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BER for BPSK in ISI channel with MMSE equalization

by Krishna Sankar on January 24, 2010

In the past, we had discussed BER for BPSK in flat fading Rayleigh channel and BER for BPSK in a frequency selective channel using Zero Forcing Equalization. In this post, lets discuss a frequency selective channel with the use of Minimum Mean Square Error (MMSE) equalization to compensate for the inter symbol interference (ISI). For simplifying the discussion, we will assume that there is no pulse shaping at the transmitter. The ISI channel is assumed to be a fixed 3 tap channel.

Transmit symbol

Let the transmit symbols be modeled as

, where

is the symbol period,

is the symbol to transmit,

is the transmit filter,

is the symbol index and

is the output waveform.

For simplicity, lets assume that the transmit pulse shaping filter is not present, i.e .

So the transmit symbols can be modeled by the discrete time equivalent

Figure: Transmit symbols

Channel Model

Lets us assume the channel to be a 3 tap multipath channel with spacing i.e.

3 tap multipath channel

Figure: Channel model (3 tap multipath)

In addition to the multipath channel, the received signal gets corrupted by noise , typically referred to as Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN). The values of the noise follows the Gaussian probability distribution function, with

mean and

variance .

The received signal is

, where

is the convolution operator.

MMSE Equalization

In Minimum Mean Square Error solution, for each sample time we would want to find a set of coefficients which minimizes the error between the desired signal and the equalized signal , i.e.



is the error at sample time ,

is column vector of dimension storing the equalization coefficients,

is column vector of dimension storing the received samples,

is the number of taps in the equalizer,

is the cross correlation between received sequence and input sequence ,

is the cross correlation between received sequence and input sequence and

is the auto-correlation of the received sequence.

For solving the Minimum Mean Square Error (MMSE) criterion, we need to find a set of coefficients which minimizes .

Differentiation with respect to and equating to 0,




Note :

a) is the variance of the input signal

b) (as there is no correlation between input signal and noise)

Simulation Model

Click here to download: Matlab/Octave script for computing BER for BPSK with 3 tap ISI channel with MMSE Equalization

The attached Matlab/Octave simulation script performs the following:

(a) Generation of random binary sequence

(b) BPSK modulation i.e bit 0 represented as -1 and bit 1 represented as +1

(c) Convolving the symbols with a 3-tap fixed fading channel.

(d) Adding White Gaussian Noise

(e) Computing the MMSE and ZF equalization filter at the receiver (with 7 taps in length)

(f) Demodulation and conversion to bits

(g) Counting the number of bit errors

(h) Repeating for multiple values of Eb/No

The simulation results are as shown in the plot below.BER plot for BPSK in a 3 tap ISI channel with MMSE equalizer

Figure: BER plot for BPSK in a 3 tap ISI channel with MMSE equalizer


1. Can see around 0.5dB gain with using MMSE equalizer


Complex to Real : Tutorial 26 – Filters, analog, digital and adaptive equalization

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Chiraag December 22, 2014 at 11:08 pm

While reading about MMSE equalizers I frequently came across Wiener-Hopf equations. Why have you not used it here?


Chiraag December 22, 2014 at 10:59 pm

I’m trying to write a code for pilot based channel estimation (using MMSE). Can you give a few pointers? Which books would you suggest?
Thank You


Akhand November 24, 2014 at 12:29 am

Thank you sir for your help..
sir i want some healthy material on How to design Adaptive Filters….although i know the basics of LMS RLS algorithm but hot to use them in Equalizer training and tracking mode …
thank you ..


JIajun August 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm


Thank you for your Model of Matlab.

But I found a problem about this model. If I use ‘randn’ to generate a 3-tap multipath FIR filter, the result of BER performance is very bad.

Could you tell me what happen in this model?

Many thanks


Aditya August 2, 2014 at 12:33 am

Hello Krishna,
Thanks a ton for your efforts. Your website is of immense help.
I could implement FBMC using a 10 tap impulse channel and MMSE for equalization. But could you give me tips on how to equalize rayleigh faded channel for FBMC system? The same code does not work :(
Awaiting your response


Hasan Amca July 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

I was wandering if there is an easy way of making the channel taps variable in
BER for BPSK in ISI channel with MMSE equalization matlab program.


jaspreet March 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

thks for codes
plz help how we use ofdm with this


Krishna Sankar March 30, 2013 at 8:12 am
Mauro de Freitas December 24, 2012 at 2:27 am

Hello Krishna,
first congratulations, you have a great site.
I have one question. When you use toeplitz([hAutoCorr([3:end]) zeros(1,2*K+1-L)], [ hAutoCorr([3:end]) zeros(1,2*K+1-L) ]), why is hAutoCorr and not just ht? I could not see it in your reference. Thanks.


Krishna Sankar December 25, 2012 at 5:50 am

@Mauro: hAutoCorr is the Ryy in the explanation. This is the autocorrelation of the received signal y, which reduces to the autocorrelation of the channel added with noise variance.


Mauro de Freitas December 27, 2012 at 3:11 am

Helps a lot, but, for example, if my channel vector size is 10 instead of 3.
e.g.: ht = [0.2 0.9 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7];
How can i change the code? And how about the delay in yFilt_mmse = yFilt_mmse(K+2:end)?



Krishna Sankar December 27, 2012 at 6:10 am

@Mauro: Try playing with the filter delay with zero noise. Should be able to give some pointers


bala December 5, 2012 at 1:59 am

hello sir,hope ur fine ,I tried to plot the theoritical value in your (BER for BPSK in ISI channel with MMSE equalization ) but the theoritical value and simulated value dosent match with each other .is there anything i should do with the code ??.
and one more doubt sir . in ofdm system using qam modulation when plotted with ebno vs ber,the ebno value for 16 qam is less then the 64 qam.which modulation performs well ????


Krishna Sankar December 8, 2012 at 4:07 am
mepal October 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm

do you have code for mmse-dfe equalizer?


mepal October 30, 2012 at 4:34 am

can you guide me how to implement one. when i see the matlab help it gives a bunch of algorithms that can be used to implement one using equalize obj. I want to implement the most straight forward DFE equalizer.


Krishna Sankar November 2, 2012 at 6:38 am

@mepal: Will write up a post soon


Krishna Sankar November 2, 2012 at 6:39 am

@mepal: Will do a write up soon


Krishna Sankar November 2, 2012 at 6:38 am

@mepal: Had done a brief coding in the post, but did not do enough to make it into an article. One of the TODO’s….


mepal November 8, 2012 at 12:44 am

waiting for ur new post !!!


Krishna Sankar November 12, 2012 at 7:03 am

@mepal: Me too ;-)


anuj September 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm

sir i want your help for BER for BPSK in ISI channel with ML equalization.


Krishna Sankar September 4, 2012 at 5:04 am

@anuj: Will add soon


berie August 31, 2012 at 11:27 am

what can i do to equalize channel which has relatively longer tap than the equalizer taps ? thanks in advance


Krishna Sankar September 4, 2012 at 5:05 am

@berie: If the channel is relatively longer than the equalizer taps, then there can be residual inter symbol interference. Possibly a decision feedback equalizer can help to remove some of the interference.


mahmood May 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

hi …..do you know everybody that can help me write code in matlab for audio watermarking.


Basco May 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm

How about if I consider the undesired user as the undesired symbol in this case above.
what do you think about that?


Krishna Sankar May 8, 2012 at 5:35 am

@Basco: Possible. It all depends on how you model the system which you wish to analyze


Basco April 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for the simulation, very helpful.
I would like to know how you will use this mmse method to cancel interference from another user whilst detecting the desired signal.
Thanks in advance


Krishna Sankar April 10, 2012 at 4:43 am

@Basco: Thanks. Have not tried to model that case.


mayuri February 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

thank you..
sir, wil u please provide the code for qpsk modulation taking 256 fft size and 16 as training sequence.


Krishna Sankar March 5, 2012 at 5:30 am

@mayuri: Are you looking for an OFDM implementation?
Please take a look at http://www.dsplog.com/tag/ofdm


mayuri January 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

sir i want 2 knw how can we calculate mean square error of timing estimation using qpsk modulation and training sequenece?i mean to say that if i want to send a frame such that it has 256 bit fft size and training sequence is been used as cyclic prefix which is of 16 bit then how can i plot a graph of mean square error of timing and frequency estimation v/s snr?


Krishna Sankar January 29, 2012 at 5:53 am

@mayuri: Hmm… in general, one can find the difference between the desired and the obtained estimates, take the square and average over many realizations.


Waheed January 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

Is zero Padding necessary?


Krishna Sankar January 4, 2012 at 5:32 am

@Waheed: Zero padding at which point?


thavamaran May 17, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Hi Krishna, how are you? I just have this question, how do you exactly used K+2 for yFilt_zf = yFilt_zf(K+2:end);

Thank you.


Krishna Sankar May 23, 2011 at 3:04 am

@thavamaran: I guess, because the equalizer has a 3 tap delay, plus the delay of the channel. In practical systems, this delay needs to be estimated.


Max August 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Hi Krishna,
It is not clear in my mind. Assume that the number of subcarriers is denoted by N.
Could you please give us the relationship between K and L, for OFDM system in your actual context?
Thank you.


joel July 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm

ok, I see. Two more questions

1. Why is actually c=R_yy^-1R_sy implemented as a convolution ?(the expression c_mmse = [inv(hM)*d.'].’; is a convolution due to toeplitz matrix)
I don’t quite understand why do you not multiply the matrices but convolve them?

2. Can the derivation of E(e(k))^2 be found in literature ? I’m looking for detailed mathematical background to this formula.

Best Regards and Thank you !


Krishna Sankar July 22, 2010 at 6:01 am

1) Well, [inv(hM)*d.'].’ is not convolution. Its just the matrix multiplication as we derived.
2) Try Digital Communication by Proakis.

Further, I liked the material presented in http://www.complextoreal.com/chapters/filters.pdf (pages 20-30)


joel July 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm

can you please explain why are you using the toeplitz function ? You evaluate the E(hh^T) expression with following Matlab code :
hAutoCorr = conv(ht,fliplr(ht));
hM = toeplitz([hAutoCorr([3:end]) zeros(1,2*K+1-L)], [ hAutoCorr([3:end]) zeros(1,2*K+1-L) ]);
Can you please explain this ? Thank you !
Best Regards


Krishna Sankar July 21, 2010 at 6:21 am

@joel: Toeplitz matrices are used to represent convolution in a matrix multiplication form. Hope the brief post on toeplitz matrix @
http://www.dsplog.com/2007/04/21/using-toeplitz-matrices-in-matlab/ helps.


fernando June 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

i want to ask???
i want create mmse equalizer but channel (ht) not ht=[0.3 0.9 0.2]
i want the channel is reylegh channel but not in the mimo system just create mmse equalizer with BPSK in reylegh channel (not mimo)

can you help me???


Krishna Sankar June 21, 2010 at 5:44 am

@fernando: You can try changing ht to have Rayleigh components. Make sure that the receiver is also adjusted accordingly.


behzad June 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm

i want to simulate doppler effect in ofdm simulation but i have some problem:
1-how i can with ifft command in matlab define separation sub-carrier frequency
2-how i can effecting doppler in my simulation
please if have any source or m-file insert your website
best regards


Krishna Sankar June 14, 2010 at 6:26 am

@behzad: My replies:
1/ subcarrier spacing is controlled by the sampling clock and the number of points in the FFT. For examples, if the sampling clock is 20MHz and the FFT size is 64, the subcarrier spacing is 20MHz/64 = 312.5kHz
2/ I have not tried simulating doppler cases.


Jovan S. May 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Drear Mr. Sankar,

I’m very thankful for your work. With your posts you have helped me several times. This post is excellent. I’ve lost several weeks trying to solve the problem by myself and haven’t succeeded. Thanks to your post it become more clear to me and I succeeded to make useful simulation. You are genius!



Krishna Sankar June 24, 2010 at 4:14 am

@Jovan: Glad to be of help


kaka May 12, 2010 at 7:59 am

glad to see it


rajendrasingh kushwah April 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

sir pls help me in matlab implemantation we should requir to implemant the ifdma based paper so i need some help


Krishna Sankar April 28, 2010 at 5:48 am

@rajendrasingh: ifdma or ofdma? i have not discussed ofdma, but you can see some posts on OFDM @ http://www.dsplog.com/tag/ofdm/


siddarth April 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm

please i need references and matlab code for channel estimation in ofdm system

would be grateful if u provide the needy


Krishna Sankar April 28, 2010 at 5:46 am

@siddarth: The post on OFDM BER in Rayleigh channel discuss that


Aristide April 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Hi ,Krishna i am impressed with the way you have simulated the BER of the MMSE and zero forcing equalkizers in presence of ISI.Would you please tell me what do you mean by taps .Is it the processing gain N?
Could you also tell me the System of transmission you have considered .Asynchronous symbol transmissions or synchronous?
Thank in advance


Krishna Sankar April 14, 2010 at 5:16 am

a) In wireless transmissions, we get multiple copies of the transmitted signal at the receiver (due to reflections). The taps model that aspect.
b) Synchronous.


Gregg March 30, 2010 at 3:00 pm

i am new to the mobile communication field and am just getting familiar with tools like matlab. i have a project at hand and i need to put up some thing before the month ends. pls can some help me out with the matlab source code? the topic of the research is the study of “the effect of ISI and equalisation on a mobile communication channel”. from my understanding so far, i need to plot some waveform with ISI and another with equalisation, compare them and hence state their effects from the two plots.the idea is there but doing this with matlab is a hell of a job especially for some new like me.i need help. thanks


Krishna Sankar March 31, 2010 at 5:04 am

@Gregg: Due to time constraints, I wont be able to help in the coding part. However, you can ask queries. I will try answer to the best of my knowledge


sajib February 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

i needthe matlab code for MMSE equalization in ofdm sysetm just to take idea how it works in OFDM ssytem.
or can u give u ur personal email address plz so tht i would contact wid u if i feel some problem during doing the code.


Krishna Sankar March 31, 2010 at 5:07 am

@sajib: You can find my details on http://www.dsplog.com/contact-us/


lim February 24, 2010 at 7:37 am

Thanks for your code. It has been a great help.
I have since modified your code slightly to a 3 tap rayleigh fading channel (all taps follow Rayleigh fading, i.e. no longer a fixed 3 tap fading).
But I am not sure if it is correct. Any suggestions to go about verifying it?


Krishna Sankar March 31, 2010 at 5:14 am

@lim: Try simulating the BER vs Eb/N0 curve. Am not aware of any theoretical results to compare


balakrishna February 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm



Krishna Sankar March 31, 2010 at 5:33 am

@balakrishna: Sorry, am not aware of RFMEMS shunt switches


bhasker January 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm

your script is really appreciable sir. it is really helpful to me
1) i want to implement MMSE equalization in OFDM. can u help me on this sir
2) actually i want to know where should i aplly the equalizer in ofdm. either just before removing cyclic prefix or after takeing FFT.
plz help sir


Krishna Sankar April 4, 2010 at 4:38 am

@bhasker: Remove cyclic prefix, take FFT. You can see an example BER for BPSK in OFDM in AWGN @ http://www.dsplog.com/2008/06/10/ofdm-bpsk-bit-error/


eng_dina January 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm

thanks for your your graet work
please I study for my master in frequency synchronization in mimo ofdm system but i have problem with the matlab code to simulate to find out if estimation of the CFO on one path is affected by the CFO values of the adjacent paths and examine the estimator accuracy in term of its mean and variance
please help me it’s urgent and necessary

f_max = f_Tofdm/(M_sub*T_s); % f_max =maximal Doppler frequency (Hz),M_sub*T_s = OFDM Symbol period (sec),
%f_ndopp = f_max*M_sub*T_s % Normalized Maximum Doppler Spread Freq.

% Area parameter
% ra Rural Area
% tu Typical Urban
% bu Bad Urban
% ht Hilly Terrain
% no no fading
AREA = ‘no’ ;

% start simulation loops
for ee = 1 : length(EcNo)
[theo_fo_var, rfo_var, rfo] = FOE_mimo_fading(EcNo(ee), tfo_array, NTX, NRX, M_sub, N, f_max, AREA, T_s, model, L);

% plot results
for ii_tx = 1 : NTX
for ii_rx = 1 : NRX

% rearrange array order for easier plotting
vect_plot_theo_rfo = permute(plot_theo_rfo(ii_tx,ii_rx, , [2 3 1]);
vect_plot_rfo= permute(plot_rfo(ii_tx,ii_rx, , [2 3 1] ) ;
vect_plot_theo_fo_var= permute(plot_theo_fo_var(ii_tx,ii_rx,:),[2 3 1]);
vect_plot_rfo_var= permute(plot_rfo_var(ii_tx,ii_rx, , [2 3 1]);

%plot mean
plot(EcNo, vect_plot_theo_rfo, ‘:’ , ‘Linewidth’,2) ;
plot(EcNo, vect_plot_rfo,’o-’,’MarkerSize’ , 6,’Linewidth’, 1) ;
grid on;
t_str=sprintf(’New_ Theo and Est Freq Offset %s M=%d N=%d %dx%d path:tx%d-rx%d fo=%1.3f’,AREA,M_sub,N,NTX,NRX,ii_tx,ii_rx,tfo_array(ii_tx,ii_rx));
xlabel(’EcNo SNR range and step (in dB)’);
ylabel(’Norm Freq Offset’) ;
% save graph

% plot variance
semilogy(EcNo, vect_plot_theo_fo_var,’:’,’Linewidth’,2);
semilogy(EcNo, vect_plot_rfo_var,’o-’,’MarkerSize’,6,’Linewidth’,1);
grid on;
grid minor;
t_str=sprintf(’New_ Est Var and CRLB %s M=%d N=%d %dx%d path:tx%d-rx%d fo=%1.3f’,AREA,M_sub,N,NTX,NRX,ii_tx,ii_rx,tfo_array(ii_tx,ii_rx));
xlabel(’EcNo (in dB)’);
% save graph
fstr=sprintf(’new_y%d_%dx%dp%d%d_%s’,M_sub,NTX,NRX,ii_tx,ii_rx, AREA) ;
% rename variables for export
new_plot_rfo_var=plot_rfo_var ;

% save all variables
% save variables for plotting

% end of file


Krishna Sankar January 28, 2010 at 5:24 am

@eng_dina: How are you modeling the CFO for MIMO systems?

If all the chains have a common RF clock, then all the chains will have similar CFO and the estimate from all the chains can be combined to improve the accuracy of the CFO estimation.
If the chains have independent RF clock, then we need to estimate CFO on each chain independently.


mesange January 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Hi Krishna,
I hope you are doing well. I am simulating 16 QAM in a Rayleigh channel and am trying to compute the SER(& BER). I need to verify my results using the theoretical formula. Can you kindly tell me the formula of SER for 16 QAM in Rayleigh channel?
I shall be grateful
Thanking in advance,


Krishna Sankar January 28, 2010 at 5:29 am

@mesange: I have not discussed 16QAM in Rayleigh channel case. However, you can discussion on
a) Symbol error rate for 16QAM in AWGN
b) Bit error rate for 16QAM in AWGN assuming Gray coded bit mapping
c) BER for BPSK in Rayleigh channel

Hope you will be able to extend these results to Rayleigh channel 16QAM case. Good luck.


Communications Engineer January 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for this post – really :)


Abrar January 25, 2010 at 2:04 am

I am not able to open the code file, is there any problem.
Please check:



Krishna Sankar January 25, 2010 at 5:25 am

@Abrar: I fixed that. Thanks for pointing out.


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