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TSKS01 Digital Communication

Course program, autumn 2017



Separate pages

Introduction         Introduction
Time         Time
Teachers and Staff         Teachers and Staff
Literature         Literature
Examination         Examination
Lectures         Lectures
Tutorials         Tutorials

1. Introduction

TSKS01 Digital Communication is an introduction course to digital telecommunication; that is, to transfer digital information from a sender to a receiver. The communication channel distorts the transmitted signal and adds noise, which makes it challenging to transmit at high data rates. The course covers the basic principles of digital modulation, signal detection, and error control coding. The course is supposed to both provide a basic understanding of telecom techniques and prepare students for advanced telecommunication-related courses; for example, TSKS04 Digital Communication Continuation Course, TSBK02 Image and Audio Coding, TSDT74 Radio Communication, TSIN01 Information Networks, TSKS12 Modern Channel Coding, Inference and Learning, and TSKS14 Multiple Antenna Communication.

2. Time

Lectures: 12 × 2 h = 24 h
Tutorials: 12 × 2 h = 24 h
Laboratory Exercises: 2 × 4 h = 8 h

3. Teachers and Staff

The following people are engaged in this course.

Lecturer and examiner:
tel. 013-286732

Tutorials, laboratory exercises:
tel. 013-284675

Laboratory exercises:
tel. 013-282676

tel. 013-284423

All persons above are in Building B, top floor, Corridor A, between Entrances 27 and 29.

4. Literature


The main course literature are the following two compendia by Mikael Olofsson and Emil Björnson that you can buy/order at the LiU Service Center, Building A, entrance 19C:

  • Mikael Olofsson, Emil Björnson, Introduction to Digital Communication, August 2017. Compendium number A1671, price SEK 214.
  • Extra pages on Symbol Timing Recovery
  • Introduction to Digital Communication - Problems, August 2017. Compendium number A1672, price SEK 81.

Older versions: The course will use the new 2017 edition of the compendia. There are only minor changes as compared to the 2016 edition, so you can certainly use it instead. A few misprints have been corrected in the new edition. Please see the following errata for the 2016 edition. We have also added new tutorials problems in the new edition, but these can be downloaded from the course webpage from 2016.

We stongly discourage the use of other editions of the course compendia. One third of the course was changed in 2016 and this part is not covered by older versions of the compendia.

In case you have the following formula handbook, it might come in handy in certain tutorials. It is also allowed to bring to the exam. It can be bought at Bokakademin in Kårallen.

  • Mikael Olofsson: Tables and Formulas for Signal Theory (course material in Signal Theory).

If you are following TSDT14 Signal Theory in parallel with this course, you should already have one.

5. Examination

The examination consists of two parts, that are reported separately to LADOK:

  • TEN1 (5 hp), which is a traditional written exam, and
  • LAB1 (1 hp), which consists of two laboratory exercises that are examined by oral reporting before leaving the lab session.
5.1 Written Exam (TEN1)

The exam is a written exam. It consists of three parts: an introductory task, a question part, and a problem-solving part. These parts are described in detail below.

Allowed aids during the exam: Paper, pencil, rubber, pocket calculator, and the Tables & Formulas booklet from Signal Theory.

5.1.1 The introductory task

No points are given for the introductory task. It consists of two elementary subtasks, and you need to solve at least one of them correctly as partial fulfillment to pass the exam. It examines the following course aim:

  • The student should be able to reliably perform standard calculations regarding digital modulation and binary (linear) codes for error control coding.
5.1.2 The question part

The question part consists of two questions, where you are asked to elaborate on (or explain) topics from the course. These questions can give you up to 10 points. You need at least three points from this part of the exam as partial fulfillment to pass. This part examines the following course aims:

  • The student should be able, to some extent, to perform calculations for solutions to practical engineering problems that arise in communication
5.1.3 The problem-solving part

The problem part consists of four traditional problems to be solved. These problems can give you up to 20 points. You need at least six points from this part as partial fulfillment to pass the exam. This part examines the following course aims:

  • The student should be able to, with some precision, analyze and compare various choices of digital modulation methods and coding methods in terms of error probabilities, minimum distances, throughput, and related concepts.
  • The student should be able, to some extent, to perform calculations for solutions to practical engineering problems that arise in communication.
5.1.4 Grading

The grade on the exam, and also on the course, is based on the total number of points obtained in the question and problem parts.

Grading limits:

  • Grade 3 (pass): Passing the introductory task and 14 points.
  • Grade 4: Passing the introductory task and 19 points.
  • Grade 5: Passing the introductory task and 24 points.

You can get at most 30 points from the last two parts.

5.2 Laboratory exercises (LAB1)

The laboratory exercises examine the course aim

  • The student should be able, to some extent, to implement and evaluate communication systems of the kinds treated in the course.

The laboratory exercises take place during the second half of the course, i.e., in HT2. They will be based on a Lab-memo that will be made available at the course homepage.

6. Lectures

Please observe that the following lecture plan should be interpreted as an indication about approximately when different topics are treated. The lecture plan will be revised continuously over the course. The lecture slides are published here after each lecture.

Lecture Chapter Main topic Part
1 1 Introduction Course plan, applications, prerequisites.
--- Introduction How do we design efficient digital communication systems?
2 Repetition Basic results from signals and systems
3 Repetition Basic results on stochastic variables and processes. Noise modeling
2 4.1-4.4 Digital modulation AWGN channels and noise modeling. Pulse amplitude modulation and Nyquist criterion. Signals as vectors.
3 4.5-4.8 Digital modulation Geometrical interpretation of signals, representation of white Gaussian noise, examples of basis functions.
5.1-5.3 Detection in AWGN channels Detection of signals disturbed by white gaussian noise. Correlation receivers, matched filter receivers. ML detection.
4 5.4 Detection in AWGN channels Error probability, union bound, nearest-neighbour approximation.
6.1-6.3 Signal constellations Signal constellations: On-off-keying, PSK, FSK, QAM, OFDM. Symbol error probability - bit error probability.
5 5.4.5, 6.4-6.6, 5.5 Detection in AWGN channels Alternative bounds and approximations. Detection of individual bits. Soft detection. Briefly: MAP detection.
6-7 7 Detection in dispersive channels ML sequence estimation, Viterbi algorithm.
8-9 8.1-8.6, 8.8 Error-control coding Error correcting codes, dimension, redundancy, rate. Linear codes, repetition codes, Hamming codes, product codes, cyclic codes, performance.
10 8.7, 8.9, 8.10 Error-control coding Bounds and limits for block codes, basics of CRC codes and convolutional codes
11 10 Practical aspects Eye patterns. Synchronization: Timing recovery and Phase locked loops. (Download extra pages on Symbol Timing Recovery). Introduction to laboratory exercises
12 9 Link adaptation Link adaptation in packet transmission.

My recommendation is that you read the corresponding part of the course material through once before each lecture and prepare questions. If not, the lecture may not be as useful to you as it could be.

7. Tutorials

The tutorials are supposed to be opportunities for discussion about solving problems. Below is a list of suggested problems to treat at each tutorial. This list will be revised during the course. The tutorial problems are found in the compendium with problems. You should study those problems in advance in order to benefit the most from those tutorials.

Tutorial Main topic Part Problems
1 Repetition Random signals 1.1, 1.3, 1.4 1.6, 1.9 (1.2, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8)
Stochastic processes 2.1, 2.2
2 Digital modulation Signals as vectors 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7, 3.9 (3.6, 3.8)
3 Digital modulation Detection in AWGN channels 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.7, 4.11 (4.10)
4 Digital modulation Detection in AWGN channels 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.8, 4.9 (4.12, 4.13)
5 Digital modulation Modulation schemes 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.10 (5.7, 5.14)
6 Digital modulation Modulation schemes 5.8, 5.9, 5.11, 5.12, 5.15a (5.13, 5.15b)
7 Digital modulation Detection in dispersive channels 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 (6.5)
8 Error-control coding Analyzing block codes 7.1, 7.2, 7.5, 7.6, 7.8, 7.9
9 Error-control coding Structure of block codes 7.3, 7.4, 7.7, 7.10, 7.12 (7.11)
10 Error-control coding Convolutional codes, CRC codes 7.22, 7.23, 7.24, 7.25, 7.27 (7.26)
11 Practical aspects Link adaptation 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, Problem 7 from exam 2016-01-11
12 Mixed Previous exams: Problem 5 and 6 from 2015-01-12,
Problem 7 from 2015-08-22, Problem 5 from 2016-03-29.


Questions about the problems are welcome before the corresponding tutorial. Send them by email to your tutorial teacher . In that way you can help your teacher to plan the tutorials.

Page responsible: Emil Björnson
Last updated: 2017 08 23   21:39