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Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/dac.703

wireless channels

1

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA, U.S.A.

2

IBM Global Services, New York, NY, U.S.A.

SUMMARY

The indoor optical wireless channel is signiﬁcantly diﬀerent than the radio channel. Statistical propagation

models developed for the radio channel, which characterize path loss, shadowing, and multipath fading, do

not apply. In this paper, we investigate statistical modelling for the indoor optical wireless channel through

the examination of the characteristics of a large set of channel impulse responses. The channel responses

are generated using an estimation method based on geometrical modelling of indoor environments together

with an iterative technique for calculating multiple reﬂections. We conﬁrm prior studies showing that

channels with line-of-sight paths must be modelled separately from those fully diﬀuse channels with no

such path. We show that the distribution of the channel gain in dB for the LOS component follows a

modiﬁed gamma distribution, and the channel gain in dB for LOS channels including all reﬂections follows

a modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution for most transmitter–receiver distances. Similar results are described for

distributions of channel gains of diﬀuse channels and for distributions of rms delay spreads. Finally, we

describe a method for generating a statistically realistic impulse response given any transmitter–receiver

separation in an indoor environment. Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KEY WORDS: optical wireless communications; channel simulation; statistical channel modelling

1. INTRODUCTION

portable computing and communication devices is driving recent activity in indoor optical

communication [1–4]. High-quality access is achieved via links with low delay, high data rates,

and reliable performance, and accurate characterization of the channel is essential to

understanding the performance limits and design issues for optical wireless links.

Electromagnetic waves at optical frequencies exhibit markedly diﬀerent propagation behavior

than those at radio or microwave frequencies. At optical frequencies, most building surfaces are

n

Correspondence to: Jeﬀrey B. Carruthers, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University,

8 St. Mary’s Street, Boston, MA 02215, U.S.A.

y

E-mail: jbc@bu.edu

Revised 11 September 2004

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Accepted 20 September 2004

268 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

opaque, which generally limits the propagation of light to the transmitter’s room. Furthermore,

for most surfaces, the reﬂected light wave is diﬀusely reﬂected (as from a matte surface) rather

than specularly reﬂected (as from a mirrored surface).

These diﬀerences, as well as fundamental diﬀerences in the transmitting and receiving devices,

have led researchers to develop channel and communication concepts for optical wireless

systems and channels. In particular, characterization for optical wireless channels has been done

by a variety of methods at diﬀerent levels. Basic system models were developed in References

[5, 6]. Measurement studies [7–9] have validated the basic diﬀuse reﬂection model and have

shown the importance of the orientation of the transmitter and receiver as well as the

importance of shadowing. Statistical models of channel characteristics [10] have attempted to

make sense of the important factors illustrated in the above measurement studies. In addition to

extensive channel characterization by measurement in Reference [9], the authors use a statistical

model based on the gamma distribution to model path loss variations in LOS channels as

determined by angle deviations. They observed variations of a few decibels, whereas we see

variations of tens of decibels since we consider all channels covering the same distance rather

than a single conﬁguration with an angle variation. In Reference [11], the authors develop a

physical channel model with emphasis on the relationship between the LOS and diﬀuse

components; their goal is to allow for swift calculation of path loss and multipath in a particular

conﬁguration, rather than to characterize the variation of those parameters.

In the present paper, we develop statistical models for characterization of the impulse

response of indoor optical wireless channels. The model development is made possible by recent

advances in impulse response calculation which allow fast and accurate computation of

thousands of impulse responses and which are not limited to including only two or three

reﬂection orders [12–14]. The method presented in Reference [14] uses a concise matrix

formulation for the problem but does not include shadowing eﬀects.

In the next section, we describe models for characterizing the properties of transmitters,

receivers, and reﬂecting surfaces within the indoor environment and present an eﬃcient method

for impulse response calculation. In Section 3, we present the results of a study of propagation

characteristics for a large ensemble of channels in a variety of rooms. In Section 4, we use these

results to develop statistical distributions for important channel characteristics. Conclusions are

presented in Section 5.

We model optical wireless channels formed by a transmitter and receiver placed inside a

reﬂective environment. The transmitter or source S is a laser diode or a light-emitting diode

transmitting a signal XðtÞ using intensity modulation (IM). The signal received by receiver Ri

when source S is transmitting is YðtÞ; the current from the photodiode:

YðtÞ ¼ rXðtÞ * hðtÞ þ NðtÞ ð1Þ

where * denotes convolution, hðtÞ is the impulse response of the channel between source S and

receiver Ri ; r is the photodiode responsivity, and NðtÞ is noise at the receiver. This baseband

impulse response for IM/DD communication [6] is ﬁxed and completely determined for a given

set of source properties S; receiver properties Ri ; and environment properties E; and hence we

will write hðtÞ more speciﬁcally as hE ðt; S; Ri Þ:

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 269

[12, 13]. The calculation involves decomposition into bounces, discretization into facets, and

ﬁnally multi-receiver iteration.

All transmitted light arriving at the receiver has undergone a deﬁnite number of reﬂections or

bounces. Hence, we can decompose the impulse response hE ðt; S; Ri Þ as

X

1

hE ðt; S; Ri Þ ¼ hEðkÞ ðt; S; Ri Þ ð2Þ

k¼0

where hEðkÞ ðt; S; Ri Þ is the impulse response due to signal light undergoing exactly k bounces

during its path from the source S to the receiver Ri :

The line of sight impulse response hð0Þ E ðt; S; Ri Þ is given by

ð0Þ Ari gðyi Þ Di

hE ðt; S; Ri Þ ¼ Vð~ rri ; EÞTðfij Þ

rs ;~ d t ð3Þ

D2i c

where Di ¼ j~ rs ~

rri j is the distance between the source and the receiver. The visibility function

rs ;~

Vð~ rri ; EÞ is 1 when the LOS path between S and Ri is unobstructed, and is zero otherwise.

Now, the k-bounce response can be calculated using the ðk 1Þ-bounce response using

Z

hðkÞ

E ðt; S; R i Þ ¼ rder hEðk1Þ ðt; S; der Þ * hð0Þ s

E ðt; de ; Ri Þ ð4Þ

E

where the integral is over all surfaces in E and r is the surface reﬂectivity function. The surfaces

act as receivers with

8

< cosðyÞ if 04y4p=2

gðyÞ ¼

:

0 otherwise

and as ﬁrst-order Lambertian transmitters. Since jjhEðkÞ ðt; S; Ri Þjj1 ! 0 as k ! 1 since r51

everywhere, we can estimate hE ðt; S; Ri Þ using (2) by considering only the ﬁrst M bounces. Hence

X

M

hE ðt; S; Ri Þ hðkÞ

E ðt; S; Ri Þ ð5Þ

k¼0

References [12, 13].

The integration in (4) is approximated by representing each face Fi at a spatial partitioning

factor P; i.e. each face is divided into small elements of size 1=P 1=P m2 : Hence, we estimate

hðkÞ

E ðt; S; Ri Þ using

X

N

hðkÞ

E ðt; S; Ri Þ rern hEðk1Þ ðt; S; ern Þ * hð0Þ s

E ðt; en ; Ri Þ ð6Þ

n¼1

where ern and esn represent element n acting as a receiver and a source, respectively.

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

270 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

The key step is to consider the surface facets as receivers. We apply (6) with Ri ¼ erm to obtain

X

N

hðkÞ r

E ðt; S; em Þ rern hEðk1Þ ðt; S; ern Þ * hð0Þ s r

E ðt; en ; em Þ

n¼1

X

N

¼ amn hEðk1Þ ðt tmn ; S; erm Þ ð7Þ

n¼1

where

rerm Tðfmn Þgðymn Þ

amn ¼ Vð~

resn ;~

rerm ; EÞ ð8Þ

P2 D2mn

and tmn ¼ Dmn =c: The quantities fmn ; ymn ; and Dmn are the receiver’s angle to the source, the

source’s angle to the receiver, and the source-to-receiver distance, respectively, for the source esn

and the receiver erm :

We note that evaluation of these N equations of (7) for k 1 allows for iteration to k: A key

observation is that the previously calculated impulse responses hEðk1Þ ðt; S; ern Þ do not depend on

the properties of the individual receiver, and thus can be computed once, independently of the

number of receivers involved. Hence, the only calculation required for each receiver is the

‘collection stage’ given by (6).

The ﬁnal calculation stage is to combine the k-bounce impulse responses into an estimate of

the overall impulse response, as shown in (5).

3. CHANNEL ENSEMBLES

Using this channel estimation tool, called IrSimIt [15], we will investigate propagation

characteristics for a large ensemble of transmitter and receiver locations and orientations in a

suite of rooms. In each case, we consider the impulse response between a single transmitter and a

single receiver. More than eighty thousand impulse responses were calculated in total, arising

from diﬀerent room sizes, transmitter locations and orientations, and receiver locations and

orientations.

3.1. Conﬁguration

We create models of empty rooms ranging from small oﬃces to large classrooms and conference

rooms and evaluate channel characteristics. Each room is divided into 27 equal-sized cubes and

one transmitter is placed uniformly within each cube. As discussed above, IrSimIt allows

multiple receivers for each transmitter without signiﬁcantly increased simulation time. We place

ten receivers uniformly distributed over the sphere of radius D centered at the transmitter,

rejecting any receiver placement that causes a receiver to be outside the room. The reﬂectivities

of the walls are assumed to be 0.9, the ceiling 0.8 and the ﬂoor 0.2. These values are typical of

predominantly white rooms; lower values should be considered for furnished indoor

environments.

The transmitter radiant intensity pattern is Lambertian. The receiver ﬁeld-of-view (FOV) is

set at p=2 and the area Ari ¼ 104 m2 : For each transmitter location, 10 diﬀerent transmitter

orientations are simulated. These are combined with 10 receiver positions, for a total of one

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 271

0.15 0.15

0.82563

Channel impulse response (1/s)

0.1 0.1

0.05 0.05

0 0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

(a) Time (ns) (b) Time (ns)

Figure 1. Typical impulse responses for a transmitter and receiver separated by 0:8 m in a 4 6 m2 room:

(a) a channel containing a LOS path; and (b) a channel with no LOS path.

hundred cases at each transmitter location. Each of these one hundred cases uses a random,

spherically uniform receiver orientation. The orientation angle of the transmitter and receivers is

determined by two random variables, the elevation and azimuth. The azimuth is a uniform

random variable between ½0; 2p; and the cosine of the elevation is a uniform random variable

between [0,1]. We assume all transmitters are pointing somewhere into the room to eliminate

calculations when a transmitter is facing the wall. The range of distances ðDÞ evaluated between

the transmitter and receivers will vary depending on room size. The ceiling height is 3 m in all

rooms considered.

Since the rooms are empty, all combinations of transmitter and receiver will result in some

received power. The impulse responses from the simulations are evaluated and two pieces of

data are collected, channel gain and root-mean-square delay spread. Based on the relationship

between rms delay spread and multipath power penalty for optical wireless channels [10, 16], we

choose to predict and model the multipath in the impulse response through the rms delay

spread. Typical impulse responses for a channel with a LOS path and a channel without a LOS

path can be seen in Figure 1. These agree with previously reported impulse responses [6, 17].

Channel gain is deﬁned as the ratio between the received power and the transmitted power. The

channel gain in dB is equal to the received power in dBW when 1 W is transmitted. Channel

gain is the single most important feature of an optical wireless channel, as it determines the

achievable signal-to-noise ratio for ﬁxed transmitter powers and is important regardless of the

data rate or modulation scheme employed [1].

Figure 2(a) shows typical channel gain distributions of the data collected from IrSimIt.

Although only data for a 4 6 m2 room is shown, all rooms measured experienced similar

trends. When analyzing the histograms, we notice that two distinct curves exist. We hypothesize

that having a LOS component in the channel may be causing this eﬀect. Hence in Figure 2(a) the

channels containing a LOS component are highlighted. As D increases, the channel gain

distribution of the LOS channels merges with that of the channels containing no LOS path. As

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

272 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

450 350

LOS Mean LOS Mean

400 Diffuse Mean Diffuse Mean

All Channels − 56.7 300 All Channels

LOS Channels 443 LOS Channels

350

250

Number of Samples

− 48.9

Number of Samples

300 1.13

200 5.38

250

200 150

150

100

100

50 50

0 0

− 100 − 90 − 80 − 70 − 60 − 50 − 40 − 30 −20 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

(a) Channel Gain (dB) (b) Delay Spread (ns)

Figure 2. Channel histograms for Dj ¼ 0:8 m in a 4 6 m2 room. Channels with a LOS component are

highlighted: (a) channel gain; and (b) RMS delay spread.

E ðÞ is inversely proportional to D ; causing the LOS component to

become less prominent at large values of D: The distributions of the non-LOS channels fall in a

similar channel gain range for all D:

It is important not only to look at channel gain but also the rms delay spread Srms of the

channel, which is calculated using the impulse response hðtÞ according to

"R #1=2

ðt mÞ2 h2 ðtÞ dt

Srms ¼ R ð9Þ

h2 ðtÞ dt

Z Z

2 2

m¼ th ðtÞ dt h ðtÞ dt ð10Þ

The delay spread will be increasingly important for higher data rates [1]. For example, when

Srms ¼ 0:2=R; where R is the data rate, the power penalty for on-oﬀ keying modulation is about

2 dB for typical channels. Thus, delay spreads of 4 ns cause power penalties of 2 dB at a data

rate of 50 Mb=s: Schemes such as PPM that employ narrow pulses are even more susceptible to

delay spread eﬀects.

Figure 2(b) shows typical rms delay spread distributions of the data collected from IrSimIt.

Notice here that a large majority of the small delay spread values have a LOS channel. At

D ¼ 0:1 m the delay spread (Srms ) is 0:09 ns on average for all diﬀerent room sizes. The delay

spread is especially low here and at D ¼ 0:2 m because the power received from the LOS

component is so strong that additional power from the ﬁrst and second bounce are virtually

null. As distance increases the initial power received from the LOS path falls oﬀ, making any

additional multi-path components more eﬀective.

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 273

4. STATISTICAL MODELLING

We develop a model for impulse response characterization which requires only knowledge of the

distance separating the transmitter and receiver and room parameters. Since diﬀerent models

will be used for LOS and diﬀuse channel, we ﬁrst develop a method to determine if a transmitter

and receiver have a LOS path. We then present models for LOS channel gain, diﬀuse channel

gain, LOS delay spread and diﬀuse delay spread.

To determine LOS path existence, we develop the following simple model. Assume the

transmitter and receiver are inside a room with inﬁnite walls and are placed at a separation

distance D ¼ 1: This creates an area, equal to the surface area of a sphere, which could contain

the transmitter SAsphere ¼ 4p: Assuming random (uniform) and independent orientation of the

transmitter and receiver, then each must be able to ‘see’ the other in order for a LOS path to

exist. Thus

Pr½LOS path ¼ Pr½Rx sees Tx Pr½Tx sees Rx ð11Þ

The surface area of the sphere visible to the receiver with half-angle ﬁeld of view FOV is

2 FOV

SAFOV ¼ 4p sin ð12Þ

2

The probability that the receiver can see the transmitter is the ratio of SAFOV to the entire

area SAsphere ; hence

FOV

Pr½Rx sees Tx ¼ sin2 ð13Þ

2

Similarly the probability that the transmitter is transmitting radiation in the receiver’s

direction is based on the half-angle transmission angle (tang ), which we have ﬁxed as a

Lambertian making tang ¼ p=2:

t 1

ang

Pr½Tx sees Rx ¼ sin2 ¼ ð14Þ

2 2

and so

1 2 FOV

Pr½LOS path ¼ sin ð15Þ

2 2

Since a FOV ¼ p=2 was chosen for our experiment, the expected fraction of channels

containing an LOS path is 25%.

The LOS impulse response for a receiver Ri in an environment E is given by

hð0Þ

E ðt; S; Ri Þ ¼ TðfÞAðyÞ=D

2

ð16Þ

where S is the transmitter or source. The eﬀective optical collection area at incident angles of y is

AðyÞ ¼ Ar gðyÞ where gðyÞ is the receiver optical gain function and Ar is the total optical

collection area. The distance separating the transmitter and receiver is D: The radiant intensity

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

274 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

nþ1

TðfÞ ¼ cosn ðfÞ ð17Þ

2p

for Lambertian order n: We restrict our attention to Lambertian order n ¼ 1; so

TðfÞ ¼ cosðfÞ=p: The receiver optical gain for bare detectors is gðyÞ ¼ cosðyÞ: Now (16) can

be re-written as:

Ar

hð0Þ

E ðt; S; Ri Þ ¼ cosðfÞ cosðyÞ ð18Þ

pD2

We hypothesize that we can use (18) as a basis to model LOS characteristics for both the

mean and distributions of LOS channels based on D: In this section, probability distributions

are compared with the histograms of the collected data. First we assign the random variable V

to the distribution of cosðyÞ; and W to the distribution of cosðfÞ: The uniform random

orientation of the transmitter and receiver results in V and W i.i.d. with unif [0,1] distributions,

i.e.

8

< 1 05x41

fW ðxÞ ¼ fV ðxÞ ¼ ð19Þ

:

0 else

Next, we declare U ¼ VW and so the channel gain in dB, Y; is given by

Ar

Y ¼ 10 log10 U

D2 p

¼ 10 log10 ðUÞ þ Kmg

2

where Kmg ¼ 10 log10 ðAr =D pÞ:

Now, since [18]:

Z 1

fU ðuÞ ¼ fV;W ðv; u=vÞjvj1 dv ð20Þ

1

and for our situation, when u > v we have fV;W ðv; u=vÞ ¼ 0 and when u5v we have

fV;W ðv; u=vÞ ¼ 1; then

8R1

< u 1v dv ¼ lnðuÞ 05u41

fU ðuÞ ¼ ð21Þ

:

0 else

Hence,

d d

fY ðyÞ ¼ PðY4yÞ ¼ P U410ðyKmg Þ=10 ð22Þ

dy dy

ðyKmgÞ

Z 10 10

d

¼ ln u du ð23Þ

dy 0

8 ðKmg yÞ

>

ln10 2

< ðKmg yÞ10 10 ; y4Kmg

10

¼ ð24Þ

>

:

0 else

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 275

− 25

4x4 All Bounces

− 30 6x6 All Bounces

8x8 All Bounces

− 35 10x10 All Bounces

12x12 All Bounces

− 40 4x4 LOS Only

6x6 LOS Only

− 45 8x8 LOS Only

10x10 LOS Only

− 50 12x12 LOS Only

Curve Fit

− 55

− 60

− 65

− 70

− 75

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Distance (m)

Figure 3. The mean channel gain of LOS channels for various rooms ﬁtted with ideal curve.

can write

Y ¼ Kmg Z ð25Þ

where Z is Gðl; tÞ distributed, deﬁned as

1 t t1 lz

fZ ðzÞ ¼ lz e ð26Þ

GðtÞ

with l ¼ lnð10Þ=10 and t ¼ 2 and GðtÞ is the gamma function [18]. The mean and variance of Y

are given by

20

mY ¼ Kmg t=l ¼ Kmg ð27Þ

ln 10

and

200

s2Y ¼ t=l2 ¼ ð28Þ

ðln 10Þ2

We test the eﬀectiveness of this distribution in predicting mean channel gain as a function of

distance, as shown in Figure 3. The line generated from (27) is an excellent ﬁt for the LOS only

data. However, when the contribution of other bounces is included we see that the curve

underestimates the sample data by up to 7 dB:

We now evaluate not only the mean channel gain but the distribution of channel gains at a

particular distance. In this regard, the modiﬁed gamma distribution is limited in that it has a

ﬁxed variance, and hence a ﬁxed shape. To address this issue we have looked at a number of

alternatives. The most promising of these is the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution. We say that Y

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

276 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

Y ¼ Kmr R ð29Þ

where R is a Rayleigh distribution given by

2

=2s2

fR ðrÞ ¼ sr2 er r50 ð30Þ

This distribution has two parameters that can be used for ﬁtting: s and Kmr :

To evaluate the rooms for all D we use the w2 goodness test [19]. The w2 -test is used to test the

hypothesis that a function FðxÞ is the distribution of the sample population x1 ; . . . ; xn : If the

sample population deviates too much from FðxÞ then we shall reject the hypothesis. We will

perform the test on all groups of data for our distribution deﬁned in (24). For comparison, the

modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution is also evaluated because of its similar shape and characteristics.

Both distributions require that only one parameter be estimated. We bin our data in 20 bins; this

is approximately 1 bin/dBW. According to w2 theory [20] there are K r 1 degrees of

freedom, where K is the number of bins and r is the number of unknown parameters. This

means we have 18 degrees of freedom.

The sample deviation is calculated according to:

XK

ðbj ej Þ2

w20 ¼ ð31Þ

j¼1

ej

ej ¼ npj ð32Þ

where n is the number of samples in the population and pj is the probability that a random

variable X assumes any value in interval Ij :

Figure 4(a) shows the w2 -test results for the modiﬁed gamma distribution performed on only

the LOS component of LOS channel gain. We see that for all cases except the 12 12 m2 room

at D ¼ 0:2 m; we do not reject the hypothesis that the samples ﬁt a modiﬁed gamma

103 10 3

α = 0.05

α = 0.005

Average − Gamma

Average − Rayleigh

Deviation

Deviation

10 2 10 2

α = 0.05

α = 0.005

4x4 Gamma

6x6 Gamma

8x8 Gamma

10x10 Gamma

12x12 Gamma 1

1 10

10

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 1 2 3 4 5 6

(a) Distance (m) (b) Distance (m)

Figure 4. (a) w2 -test results for a sample of rooms. For these rooms the modiﬁed gamma distribution was

ﬁt to the LOS component of the LOS channel gain histograms. (b) The average w2 -test results for the

modiﬁed gamma and Rayleigh distributions ﬁt to the LOS component of the LOS channel gain.

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 277

120 120

100 100

Number of Samples

Number of Samples

80 80

60 60

40 40

20 20

0 0

−100 −90 −80 −70 −60 −50 −40 −100 −90 −80 −70 −60 −50 −40

(a) Channel Gain (dB) (b) Channel Gain (dB)

Figure 5. Example distribution curves plotted atop histograms of LOS channel gain data, LOS path only.

The data shown represents an 8 8 m2 room and D ¼ 1:6 m: (a) modiﬁed gamma distribution;

and (b) modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution.

distribution. Only a sample of all the rooms evaluated is shown in Figure 4(a). For all other

rooms no additional points lie above the a ¼ 0:005 threshold. From this we can conclude that

our modiﬁed gamma distribution is a good estimate of LOS path channel gain.

Figure 4(b) shows w2 -test results, averaged over all rooms, for both the modiﬁed gamma and

Rayleigh distributions on the LOS component of LOS channels. As one can see the modiﬁed

Rayleigh distribution is no where near the deviation required for hypothesis acceptance. Other

distributions were attempted and yielded worse results than the modiﬁed Rayleigh.

Examples of our sample data plotted with the distribution curves can be seen in Figure 5.

Examining the modiﬁed gamma curve one notices how good the ﬁt looks even with the naked

eye. The w2 deviation value for this curve is 25.66, which is less than 37.61 (deviation for

a ¼ 0:005). The value of Kmg for the modiﬁed gamma distribution for this particular example is

derived from the value of D; Kmg ¼ 10 log10 ð104 =ðD2 pÞÞ ¼ 49:05: This gives us a mean of

57:73 dB and variance of 37.72. The histogram for this case has a mean of 57:68 dB; and

variance of 40.07. Examining the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution it is clear why this is not a good

ﬁt. In order to match the mean and variance of the sample data the curve is too wide to be a

good ﬁt. The w2 deviation value for this case using the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution is 78.55,

higher than 37.61.

Next we will attempt to ﬁt the LOS channel including the diﬀuse components. The w2 -test results

of the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution for a sample of all rooms evaluated can be seen in

Figure 6. For most rooms when D50:4 m the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution passes the

hypothesis test.

Figure 7 shows the modiﬁed gamma and Rayleigh distributions evaluated for LOS channels

and averaged over all rooms. The modiﬁed Rayleigh ﬁts the data best for D50:4 m; for reasons

discussed above. For D50:4 m the modiﬁed gamma distribution still holds because the LOS

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

278 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

103

α = 0.05

α = 0.005

4x4 Rayleigh

6x6 Rayleigh

8x8 Rayleigh

10x10 Rayleigh

102 12x12 Rayleigh

Deviation

101

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Distance (m)

Figure 6. The deviation results for the w2 -test for the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution. Results are shown for

select rooms for simplicity. Both the LOS and diﬀuse components are evaluated.

10 3

α = 0.05

α = 0.005

Average − Gamma

Deviation

10 2 Average − Rayleigh

10 1

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Distance (m)

Figure 7. The deviation results for the w2 -test for the modiﬁed Rayleigh and gamma distributions. Results

are averaged over all rooms. Both the LOS and diﬀuse components are evaluated here.

component is dominant at close distances. The values of D50:4 m is also the range where (27)

ﬁts the overall distribution of the mean LOS channel gain.

In Figure 7, for the modiﬁed Rayleigh curve, 77% of all samples lie below 40.0 (the deviation

threshold for a ¼ 0:005 and 20 degrees of freedom). When you count only those samples for

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 279

60 60

50 50

Number of Samples

Number of Samples

40 40

30 30

20 20

10 10

0 0

− 75 −70 − 65 − 60 − 55 − 50 −45 −75 −70 −65 −60 −55 −50 −45

(a) Channel Gain (dB) (b) Channel Gain (dB)

Figure 8. Example distribution curves plotted atop histograms of LOS channel gain data,

LOS and diﬀuse path, for an 8 8 m2 room and D ¼ 1:6 m: (a) modiﬁed gamma distribution;

and (b) modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution.

D50:4 m; this rises to 90% below the threshold. On average the larger rooms show poorer

results because the additional power is weaker than smaller rooms. For the modiﬁed gamma

distribution, 86% of samples lie below the threshold for D50:4 m:

Examples of the modiﬁed Rayleigh and gamma distribution curves plotted with the sample

data can be seen in Figure 8. It is clear that the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution is the better

choice in this case. The shape of the distribution changes with the additional bounces. The width

of the histogram is smaller than seen in Figure 5. Our modiﬁed gamma distribution has a ﬁxed

variance, unlike the modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution. This is why the modiﬁed Rayleigh

distribution is superior when the diﬀuse components are added. The modiﬁed gamma

distribution is too wide with additional bounces. The modiﬁed Rayleigh has a deviation of

23.46, the a ¼ 0:005 threshold is 40.00. The deviation for the modiﬁed gamma distribution is

186.81, which is much higher than the a ¼ 0:005 deviation threshold. The histogram has a mean

of 54:3 dB and a variance of 11.37 for this case. The modiﬁed Rayleigh distribution

parameters s2 and Kmr ; were chosen so that mean and variance match identically.

From these results we can conclude that the modiﬁed gamma distribution is the best

probabilistic model for small values of D50:4 m: When D50:4 m the modiﬁed Rayleigh

distribution will be used to model the LOS channel gain distribution.

Following a similar methodology to that used here, models for the channel gain of diﬀuse

channels and the rms delay spread of LOS and diﬀuse channels are developed in Reference [21].

In contrast to the model of LOS channel gain, we were unable to develop other successful

physical arguments based on channel structure to inform our remaining choices for statistical

models. Nevertheless, good empirical models were found, as summarized below:

* the shifted lognormal distribution was the best ﬁt for the observed distributions of diﬀuse

channel gains (see Figure 9).

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

280 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

* the gamma distribution and the lognormal distribution are both excellent ﬁts for LOS

delay spreads, with the lognormal being preferred for small D (see Figure 10).

* the gamma distribution was the best found for diﬀuse delay spreads, but no distribution

was found that passed the w2 ﬁt test. However, the gamma distribution model was able to

predict the power penalty due to rms delay spread to within 1 dB (see Figure 11).

500

Lognormal

450 Gaussian

Data

400

350

Number of Samples

300

250

200

150

100

50

0

− 90 − 85 − 80 −75 −70 −65 −60 −55 −50

Channel Gain (dB)

400

350

300

Number of Samples

250

200

150

100

50

0

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

Delay Spread (ns)

Figure 10. LOS delay spread data for an 8 8 m2 room with D ¼ 1:8 m:

The distribution is gamma with t ¼ 0:72:

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 281

350

300

250

Number of Samples

200

150

100

50

0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

Delay Spread (ns)

Figure 11. Diﬀuse delay spread for a 12 12 m2 room at dtr ¼ 6:0 m: The distribution is gamma.

* varying the reﬂectivity of the walls did not aﬀect the distribution ﬁt tests described above.

* in modelled rooms with typical conﬁgurations of furniture, the same distributions model

the channel gain and rms delay spread as in empty rooms.

In summary, the following method can be used to generate a statistically realistic impulse

response hðtÞ for an indoor optical wireless channel:

1. Determine the transmitter/receiver separation D and the room size.

2. Based on the FOV of the receiver, use (15) to determine if the channel is LOS or diﬀuse.

3. Choose the mean channel gain in dB from an appropriate curve ﬁt, based on the room

size and D (see Figures 12 and 13).

4. Determine the actual channel gain by applying either the modiﬁed gamma, Rayleigh or

lognormal distribution.

5. Determine the mean rms delay spread and use that to choose an actual rms delay spread

from the appropriate distribution.

6. If an actual impulse response shape is required, one can use the previously determined

gain and rms delay spread to determine the impulse response [10]

6a6 Hð0Þ

hðtÞ ¼

uðtÞ ð33Þ

ðt þ aÞ7

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

where the delay spread Srms is given by a ¼ 12 11=13Srms and Hð0Þ is the channel gain

in linear units (i.e. Hð0Þ ¼ 10Y=10 ).

Details of the curve ﬁt parameters can be found in Reference [21] and are available as data

ﬁles in Reference [22].

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

282 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

− 25

4x4 Room

− 30 6x6 Room

8x8 Room

− 35 10x10 Room

12x12 Room

− 40

− 45

− 50

− 55

− 60

− 65

− 70

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Distance (m)

Figure 12. Mean channel gain for LOS channels with curve ﬁts.

− 52

4x4 Room

4x6 Room

− 54 4x8 Room

6x6 Room

− 56 6x8 Room

8x8 Room

− 58 8x10 Room

Channel Gain (dB)

8x12 Room

10x10 Room

− 60 10x12 Room

12x12 Room

− 62

− 64

− 66

− 68

− 70

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Distance (m)

Figure 13. Mean channel gain for diﬀuse channel with curve ﬁts.

5. CONCLUSIONS

We have outlined a method for statistical modelling for the indoor optical wireless channel

through the examination of the characteristics of a large set of channel impulse responses. The

channel responses are generated using an estimation method based on geometrical modelling of

indoor environments together with an iterative technique for calculating multiple reﬂections. We

conﬁrm prior studies showing that channels with line-of-sight paths must be modelled separately

from those fully diﬀuse channels with no such path. We show that the distribution of the

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

STATISTICAL MODELS OF INDOOR OPTICAL CHANNELS 283

channel gain in dB for the LOS component follows a modiﬁed gamma distribution, and the

channel gain in dB for LOS channels including all reﬂections follows a modiﬁed Rayleigh

distribution for most transmitter–receiver distances. Similar results are described for

distributions of channel gains of diﬀuse channels and for distributions of rms delay spreads.

Finally, we describe a method for generating a statistically realistic impulse response given any

transmitter–receiver separation in an indoor environment.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This work was supported by National Science Foundation under grant No. ECS-9876149.

REFERENCES

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Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

284 J. B. CARRUTHERS AND S. M. CARROLL

AUTHORS’ BIOGRAPHIES

from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, in 1990, and the MS and PhD degrees in

electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993 and 1997,

respectively. He has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer

Engineering at Boston University since 1997, and is currently an Associate

Professor. Dr Carruthers received the US National Science Foundation CAREER

Award in 1999. His research interests include wireless infrared communications,

wireless networking, and digital communications.

Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN in 1999 and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from

Boston University, Boston, MA in 2003. She is currently an Advisory IT Specialist

with IBM Global Services, New York, NY. Dr Carroll received the Presidential

University Graduate Fellowship to attend Boston University and the James L.

Massey award whilst at Notre Dame. Her research interests include wireless infrared

communications, ad hoc networking and digital communications. She is a member of

IEEE Communications Society.

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Commun. Syst. 2005; 18:267–284

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