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Rate Bounds for MIMO Relay Channels May 25, 2009

Posted by flashbuzzer in Research.
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My first journal paper appeared in the Journal of Communications and Networks last June. You can find a pre-print on arXiv here.

I thought that I would list some of this paper’s strengths and weaknesses, which may provide some guidance for researchers in the area of wireless communications.

Strengths: We tackled an interesting open problem, which entailed determining the capacity of the full-duplex MIMO relay channel. The end result was a nice technical contribution, where we proposed two partial source-relay cooperation strategies that improved upon a previously proposed lower bound. An inherent advantage in performing information-theoretic research is that reviewers have to be more clever when attempting to reject your submissions, assuming that the stated results are correct. Also, Section 5 illustrates how intuition for technical contributions can be obtained via a few well-thought-out simulation studies.

Weaknesses: An inherent drawback of performing information-theoretic research is that a relatively high bar must be cleared in order to actually obtain the desired results. This issue manifested itself when 1) I made a technical error in the conference version of this paper and 2) I glossed over several critical details in the proofs of our results, which put a crimp in the review process. In retrospect, I should have obtained a more solid grasp of multiuser information theory before tackling this open problem. We were also unable to obtain a sharper outer bound, which limited our options for journal submission; for example, our paper would have been rejected by the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory.

This paper, in some sense, signaled my entry into the world of academia. On a side note, I would like to commend the JCN publication staff, as they did a superb job throughout the paper review and editing process. For interested researchers, the JCN does have the occasional compelling special issue; their guest editors also tend to be fairly well-known in their respective sub-fields.

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