The fundamental objective of a communication system is to reproduce at a destination point, either exactly or approximately, a message selected at another point. This was theorized by Claude Shannon in 1948 [SHA 48].

The communication chain is composed of a source (also called transmitter) and a destination (also called receiver). They are separated by a transmission channel, which may, for instance, be a wired cable if we consider ADSL transmission, optical fiber, a wireless mobile channel between a base station and a mobile terminal or between a satellite and its receiver, a hard drive, and so forth. The latter example indicates that when we refer to point, we may consider either location or time. The main issue faced by communication systems is that the channel is subject to additional noise, and may also introduce some distortions on the transmitted signal. Consequently, advanced techniques must be implemented in order to decrease the impact of noise and distortions on the performances as much as possible, so that the receiver signal may be as similar as possible to the transmitted signal.

The performance of a transmission system is evaluated by either computing or measuring the error probability per received information bit at the receiver, also called the bit error rate. The other major characteristics of a communication system are its complexity, its bandwidth, its consumed and transmitted power, and the useful data rate that it can transmit. The bandwidth ...

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