Generalized Space Shift Keying for Ambient Backscatter Communication

Ashwini H. Raghavendra, Anagha K. Kowshik, Sanjeev Gurugopinath, Sami Muhaidat, Chintha Tellambura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We consider a generalized space shift keying (GSSK)-enabled multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) ambient backscatter communication (ABC) system. We propose a scheme to exploit the multiple antenna structure of the system to achieve a lower error-rate performance than conventional ABC systems. Furthermore, we present a novel low complexity energy-based maximum likelihood (EML) GSSK detector, which does not require the perfect knowledge of the ambient source's signal, unlike the conventional ABC receivers. To gain insights into the performance of the proposed scheme, we derive the exact pairwise error probability (PEP) of the EML detector and further obtain an upper bound on the probability of error. We also derive a simple asymptotic PEP expression as the number of antennas of the reader becomes large. Finally, we derive a simple, asymptotic PEP at the reader when the noise variance approaches zero, i.e., under the large signal-to-interference ratio regime. We validate our analysis through Monte Carlo simulations and show a small performance loss due to the approximations.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)5018-5029
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Ambient backscatter communications (ABC)
  • energy-based maximum likelihood (EML)
  • generalized space shift keying (GSSK)
  • multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO)


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