During the last decades, wireless communications have evolved from a scarce technology, used by professionals for niche applications to a rapidly advancing research field. Ever increasing proliferation of smart devices, introduction of new emerging multimedia applications, together with an exponential rise in wireless data (multimedia) demand and usage is already creating a significant burden on existing wireless systems. Future wireless networks, with improved data rates, capacity, latency and quality of service (QoS) requirements, are expected to be the panacea of most of the current wireless systems’ problems. Interference management is critical towards this goal, whereas transceiver design and implementation is expected to play an important role.
This thesis investigates the influence of interference in wireless systems, revisits promising network- and user-side interference management solutions, as well as studies the impact of interference, caused by hardware imperfections, on the performance of the wireless link and propose countermeasures. The thesis is divided into two parts.
In the first part of the thesis, different types of interference and modern interference management solutions, which are expected to be used in the future wireless networks, are reviewed. Moreover, the influence of fading and interference, due to the existence of multiple possible users operating simultaneously in the same carrier frequency, on the spectrum sensing capability of a low-complexity energy detector (ED) is investigated. Analytical tools for the performance evaluation of this problem, i.e., the false alarm and detection probabilities, are derived, while the problem of appropriately selecting the energy detection threshold and the spectrum sensing duration, in order to satisfy a specific requirement, is discussed. The results reveal the detrimental effect of interference and the importance of taking into consideration the wireless environment, when evaluating the ED spectrum sensing performance and selecting the ED threshold. Finally, the offered analytical framework can be applied in cognitive radio systems, which are include in several wireless standards, and are expected to be employed in ultra-dense wireless environments.
The second part of this thesis investigates the impact of transceivers radio frequency (RF) front-end imperfections on the performance of the wireless system. RF imperfections generally result to signal distortion in single-carrier communications, while, in multi-carrier communications, they additionally cause interference. In both cases, RF imperfections may cause significant degradation to the quality of the wireless link, which becomes more severe as the data rates increases. Motivated by this, after briefly illustrating the influence of different types of RF imperfections, namely in-phase and quadrature imbalance (IQI), phase noise, and amplifiers non-linearities, the analytical framework for the evaluation and quantification of the effect of IQI on wireless communications in the context of cascaded fading channels, is derived. To this end, closed form expressions for the outage probability over N ∗Nakagami-m channels for both the cases of single- and multi-carrier communications, when at least one communication node suffers from IQI, are provided. To justify the importance and practical usefulness of the analysis, the offered expressions along with several deduced corresponding special cases are employed in the context of vehicle-to-vehicle communications. This study gives critical insight for the performance degradation in wireless communications, due to RF imperfections, and indicates the need of designing proper RF imperfections compensation techniques. Next, the impact of IQI and partial successive interference suppression (SIS) in the spectrum sensing of full duplex CR systems, for both the cases of single- and multi-carrier ED, is studied. In this context, closed form expressions are derived for the false alarm and detection probabilities, in the general case, where partial SIS and joint transmitter and receiver IQI are considered. The derived expressions can be used in order to properly select the energy detection threshold that maximizes the ED spectrum sensing capabilities. Additionally, the joint influence of fading and several RF impairments on energy detection based spectrum sensing for CR systems in multi-channel environments is investigated. After assuming flat-fading Rayleigh channels and complex Gaussian transmitted signals, as well as proving that, for a given channel realization, the joint effect of RF impairments can be modeled as a complex Gaussian process, closed form expressions for the probabilities of false alarm and detection are derived. Based on these expressions, the impact of RF impairments and fading on the spectrum sensing capability of the ED is studied. The results illustrated the degrading influence of RF imperfections on the ED spectrum sensing performance, which bring significant losses in the utilization of the spectrum. Furthermore, the impact of uncompensated IQI on orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) systems, in which a power allocation (PA) policy is employed in order to maximize each user’s capacity, is demonstrated. To overcome, the user’s capacity loss, due to IQI, a novel, low-complexity PA strategy is presented, which, by taking into account the levels of IQI of the served users, notably enhance each user’s achievable capacity. Finally, a novel low-complexity scheme, which improves the performance of single-antenna multi-carrier communication systems, suffering from IQI at the receiver, is proposed. The proposed scheme, which we refer to as I/Q imbalance self-interference coordination (IQSC), not only mitigate the detrimental effect of IQI, but, through appropriate signal processing, also coordinates the self-interference terms produced by IQI, in order to achieve second-order frequency diversity. In order to evaluate the performance of IQSC, closed form expressions for the resulting outage probability and symbol error rate are derived. The findings reveal that IQSC is a promising low-complexity technique for significantly increasing the reliability of low-cost devices that suffer from high levels of IQI.