Many recent works in the literature declare that Orthogonal Time-Frequency-Space (OTFS) modulation is a promising candidate technology for high mobility communication scenarios. However, a truly fair comparison with its direct concurrent and widely used Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation has not yet been provided. In this paper, we present such a fair comparison between the two digital modulation formats in terms of achievable communication rate. In this context, we explicitly address the problem of channel estimation by considering, for each modulation, a pilot scheme and the associated channel estimation algorithm specifically adapted to sparse channels in the Doppler-delay domain, targeting the optimization of the pilot overhead to maximize the overall achievable rate. In our achievable rate analysis we consider also the presence of a guard interval or cyclic prefix. The results are supported by numerical simulations, for different time-frequency selective channels including multiple scattering components and under non-perfect channel state information resulting from the considered pilot schemes. This work does not claim to establish in a fully definitive way which is the best modulation format, since such choice depends on many other features which are outside the scope of this work (e.g., legacy, intellectual property, ease and know-how for implementation, and many other criteria). Nevertheless, we provide the foundations to properly compare multi-carrier communication systems in terms of their information theoretic achievable rate potential, within meaningful and sensible assumptions on the channel models and on the receiver complexity (both in terms of channel estimation and in terms of soft-output symbol detection).
OTFS vs. OFDM in the Presence of Sparsity: A Fair Comparison / Gaudio, L.; Colavolpe, G.. - In: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 1536-1276. - (2021), pp. 1-1. [10.1109/TWC.2021.3129975]
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