Symbol Error Rates of Maximum-Likelihood Detector: Convex/Concave Behavior and Applications

Sergey Loyka, Victoria Kostina, Francois Gagnon

Convexity/concavity properties of symbol error rates (SER) of the maximum likelihood detector operating in the AWGN channel (non-fading and fading) are studied. Generic conditions are identified under which the SER is a convex/concave function of the SNR. Universal bounds for the SER 1st and 2nd derivatives are obtained, which hold for arbitrary constellations and are tight for some of them. Applications of the results are discussed, which include optimum power allocation in spatial multiplexing systems, optimum power/time sharing to decrease or increase (jamming problem) error rate, and implication for fading channels.

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