Back to overview over all lectures...

Principles of Communication Engineering II
Spring 2009

⇒ to time table and download of class material


  • Grades: You can collect your grades on Monday, 29 June, after 8 AM in ED823 (for Prof. Chen's class) and in ED727 or ED716A (for Prof. Moser's class). For Prof. Moser's class, please be aware that if you have complaints, you need to come to us on the same Monday, 29 June, because on Tuesday, 30 June, the grades will become definite.
  • Final Exam: The final exam will take place on
    • Thursday, 25 June, 15:40–18:30 (Note that this is one hour longer than usual!)
    • open book: any book is allowed
    • not allowed are: any telecommunication devices like mobile phones, any laptop with wireless capabilities, any "friend", or any other help from outside...
    • covered material: everything covered in class; in particular there will be 6 problems: 1 quickies-question, 2 questions about Chapter 6, and one question each about Chapters 7, 8, and 9
  • Change of Lab: Note that the lab of one of Prof. Moser's teaching assistants has changed to 716A!
  • Mid-Term Exam: The mid-term exam will take place on
    • Thursday, 30 April, 15:40–17:30
    • open book: any book is allowed
    • not allowed are: any telecommunication devices like mobile phones, any laptop with wireless capabilities, any "friend", or any other help from outside...
    • covered material: Chapter 6 and 7
  • Room Change: The room of the English class has been changed to Room 026 at B1 (ED026).
  • Wrongly Typed Policy: Note that the quizzes will be closed-book and not as it was wrongly announced open-book.
  • Slides of Prof. Chen: The slides used by Prof. Chen in his lectures can be downloaded from
  • Program Changes: Be aware that some details of the class specification will change as we are working hard to synchronize the English version (Prof. Moser) and the Chinese version (Prof. Chen) of this class. In particular, we will have the same exercises and the same exams on both classes!

Course Objectives

The major goal of Principles of Communication Engineering (I,II) is to teach students about the basic principles underlying the operation and design of a communication system. It is a core course in the Department of Communication Engineering. The course PCE2 will follow approximately the following schedule:

  • Passband Digital Transmission (Chapter 6)
  • Spread Spectrum Modulation (Chapter 7)
  • Multiuser Radio Communications (Chapter 8)
  • Fundamental Limits in Information Theory (Chapter 9)
  • Error-Control Coding (Chapter 10)

For more detail see the time table below.

We expect a student who finishes the course to be able to understand the basic operating principles of current communication systems or standards. 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:

  • Signals and Systems (preferably)
  • Probability (preferably)
  • Principles of Communication Engineering I (preferably)


This course is taught in parallel by two teachers.

Prof. Chen Po-NingProf. Stefan M. Moser
Engineering Building IV, Office 831 Engineering Building IV, Office 727
phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 31670 phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 54548
e-mail: e-mail:

Prof. Chen will teach the course in Chinese, while Prof. Moser will teach in English.

Teaching Assistants

Prof. Chen's TAs:

Chang Huei-YaFeng Shih-Lun
e-mail: e-mail:
Engineering Building IV, Office 823 (ED823)Engineering Building IV, Office 823 (ED823)
phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 54570 phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 54570
Office hours: Monday 13:30–15:30Office hours: Monday 13:30–15:30

Prof. Moser's TAs:

Chen Wei-HsiangTung Yuan-Hao
e-mail: e-mail:
Engineering Building IV, Office 716A (ED716A)Engineering Building IV, Office 811 (ED811)
phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 54630 phone: 03-571 21 21 ext. 54571
 Office hours: Tuesday 18:30–20:00

Time and Place

The course is scheduled for two lectures per week:

  • Chinese class:
    • Tuesday, 8:20–10:00 (AB), Engineering Building IV, Room 219 (ED219)
    • Thursday, 15:40–17:40 (GH), Engineering Building IV, Room 219 (ED219)
  • English class:
    • Tuesday, 10:10–12:00 (CD), Engineering Building IV, Room 026 at B1 (ED026)
    • Thursday, 15:40–17:30 (GH), Engineering Building IV, Room 026 at B1 (ED026)

The course starts on Tuesday, 24 February, and finishes on Thursday, 25 June.

Office Hours

NCTU requests that every teacher offers two hours per week where students may come to ask questions:

  • Prof. Chen: Thursday, 13:30–15:30, Engineering Building IV, Office 831
  • Prof. Moser: Thursday, 13:00–15:00, Engineering Building IV, Office 727

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


Simon Haykin: "Communication Systems," 4th ed., Wiley, 2001.

Further references and recommended readings:

  • Amos Lapidoth: "A Course in Digital Communications," to be published in 2009.
  • Robert G. Gallager: "Principles of Digital Communication," Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Thomas M. Cover and Joy A. Thomas: "Elements of Information Theory," second edition, Wiley, 2006.
  • 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 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 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 a mid-term exam (two hours) and a final exam (three hours). The exams are going to 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.

Moreover, in regular intervals we will make quizzes about the material taught in the previous weeks. A quiz lasts for 10 minutes only and is closed-book.


The grade will be an average of

  • the homework (20%),
  • the 6 quizzes (20%),
  • the mid-term exam (20%), and
  • the final exam (40%).

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. This course is worth 3 credits.

Special Remarks

The course is taught in parallel in two classes: one class is taught in Chinese, one class is taught in English. We will try to keep the courses pretty much synchronized. In particular, all exercises, handouts, the quizzes, the mid-term, and the final exam will be identical in both classes and written in English only.

Time Table

W Date Topic Handouts Exercise (due on) Solutions Comments
1 24 Feb. Introduction; review: modulation schemes, PAM, signal-space representation Syllabus (Version 3) Exercise 1 (3 Mar.)    
  26 Feb. Review: matched filter, Nyquist criterion, demodulation in noise Nyquist Criterion  
2 3 Mar. Review: hypothesis testing, Gaussian RV, MAP, ML Gaussian Distribution Exercise 2 (10 Mar.)    
  5 Mar. Review: hypothesis testing, Gaussian RV, MAP, ML, probability of error, power spectral density (PSD) of PAM Hypothesis Testing   Solutions 1  
3 10 Mar. Review: sampling theorem; modulation in passband, QAM Power Spectral Density Exercise 3 (17 Mar.)    
  12 Mar. Quiz 1
Modulation in passband, QAM, probability of error, PSD of QAM, CAP
Passband Signals and their Representation   Solutions 2  
4 17 Mar. CAP, BPSK, QPSK, offset QPSK, Pi/4-shifted QPSK, M-ary PSK, classification of modulation schemes   Exercise 4 (24 Mar.)    
  19 Mar. FSK, MSK     Solutions 3  
5 24 Mar. MSK, CPM, MFSK, noncoherent detection   Exercise 5 (31 Mar.)    
  26 Mar. Quiz 2
Noncoherent BFSK, noncoherent matched filter, DPSK
    Solutions 4  
6 31 Mar. Voiceband modems   Exercise 6 (7 Apr.)    
  2 Apr. No lecture (Holiday)     Solutions 5  
7 7 Apr. Multichannel modulation, loading, waterfilling   Exercise 7 (corrected version) (14 Apr.)    
  9 Apr. Discrete multitone, OFDM, synchronization     Solutions 6  
8 14 Apr. Synchronization   Exercise 8 (21 Apr.)    
  16 Apr. Quiz 3
Synchronization, spread-spectrum modulation, pseudo-noise sequences, LFSR
LFSR (only for interested students)   Solutions 7 (corrected version) The handout LFSR is not part of the exam material
9 21 Apr. Direct-sequence spread-spectrum coherent BPSK   Exercise 9 (5 May)    
  23 Apr. Direct-sequence spread-spectrum coherent BPSK, frequency hopping spread spectrum     Solutions 8  
10 28 Apr. Multiple access techniques, free space propagation model, noise figure  
  30 Apr. Mid-Term Exam    
11 5 May Noise figure, radio link analysis, wireless communications, propagation effects: multipath, Doppler effect   Exercise 10 (12 May)    
  7 May Propagation effects: multipath, Doppler effect, WSSUS, delay-Doppler spreading function, scattering function     Solutions 9  
12 12 May Scattering function, classification of fading channels   Exercise 11 (19 May)    
  14 May Quiz 4
Diversity: example Rayleigh fading, time diversity
    Solutions 10  
13 19 May Time diversity   Exercise 12 (26 May, corrected version)    
  21 May Time diversity, frequency diversity     Solutions 11  
14 26 May Frequency diversity, speech coding: PCM, DPCM, DM   Exercise 13 (2 Jun.)    
  28 May No lecture (Holiday)     Solutions 12 (corrected version)  
15 2 Jun. Spectral waveform coding, model based coding, Shannon's measure of information: entropy, mutual information   Exercise 14 (9 Jun.)    
  4 Jun. Quiz 5
Efficient coding of a single random variable, Shannon-Fano coding, Huffman coding, source coding theorem for a DMS and block parser
    Solutions 13  
16 9 Jun. Coding for a noisy digital channel, channel capacity, channel coding theorem   Exercise 15 (16 Jun.)    
  11 Jun. Capacity of an AWGN channel, block codes, Hamming distance, linear block codes, parity-check codes    
Class evaluation online until June 26
17 16 Jun. Convolutional codes, Viterbi algorithm, finding a metric   Exercise 16 (23 Jun.) Solutions 14  
  18 Jun. Quiz 6
Turbo codes, LDPC codes
    Solutions 15  
18 23 Jun. Repetition, time for questions  
Solutions 16
Solution to Quiz 6
  25 Jun. Final Exam    
ATTENTION: This is a 3 hours exam: 15:40–18:30

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

Last modified: Fri Jun 26 08:32:50 UTC+8 2009