As we continue to step forward into the new millennium with wireless technologies
leading the way in which we communicate, it becomes increasingly clear that the
dominant consideration in the design of systems employing such technologies will
be their ability to perform with adequate margin over a channel perturbed by a host
of impairments, not the least of which is multipath fading. This is not to imply
that multipath fading channels are something new to be reckoned with; indeed,
they have plagued many a system designer for well over 40 years, but rather to
serve as a motivation for their ever-increasing significance in the years to come.
At the same time, we do not in any way wish to diminish the importance of the
fading channel scenarios that occurred well prior to the wireless revolution since
indeed many of them still exist and will continue to exist in the future. In fact,
it is safe to say that whatever means are developed for dealing with the more
sophisticated wireless applications will no doubt also be useful for dealing with
the less complicated fading environments of the past.
With the above in mind, what better opportunity is there than now to write a
comprehensive book that will provide simple and intuitive solutions to problems
dealing with communication system performance evaluation over fading channels?
Indeed, as mentioned in the preface, the primary goal of this book is to present
a unified method for arriving at a set of tools that will allow the system designer
to compute the performance of a host of different digital communication systems
characterized by a variety of modulation/detection types and fading channel models.
By “set of tools” we mean a compendium of analytical results that not only allow
easy yet accurate performance evaluation but at the same time provide insight into
the manner in which this performance depends on the key system parameters. To
emphasize what was stated above, the set of tools that will be developed in this
book are useful not only for the wireless applications that are rapidly filling our
current technical journals but also to a host of others involving satellite, terrestrial,
and maritime communications.