Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 October 2011
Order statistics is an important sub-discipline of statistical theory and finds applications in a vast variety of fields, with life science as the most notable example . Over the years, order statistics has made an increasing number of appearances in design and analysis wireless communication systems, primarily because of the simple but effective engineering principle – ‘pick the best’. For example, the diversity combining technique is an effective solution to improve the performance of wireless communication systems operating over fading channels by generating differently faded replicas of the same information-bearing signal. Selection combining (SC) [2, 3], which selects the replica with the best quality for further processing, is an attractive practical combining scheme and has been researched extensively in the literature. The performance analysis of the SC scheme entails the distribution functions of the largest random variables among multiple ones, which is available in conventional order statistics literature.
More recently, order statistics has also found application in the analysis and design of many emerging wireless transmission and reception techniques, such as advanced diversity combining techniques, channel adaptive transmission techniques, and multiuser scheduling techniques. These techniques are becoming the essential building blocks of future wireless systems for the delivery of multimedia services with high spectrum efficiency . In particular, order statistics results have allowed for the accurate quantification of the trade-off of performance versus complexity among different design options, which will greatly facilitate the applications of these technologies in future wireless systems.