Performance estimation of digital communication systems using simulation is an area where IS has been extensively applied for over two decades. It has found applications in several situations where error probabilities are to be estimated for systems that do not yield easily to analytical or numerical analyses. A review is contained in Smith, Shafi & Gao . Some of the more challenging applications that occur in the communications context are to systems that are characterized by nonlinearities, memory, and signal fading. Nonlinearities in communication systems are encountered, for example, in front-end amplifiers of transponders of satellite channels, blind beamformers in adaptive arrays used in mobile cellular systems, and more fundamentally, in receiver processing elements such as decision feedback equalizers (used to combat intersymbol interference effects) and envelope detectors (for noncoherent detection). Signal fading, shadowing, and multipath transmission are always present in most mobile communication channels. These phenomena result in mathematical characterizations of the communication system that are difficult to deal with analytically and numerically, necessitating the use of fast simulation methods for performance analysis and system design.
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