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An efficient hierarchical 16-QAM dynamic constellation to obtain high PSNR reconstructed images under varying channel conditions

An efficient hierarchical 16-QAM dynamic constellation to obtain high PSNR reconstructed images under varying channel conditions

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Startling growth in multimedia services over wireless channels emphasizes the need for bandwidth and power efficient modulation techniques. This study investigates the suitability of hierarchical quadrature amplitude modulation (HQAM) for image transmission over erroneous wireless Gaussian channels. HQAM provides unequal error protection, to compressed and coded image data, transmitted without increasing the required bandwidth, unlike channel coding. A discrete cosine transform based image coder is used to divide the image data bit stream into high-priority (HP) and low-priority (LP) sub-streams for significant and non-significant data respectively. The ratios between the constellation distances are then dynamically adjusted with the objective to achieve an acceptable bit-error rate (BER) for HP sub-stream over varying channel conditions at the cost of increased BER for LP sub-stream. The work highlights HQAM implementation using conventional quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) demodulator at the receiver which does not require the knowledge of varying constellation distance ratios at the transmitter. An analysis of 16-HQAM transmission for different values of distance ratios is presented to obtain high peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) values of reconstructed images under poor as well as good channel conditions and the performance is compared qualitatively and quantitatively with 16-QAM.

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