Space modulation with CSI: Constellation design and performance evaluation

Mehdi Maleki, Hamid Reza Bahrami, Sajjad Beygi, Mohammadmehdi Kafashan, Nghi H. Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


In this paper, we investigate the effect of channel state information at the transmitter (CSIT) on the performance of a class of transmission schemes for multi-input-multi-output (MIMO) systems that can be collectively called space modulation (SMod) schemes. Space shift keying (SSK) is a simple example of SMod. In SMod, multiple antennas at the transmitter are employed to spatially modulate the information. The constellation vectors at the receiver are linear combinations of columns of the channel matrix, and therefore, the symbol error rate (SER) performance of the system highly depends on the Euclidean distance between each pair of these vectors. In this paper, we propose two novel methods to design the transmit vectors using CSIT such that the distance between each pair of constellation vectors at the receiver becomes larger, which, in turn, reduces the SER. Whereas in the first method we do not impose any constraint on the structure of the transmit vectors, in the second method, we confine the transmit vectors to have only one nonzero entry, and as such, it can be looked at as a modified SSK (MSSK) transmission scheme. This is to avoid interantenna synchronization (IAS) as only one transmit antenna is active at a time. Compared to SSK, the first method provides a significant performance improvement at the expense of increased complexity at the transmitter due to IAS. The second method provides an appealing SER improvement while keeping the complexity the same as that of SSK. Therefore, one can look at the second method as a modified version of SSK in which instead of transmitting a fixed symbol from one of the transmit antennas, in our proposed method, different transmit powers and phases are assigned to different transmit antennas. As acquiring full CSIT is difficult in some cases, we also consider the case of imperfect CSIT and derive alternative SMod transmission schemes in this case. By simulation, we show that the proposed SMod transmission schemes provide a significant performance improvement in terms of the SER in the presence of full or imperfect CSIT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6376256
Pages (from-to)1623-1634
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Channel state information (CSI)
  • constellation
  • multi-input-multi-output (MIMO)
  • space shift keying (SSK)
  • spatial modulation (SM)


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