On the average rate performance of hybrid-ARQ in quasi-static fading channels

  • Authors:
  • Cong Shen;Tie Liu;Michael P. Fitz

  • Affiliations:
  • Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA;Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX;Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, CA and Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

  • Venue:
  • IEEE Transactions on Communications
  • Year:
  • 2009

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The problem of efficient communication over a scalar quasi-static fading channel is considered. The single-layer transmission (SLT) and multi-layer transmission (MLT) schemes do not require any knowledge of the channel state information (CSI) at the transmitter, but their performance is also limited. It is shown that using Hybrid-ARQ (HARQ) can significantly improve the average rate performance, provided that the rate assignment between different ARQ rounds is carefully chosen. The average rate performance of several HARQ schemes is optimized and compared. In addition, optimal power allocation among retransmissions is derived and shown to further increase the average rate. This power allocation gain is remarkable at low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), but becomes negligible at high SNR. Comparison of two different types of limited feedback, sequential feedback (ARQ) and one-shot feedback (quantized CSI), is made from several perspectives. Although the optimization problem is formed with respect to the average rate, simulation results give a comprehensive comparison under different metrics, including average rate, outage probability, and the combination of both. Substantial performance improvement is observed with even one ARQ retransmission in all simulations. More importantly, this gain appears to be robust with respect to the fading distributions.