Joint Protocol-Channel Decoding for Robust Frame Synchronization

Abstract : In many communication standards, several variable length frames generated by some source coder may be aggregated at a given layer of the protocol stack in the same burst to be transmitted. This decreases the signalization overhead and increases the throughput. However, after a transmission over a noisy channel, Frame Synchronization (FS), i.e., recovery of the aggregated frames, may become difficult due to errors affecting the bursts. This paper proposes several robust FS methods making use of the redundancy present in the protocol stack combined with channel soft information. A trellis-based FS algorithm is proposed first. Its efficiency is obtained at the cost of a large delay, since the whole burst must be available before beginning the processing, which might not be possible in some applications. Thus, a low-delay and reduced-complexity Sliding Window-based variant is introduced. Second, an improved version of an on-the-fly three-state automaton for FS is proposed. Bayesian hypothesis testing is performed to retrieve the correct FS. These methods are compared in the context of the WiMAX MAC layer when bursts are transmitted over Rayleigh fading channels.
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Usman Ali, Michel Kieffer, Pierre Duhamel. Joint Protocol-Channel Decoding for Robust Frame Synchronization. IEEE Transactions on Communications, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2012, 60 (8), pp.2326-2335. ⟨10.1109/TCOMM.2012.061212.110418⟩. ⟨hal-00721507⟩

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