Back to overview over all lectures...

Introduction to Communication Systems
Fall 2012/2013

⇒ to time table and download of class material


  • Final Exam: The final exam will take place on
    • Tuesday, 15 January, 12:20–15:10 (Note that this is ONE HOUR EARLIER than usual!)
    Location: Engineering Building IV, Room 303 (ED303)
    • open-book: allowed are any textbook, personal notes, and the class' exercises including solutions
    • not allowed are: computer, telecommunication devices, official or inofficial solution manuals of textbooks, any "friend" or other help from outside...
    • covered material: everything covered in class during the whole semester
    • style: similar to mid-term exam
    • recommendation: bring along a pocket calculator for simple quick calculations
  • Class Evaluation: The class evaluation will be online until 13 January. I would very much appreciate your feedback, so please spend a couple of minutes to fill out the online form! Thanks!
  • Conference: The class on 13 December will be canceled due to a conference.
  • Mid-Term Exam: The mid-term exam will take place on
    • Tuesday, 13 November, 12:20–15:10 (Note that we start ONE HOUR EARLIER than usual!)
    Location: Engineering Building IV, Room 303 (ED303)
    • open-book: any books or notes are allowed
    • not allowed are: computers, any telecommunication devices like mobile phones, any "friend" or other help from outside...
    • covered material: everything we covered in class up to and including Chapter 15
    • style: similar to exercises, only easier... :-)
    • recommendation: bring along a pocket calculator for simple quick calculations

Course Description

The major goal of Introduction to Communication Systems (or, as it was called before, Principles of Communication Engineering I) is to teach students about the basic principles underlying the operation and design of a communication system. It is a core course for students in communications. The course will cover the following topics:

  • Random processes
  • Basics of modulation
  • Continuous-wave modulation
  • Pulse modulation
  • Baseband digital transmission
  • Signal-space analysis

These topics follow roughly the first five chapter of the class' textbook (Haykin).

We expect a student who finishes the course to be able to understand the basic operating principles of current communication systems. Moreover, we sincerely hope that a student who learns the course material will be equipped with the ability to analyze and design a communication system.


The following lectures/topics are recommended:

  • Probability
  • Basics in real analysis
  • Basics in complex numbers
  • Basics in linear algebra


Prof. Stefan M. Moser
Engineering Building IV, Office 727 (ED727)
phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 54548

Teaching Assistant

In case you would like to discuss some questions in Chinese, you may contact the TA of this class:

  • Lee Ting-Hsuan
    Office: Engineering Building IV, Lab 716A (ED716A)
    Phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 54630

To make our and your life easier, let's agree on the following rule: You may contact or visit the TA at any time also outside of office hours. However, if you haven't made an appointment in advance, she has the right to tell you that she hasn't got time right at that moment.

Time and Place

The course is scheduled for 4 hours per week:

  • Tuesday, 13:20–15:10 (EF), Engineering Building IV, Room 303 (ED303)
  • Thursday, 13:20–15:10 (EF), Engineering Building IV, Room 303 (ED303)

The course starts on Tuesday, 18 September 2012, and finishes on Thursday, 17 January 2013.

Office Hours

NCTU requests that every teacher offers two hours per week where students may come to ask questions. I will, of course, also do so:

  • Tuesday, 15:30–17:30, Engineering Building IV, Office 727 (ED727)

However, we would like to encourage you to show up in the teacher's or teaching assistants' office at any time whenever you have questions about the class or related subjects. Moreover, we are always available during and after classes.


The course will be based on

Additional recommended readings:

  • Robert G. Gallager: “Principles of Digital Communication,” Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Further readings:

  • R. E. Ziemer and W. H. Tranter: “Principles of Communications,” 5th ed., Wiley, 2002.
  • John G. Proakis: “Digital Communications,” 4th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2001.

For certain topics there will be additional handouts during classes.


Every week, an exercise will be distributed in class and also made available online for download. This exercise will consist of several problems that need to be solved at home and handed in during the class of the following week. A model solution will be distributed and made available online afterwards.

We believe the exercises to be extremely important and crucial to the understanding of the course. They also serve as a preparation for the mid-term and final exams and we therefore highly recommend to solve them. To pass the course you need to hand in at least 10 exercises.


There will be one mid-term and one final exam. Both exams are going to last three hours and be open-book. Details about the covered material in the mid-term exam will be published in due time. The final exam will cover everything taught in class.


The grade will be an average of

  • the homework and class participation (15%),
  • the mid-term exam (35%), and
  • the final exam (50%).

The grade of the homework will not be based on the correctness of the answers, but rather on the effort the student shows in trying to solve them. Moreover, I will try to reward students who participate actively in class.

This course is worth 3 credits.

Special Remarks

The lecture will be held in English.

Time Table

Note that some details of this program might change in the course of the semester.

Note that some linked documents in this table can only be downloaded within NCTU and NTHU!

W Date Topic Handouts Exercise (due on) Solutions Comments
1 18 Sep. Signals, integrals, sets of measure zero, inner product, Cauchy—Schwarz inequality Syllabus (Version 3) Exercise 1 (25 Sep.)   Chapters 2 & 3
  20 Sep. Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, vector space of energy-limited signals, orthogonality, projection    
Chapters 3 & 4
2 25 Sep. Orthonormal bases, Gram-Schmidt procedure   Exercise 2 (2 Oct.)   Chapter 4
  27 Sep. Gram-Schmidt procedure, convolution, matched filter     Solutions 1 Chapters 4 & 5
3 2 Oct. Idea lowpass filter, Fourier Transform, frequency response   Exercise 3 (9 Oct.)   Chapters 5 & 6
  4 Oct. Fourier Transform, frequency response, bandlimited signals Handout 1   Solutions 2 Chapter 6
4 9 Oct. CONS and sampling theorem Handout 2 Exercise 4 (16 Oct.)   Chapter 8
  11 Oct. Modulation     Solutions 3 Chapter 10
5 16 Oct. Modulation, Nyquist criterion   Exercise 5 (23 Oct.)   Chapters 10 & 11
  18 Oct. Nyquist criterion, stochastic processes, stationary discrete-time processes     Solutions 4 Chapters 11 & 12 & 13
6 23 Oct. WSS discrete-time processes: autocovariance function, PSD; energy and power in PAM   Exercise 6 (30 Oct.)   Chapters 13 & 14
  25 Oct. Energy and power in PAM, operational power spectral density     Solutions 5 Chapters 14 & 15
7 30 Oct. Operational power spectral density, complex random variables and processes, univariate Gaussian distribution   Exercise 7 (6 Nov.)   Chapters 15 & 17 & 19
  1 Nov. Univariate Gaussian distribution, binary hypothesis testing     Solutions 6 Chapters 19 & 20
8 6 Nov. Binary hypothesis testing   Exercise 8 (20 Nov.)   Chapter 20
  8 Nov. Binary hypothesis testing     Solutions 7 Chapter 20
9 13 Nov. Midterm Exam Exam statistics
Preliminary Solutions 8 ATTENTION: This is a 3 hours exam: 12:20–15:10
  15 Nov. Discussion exam, binary hypothesis testing    
Chapter 20
10 20 Nov. Binary hypothesis testing   Exercise 9 (27 Nov.)   Chapter 20
  22 Nov. Binary hypothesis testing, multiple hypothesis testing, sufficient statistics     Solutions 8 Chapters 20 & 21 & 22
11 27 Nov. Sufficient statistics, multivariate Gaussian distribution   Exercise 10 (4 Dec.)   Chapters 22 & 23
  29 Nov. Multivariate Gaussian distribution     Solutions 9 Chapter 23
12 4 Dec. Multivariate Gaussian distribution, continuous-time stochastic processes   Exercise 11 (11 Dec.)   Chapters 23 & 25
  6 Dec. Continuous-time stochastic processes     Solutions 10 Chapter 25
13 11 Dec. Continuous-time stochastic processes, white Gaussian noise   Exercise 12 (18 Dec.)   Chapter 25
  13 Dec. No lecture (conference)     Solutions 11  
14 18 Dec. White Gaussian noise; detection in white Gaussian noise   Exercise 13 (25 Dec.)   Chapters 25 & 26
  20 Dec. Detection in white Gaussian noise     Solutions 12 (second corrected version) Chapter 26
15 25 Dec. Detection in white Gaussian noise   Exercise 14 (3 Jan.)   Chapters 26 & 27
  27 Dec. Passband signals Handout 3   Solutions 13 (corrected) Chapter 7
Class evaluation online until 13 January!
16 1 Jan. No lecture (holiday)   Exercise 15 (8 Jan.)    
  3 Jan. Analog modulation schemes (AM, FM, PM)     Solutions 14  
17 8 Jan. Pulse code modulation, delta modulation   Exercise 16 (10 Jan.)   Handout 3
  10 Jan. Discussion exercises, questions     Solutions 15,
Solutions 16
18 15 Jan. Final Exam Exam statistics
  ATTENTION: This is a 3 hours exam: 12:20–15:10
  17 Jan. Discussion final exam, coffee time    

-||-   _|_ _|_     /    __|__   Stefan M. Moser
[-]     --__|__   /__\    /__   Senior Researcher & Lecturer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
_|_     -- --|-    _     /  /   Adj. Professor, National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), Taiwan
/ \     []  \|    |_|   / \/    Web:

Last modified: Thu Jan 17 12:34:30 UTC+8 2013