This paper considers the problem of blind joint channel estimation and data detection for orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) systems in a fading environment. Employing a regression model for a time-varying channel, we convert the problem into one that finds the data sequence x whose associated least-squares (LS) channel estimate z(x) is closest to the space of some regression curves (surfaces). We apply the branch-and-bound principle to solve the nonlinear integer programming problem associated with finding the curve that fits a subchannel in the LS sense. A recursive formula for fast metric update is obtained by exploiting the intrinsic characteristic of our objective function. The impacts of reordering the data sequence and selective detection are addressed. By employing a preferred order along with a selective detection method, we greatly reduce the detector complexity while giving up little performance loss. Both the complete and the reduced-complexity algorithms can be used for blind and semiblind detections of OFDM signals in a subchannel-by-subchannel manner. To further reduce the complexity and exploit the frequency-domain channel correlation, we suggest a two-stage approach that detects a few selected positions in some subchannels first, and then, treating the detected symbols as pilots, determines the remaining symbols within a properly chosen time-frequency block by a two-dimensional model-based pilot-assisted algorithm. The proposed methods do not require the information of the channel statistics like signal-to-noise ratio or channel correlation function. Performance of differential modulations like differential quaternary phase-shift keying and STAR 16-ary quadrature amplitude modulation are provided. Both blind and semiblind schemes yield satisfactory performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes