) very large-scale integration (VLSI) signal processing, and (iii) system-on-chip architecture and design.
Broader Impact: The project advances interdisciplinary communication system research and design. The system-on-chip realization has the potential for application in future fixed or mobile ad-hoc wireless networks with the capability to work under strong interference as required by first responders, potentially strengthening national security and emergency preparedness. The proposed project provides an educational opportunity to expose students to the diverse aspects of communication system theory and practice. It will also involve undergraduate students and students from underrepresented groups through an integrated research and education program.