On the ordering of communication channels
This dissertation introduces stochastic ordering of instantaneous channel powers of fading channels as a general method to compare the performance of a communication system over two different channels, even when a closed-form expression for the metric may not be available. Such a comparison is with respect to a variety of performance metrics such as error rates, outage probability and ergodic capacity, which share common mathematical properties such as monotonicity, convexity or complete monotonicity. Complete monotonicity of a metric, such as the symbol error rate, in conjunction with the stochastic Laplace transform order between two fading channels implies the ordering of the two channels with respect to the metric. While it has been established previously that certain modulation schemes have convex symbol error rates, there is no study of the complete monotonicity of the same, which helps in establishing stronger channel ordering results. Toward this goal, the current research proves for the first time, that all 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional modulations have completely monotone symbol error rates. Furthermore, it is shown that the frequently used parametric fading distributions for modeling line of sight exhibit a monotonicity in the line of sight parameter with respect to the Laplace transform order. While the Laplace transform order can also be used to order fading distributions based on the ergodic capacity, there exist several distributions which are not Laplace transform ordered, although they have ordered ergodic capacities. To address this gap, a new stochastic order called the ergodic capacity order has been proposed herein, which can be used to compare channels based on the ergodic capacity. Using stochastic orders, average performance of systems involving multiple random variables are compared over two different channels. These systems include diversity combining schemes, relay networks, and signal detection over fading channels with non-Gaussian additive noise. This research also addresses the problem of unifying fading distributions. This unification is based on infinite divisibility, which subsumes almost all known fading distributions, and provides simplified expressions for performance metrics, in addition to enabling stochastic ordering.