Communications and Signal Processing Seminar

Fiber-Optic Communication via the Nonlinear Fourier Transform

Frank KschischangDistinguished Professor of Digital Communication, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,University of Toronto

The vast majority of the world's telecommunications and Internet traffic is carried, for at least part way, over a network of land-based and under-sea fiber-optic cables. Recent decades have witnessed steady improvements in our ability to harness the information-carrying capability of optical fibers, and continued improvements rely increasingly on ever more sophisticated coding, modulation, and signal processing techniques, which are needed to approach fundamental information-theoretic limits. Lightwave propagation in optical fibers is well modeled by the generalized nonlinear Schrodinger (NLS) equation, a partial differential equation that describes the interplay between loss, noise, dispersion, and Kerr nonlinearity, providing a challenging, yet commercially important, channel model for communication engineers and information theorists. In this work we explore data communications applications of the nonlinear Fourier transform, a signal analysis technique that simplifies the complicated nonlinear spatio-temporal signal evolution to the action of a multiplicative "filter" in nonlinear frequency domain. We propose a nonlinear analogue of frequency-division multiplexing that, unlike many fiber-optic transmission strategies, deals with both dispersion and nonlinearity unconditionally, without need for dispersion or nonlinearity compensation methods.
Frank R. Kschischang is Distinguished Professor of Digital Communication in the ECE Dept. of the University of Toronto, where he has been since 1991. His research interests focus primarily on channel coding techniques, applied to wireline, wireless and optical communication systems and networks. He has received many awards, including the Ontario Premier's Excellence Research Award, the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Communication Algorithms, the 2012 Canadian Award in Telecommunications Research, the 2010 Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award, the A. D. Wyner Distinguished Service Award of the IEEE Information Theory Society, as well as a number of teaching awards. He is a Fellow of IEEE, the Engineering Institute of Canada, and the Royal Society of Canada.

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Faculty Host

Dave Neuhoff