Fundamentals of Digital Communications


Lecture (2 VO)

The lecture is given in weekly sessions of 1:30 hrs. Please find the current schedule on TUG Online.


  • Introduction; Signal properties and classification
  • Frequency domain representation of signals; LTI systems; transfer function and impulse response
  • Fundamentals of signal spaces; signals as vectors; Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization
  • Vectorial representation of digital communications signals; pulse amplitude modulation (PAM)
  • Higher dimensional signals; quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM); carrier modulation
  • Preview to optimum demodulators; Nyquist pulse-shaping
  • Probability; random variables; random processes
  • Correlation demodulator; matched filter demodulator
  • AWGN vector signal model; maximum likelihood and maximum a posteriori detection
  • BER computation
  • Linear filter channels and equalization

Material for the lecture:

Chapter Topics Notes Additional Material
1 Introduction Chapter 1  
2 Signals and Systems

(new!) slides

3 Digital Modulation Chapter 3  
4 Random Variables
and Random Processes
Chapter 4  Formulary
5 Demodulation and Detection Chapter 5


Problem Classes (1 UE)

Supporting problem sets are discussed in the problem classes. The problem classes are held in eight sessions. Grading is based on homework assignments.

Lecture hall: i12 (Inffeldgasse 16b), Monday 12:30-14:00

Date Topics Problem Sets Additional Material
 24.10.2016 Signal Spaces  Problem 1 Slides
 7.11.2016 Geometric Representation of Signal Waveforms  Problem 2 Slides
 14.11.2016 Convolution Integral and Fourier Transform  Problem 3  Slides, p1.m
21.11.2016 Communications Signals in Signal Spaces  Problem 4 Slides, p1.m
28.11.2016 Probability and Random Variables  Problem 5 Slides, p1.m, p2.m, p3.m
9.1.2017 Random Processes  Problem 6 Slides, p1.m 
16.1.2017 Demodulation, MF, Correlation Receiver  Problem 7 Slides 
23.1.2017 Demodulation, Detection, and Error Probability  Problem 8 Slides 


Homework Assignments:

  • The homework assignments and schedule are found in the table below. Please hand in your homework up to the specified due date in our mailbox at Inffeldgasse 16c / ground floor. A map can be found HERE.
  • Grading principles and common mistakes from the last years are discussed in this document (MCM).
  • There will be possibilities where you can ask questions and discuss the homework assignments ~1 week before the due date. These Q/A sessions will be in one of our DSP-Laboratories (IEEG180). The actual dates will be announced in the problem classes (and are shown below).

No. Date Q/A Due Date Topics Problem Set MCM
1  31.10.2016 15.11.2016 - 16:00 21.11.2016  Signal Spaces, Linear Operators HW 01   
2  28.11.2016 13.12.2016 - 16:00 19.12.2016 Fourier Transform, Communication Signals, Random Variables HW 02   
3  10.01.2016 24.01.2016 - 16:00 03.02.2016  Random Process, Demodulation, Detection

HW 03




Your scores are available HERE. There is an opportunity for discussion of the grading (Einsichtnahme) in room IEEG180 (DSP Labor), Inffeldg. 16, ground floor,  after the correction of each assignment, usually at the Q&A of the following homework.

You can collect your homework in the respective "Einsichtnahme" session.  Additionally they can be collected after the grading has been finalized and will be available at my office (Stefan Hinteregger) (IDEG006).

Achieved Points Grade
87< ... 1
74< ... <=87 2
61< ... <=74 3
48< ... <=61 4
... <=48 5


News Group

The news group provided by the ZID can be used to discuss questions concerning the lecture and problem classes of this course. The instructors and the study assistants will be pleased to answer your questions. 


The exam for the lecture usually consists of 3 questions regarding the theoretic part and three more practical examples. Below are two examples of previous exams.

Exam 29.5.2015
Exam 01.12.2015

Permitted material: Table of Fourier transform properties, tabulated Q-function (both are provided), pocket calculator.

Nachrichtentechnik, Labor (2 LU)

Session E of the "Nachrichtentechnik, Labor" deals with a number of topics of this lecture course. Find here the handout for the laboratory exercise (in German). pdf

Education Level: 
Bachelor Level
Master Level