Almost universal codes achieving ergodic MIMO capacity within a constant gap

Laura Luzzi*, Roope Vehkalahti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the question of achieving capacity with lattice codes in multi-antenna block fading channels when the number of fading blocks tends to infinity. A design criterion based on the normalized minimum determinant is proposed for division algebra multi-block space-time codes over fading channels; this plays a similar role to the Hermite invariant for Gaussian channels. Under maximum likelihood decoding, it is shown that this criterion is sufficient to guarantee transmission rates within a constant gap from capacity both for deterministic channels and ergodic fading channels. Moreover, if the number of receive antennas is greater than or equal to the number of transmit antennas, the same constant gap is achieved under naive lattice decoding as well. In the case of independent identically distributed Rayleigh fading, the error probability vanishes exponentially fast. In contrast to the standard approach in the literature, which employs random lattice ensembles, the existence results in this paper are derived from the number theory. First, the gap to capacity is shown to depend on the discriminant of the chosen division algebra; then, class field theory is applied to build families of algebras with small discriminants. The key element in the construction is the choice of a sequence of division algebras whose centers are number fields with small root discriminants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7879826
Pages (from-to)3224-3241
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • block fading
  • division algebras
  • MIMO
  • number theory
  • space-time codes


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