Program for 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Power Line Communications and Its Applications

London time Monday, March 31 Tuesday, April 1 Wednesday, April 2
10:00 ‑ 10:30 Registration K3: Keynote  
10:30 ‑ 10:50 Welcome W1: MIMO PLC
W2: Network Performance
10:50 ‑ 11:00 T1: PLC Systems & Field Trials
T2: Signal Processing & Detection
11:00 ‑ 11:50 K1: Keynote
11:50 ‑ 12:10 Coffee/Tea Coffee/Tea Coffee/Tea
12:10 ‑ 13:30 M1: Channel & Noise Characterisation
M2: Device Modelling & Measurements
T3: Smart Grid Roll-Out
T4: Coding Techniques
W3: Cooperation & Network Coding
W4: Noise & Interference Mitigation
13:30 ‑ 14:50 Lunch Lunch  
14:50 ‑ 15:40 K2: Devolo Workshop on Testing MIMO-PLC Devices on a Broadband Powerline Channel Emulator K4: Keynote  
15:40 ‑ 17:00 M3: In-Vehicle PLC Channel Characterisation
M4: Cognitive Methods
T5: Signal Processing & Modulation
T6: PLC Applications
17:00 ‑ 17:20 Coffee/Tea Coffee/Tea  
17:20 ‑ 18:20 M5: Simulators & Emulators
M6: Emerging Systems & Solutions
P: Panel Discussion: What research do we need for PLC 2020?  
18:20 ‑ 19:00 R: Recent Results  

Monday, March 31

Monday, March 31 10:30 - 11:00


Room: K3.25

Monday, March 31 11:00 - 11:50

K1: Keynote

Statistics of Impulse Noise in xDSL Systems
Stephen McLaughlin
Room: K3.25

Monday, March 31 12:10 - 13:30

M1: Channel & Noise Characterisation

Room: K3.25
12:10 Coherence Time and Sparsity of Brazilian Outdoor PLC Channels: A Preliminary Analysis
Antonio A. M. Picorone (UFJF, Brazil); Raimundo Sampaio-Neto (Cetuc-Puc-Rio, Brazil); Moises Vidal Ribeiro (Federal University of Juiz de Fora & INERGE - INCT de Energia Elétrica, Brazil)
This work aims at offering an initial analysis of coherence time and sparsity of power line communication (PLC) channels, which were measured in the outdoor and low-voltage electric distribution networks in Brazil. In this regard, a procedure for estimating coherence time and sparsity of PLC channels is described. In the sequel, estimates of coherence time and sparsity of several measures of Brazilian PLC channels are reported. The attained results confirm that only the coefficients of channel impulse responses with the largest amplitudes are relevant to estimate the coherence time. Moreover, they also indicate that the sparsity of PLC channel is a random variable that deserves more investigation and analysis.
12:30 An Experimental Study of the Effect of Human Activity on the Alpha-Stable Characteristics of the Power-Line Noise
Gerardo Abel Laguna-Sanchez and Miguel Lopez-Guerrero (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico)
In recent works it has been recognized that alpha stable distributions are convenient characterizations of some noise properties in the power line. They naturally include in their formulation both background noise and impulsive components. The intended applications of this modeling approach are twofold. First, it allows to better understand the statistical properties of the noise. Second, it allows to synthesize the noise process in a more realistic way, as compared to commonly used Gaussian models. In this work we focus our attention on the former application. We study the relation between human activity and the parameter values of the alpha stable probability distribution. In our research methodology we collected a large number of noise samples in three real power distribution networks: a typical town house, a university office and a semi-industrial workshop. Then, we applied some parameter estimation algorithms to the collected noise traces and observed the time evolution of the parameter values. It is shown that noise in all considered scenarios presents characteristics that deviate from the Gaussian assumption and this behavior depends on the level of human activity. This result should be taken into consideration for the realistic representation of transmission impairments in the design and evaluation of power-line communication (PLC) systems.
12:50 On Impulse Noise and Its Models
Thokozani Calvin Shongwe (University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Han Vinck (University of Duisburg-Essen & University of Johannesburg, Germany); Hendrik C Ferreira (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
This article gives a discussion on impulse noise, its models and how it affects communications systems. We discuss the different impulse noise models in the literature, looking at their similarities and differences in communications systems. The impulse noise models discussed are memoryless (Middleton Class A and Bernoulli-Gaussian), and with memory (Markov-Middleton and Markov-Gaussian). We then go further to give performance comparisons in terms of bit error rates for some of the variants of impulse noise models. We also compare the bit error rate performance of single-carrier (SC) and multi-carrier (MC) communications systems operating under impulse noise. It can be seen that MC is not always better than SC under impulse noise. Lastly, the known impulse noise mitigation schemes (clipping/nulling using thresholds, iterative based and error control coding methods) are discussed.
13:10 VLF-band Power Line Channel Sounding
David W. Rieken (Aclara Power-Line Systems Inc., USA); Zhixi Li (ACLARA, USA); Chris Fleck (Aclara, USA)
It is commonly asserted that VLF band signals can penetrate distribution transformers. The best evidence for this may be the fact that several UNB-PLC systems are known to work in this band. However, precise quantifications of the channel transfer functions are necessary to determine how well those systems can work, in principal, and thus what is theoretically possible in the VLF band. We present the results of a recent survey conducted at multiple sites at multiple utilities in which broadband VLF signals are broadcast over the power line and recorded at distant points. The transmit and receive points are on separate low voltage networks, connected by at least one medium voltage network, and thus isolated from each other by at least two transformers. Those recordings have been analyzed and the transfer function of the resulting channel inferred with a high degree of confidence. Together with an analysis of the noise power spectral density the signal-to-noise ratio of a VLF-PLC link can be inferred. These findings illustrate the viability of future VLF-PLC technologies.

M2: Device Modelling & Measurements

Room: K3.17
12:10 Cell-Wise Monitoring of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Automotive Traction Applications by Using Power Line Communication: Battery Modeling and Channel Characterization
Ichraf Ouannes and Patrick Felix Nickel (Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany); Klaus M. Dostert (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany)
In Lithium-ion battery systems used for automotive traction applications a communication network is required for monitoring and control functions. We consider the power line communication (PLC) as a good alternative to data transmission buses used up to date in Lithium-ion battery systems, with the main scope consisting in reducing the cable harness and achieving substantial cost savings. We propose a novel battery management concept based on a cell-wise monitoring of the battery. For this, each cell comprises a communication interface for data transmission over the existing power line. In this paper, the properties of Lithium-ion battery systems are investigated with focus on the power line channel transfer characteristics in the frequency band 1 MHz to 100 MHz. We propose a circuit based model of a single cell, which has been fitted to measurement data. The cell model is used as basic block for the modeling of (cascaded) large battery systems and is validated by impedance analysis of typical Lithium-ion batteries. As the channel capacity is strongly affected by noise, measurements were conducted in electric vehicles in order to obtain the noise characteristics of power electronic devices connected to the electric power train.
12:30 High Frequency MV/LV Transformer Modelling for Power Line Communication Applications
Romain Lefort (Xlim & Séolis, France); Benoit Taquet (Hautes Etudes d'Ingénieur de Lille, France); Rodolphe Vauzelle (University of Poitiers, France); Vincent Courtecuisse (Gérédis Deux-Sévres, France); Anne-Marie Poussard (Université de Poitiers, France); Nadir Idir (Universite de Lille 1 - L2EP, France)
In recent years, design and service evolution in electric distribution networks are mainly guided by the increasing in the customer consumption and the emergence of new sources and loads such as renewable energy, electric and hybrids vehicles. The lack of control over these new constraints in the future may lead to technical and financial problems. Therefore, establishing a supervisory strategy offering a more advanced knowledge of distribution networks is an interesting alternative compared to an expensive strengthening of current networks. Power Line Communication (PLC) technologies present a significant advantage for a supervision application of electric distribution networks. Nevertheless, these networks have not been developed to transmit High Frequency (HF) signals like a PLC. Thus, they induce difficult propagation conditions for PLC. This paper presents an approach to model in HF one element of the distribution network: the MV/LV transformers which established the connection between Medium Voltage (MV) and Low Voltage (LV). The proposed modeling method is based on a black box model whose parameters are obtained from various impedance measurements. It has been applied to four transformers most commonly used by Gérédis, French Distribution System Operator (DSO).
12:50 Characterization and Modeling Breakers Effect on Power Line Communications
Richard Nizigiyimana (University of Tours & GREMAN, France); Jean-Charles Le Bunetel and Yves Raingeaud (University of Tours, France); Philippe Ravier (Université d'Orléans, France); Guy Lamarque (University of Orleans, France); Anouar Achouri (University of Tours, GREMAN, France)
This paper investigates the impact of domestic breakers on power line communications. Different types of breakers have been characterized by measuring their insertion loss in narrow or broad bands PLC. A model of breakers has been proposed and validated and should be integrated in PLC simulator.
13:10 A Measurement-Based Model of Energy Consumption for PLC Modems
Wafae Bakkali (Centrale Supélec & Sagemcom, France); Mohamed Tlich (INNOVAS, France); Pascal Pagani (CEA - CESTA, France); Thierry Chonavel (IMT Atlantic & Université Européenne de Bretagne, France)
In this paper a detailed measurements-based analysis of the energy consumption of commercial broadband PLC modems is reported. Energy consumption measurements are carried out on the basis of pairs of many commercial PLC modems. Ethernet frames with variable sizes and bit/frame rates are sent on a modem, and received on the other modem. An analytic linear model that quantifies the energy consumption associated to Ethernet frames and PLC Physical Blocks (PBs) processing is proposed for a pair of PLC modems.

Monday, March 31 14:50 - 15:40

K2: Devolo Workshop on Testing MIMO-PLC Devices on a Broadband Powerline Channel Emulator

Nico Weling, Andreas Engelen, and Stefan Thiel
Room: K3.25
Chair: Lutz Lampe (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Monday, March 31 15:40 - 17:00

M3: In-Vehicle PLC Channel Characterisation

Room: K3.25
15:40 Statistical Assessment of Automotive PLC Multipath Channel Models
Lorenzo Guerrieri (STMicroelectronics S. r. l., Italy); Paola Bisaglia (DORA S.p.A., STMicroelectronics Group, Italy); Igor S Stievano and Flavio Canavero (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
This paper addresses the modeling of in-vehicle power line communication channels via multipath parametric representations. The study is based on a set of frequency-domain measurements carried out on a commercial automobile. The proposed procedure for the computation of model parameters from real measured data is briefly summarized and a systematic assessment aimed at collecting some useful statistical information on both the estimated models and the channel features is thoroughly discussed. Specific emphasis is given to the definition of the range of the key parameters that allow characterizing real automotive PLC channels.
16:00 Channel Measurement and Modeling of High-Voltage Power Line Communication in a Hybrid Vehicle
Masaki Takanashi and Atsuhiro Takahashi (TOYOTA Central R&D Labs., Inc., Japan); Hiroya Tanaka (Toyota Central R&D Labs. Inc., Japan); Hiroaki Hayashi, Tomohisa Harada and Yoshiyuki Hattori (TOYOTA Central R&D Labs., Inc., Japan)
Recently, a large number of electronic equipments have been deployed in vehicle to achieve energy efficient and comfort driving. It is concerned that the number of communication lines and connectors are increasing. This leads increase of vehicle weight and makes it difficult to secure installation space of the lines and connectors. Employing power line communication (PLC) which exploits power supply line in vehicle is an interesting solution to reduce the number of lines and connectors. Many research activities for conventional combustion engine vehicles, hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles have been conducted. However these researches are only for low-voltage DC power supply line in vehicle. The low-voltage DC line is a single '+'-line. Because the vehicle body becomes the return line for PLC, the unbalanced transmission line causes signal emission outside vehicle and are susceptible to noise in vehicle. To solve the problem, we propose using high-voltage line which connects power control unit (PCU) and high-voltage battery in hybrid vehicle. This is because the high-voltage line is composed of positive and negative lines, and shield sheathe. It is expected that the balanced and shielded line suppresses the signal emission and achieves stable transmission performance. This paper clarifies the transmission performance of the high-voltage line through channel measurement and simulation.
16:20 Bit Error Recording and Modelling of In-Vehicle Power Line Communication
Mark Wilson, Hendrik C Ferreira, Reolyn Heymann and Ashraf Allan Emleh (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
This work extends on previous research done by using developed experimental methods and Markov modelling to create more Markov models based on further experimental data. In previous work, bit error recordings were performed over an in-vehicle DC power bus as a communication channel when the engine was off, and the key was in 'accessories' position. In this work we extend this work by performing the same bit error recording exercise with the vehicle in different states; namely with the engine off, but a cell phone charger plugged in, windscreen wipers on, as well as these conditions with the engine on. Using the Finite State Spreading Chain model developed in previous work, we create Markov models for the channel under each of these conditions.
16:40 Measurements and Channel Characterization for In-Vehicle Power Line Communications
Navid Bahrani and Vincent Gaudet (University of Waterloo, Canada)
This paper reports the results of a measurement campaign on a commercial sport utility vehicle for characterizing the S-parameters of a vehicular power line communication channel. Channel responses can vary from one vehicle type to another and even from vehicle to vehicle of the same type. Hence, there remains strong interest in performing S-parameter measurements on several vehicle types. In this paper we focus on an internal combustion engine (ICE) sport utility vehicle and measure S-parameters for two frequency bands: 30-1000kHz and 0.1-100MHz. Based on our results, we plan to design a modulation scheme and a complete VPLC system on the same vehicle.

M4: Cognitive Methods

Room: K3.17
15:40 Detection of Broadcast Signals in Cognitive Radio Based PLC Using the FCME Algorithm
Risto Vuohtoniemi and Juha-Pekka Mäkelä (University of Oulu, Finland); Johanna Vartiainen (Centre for Wireless Communications, Finland); Jari Iinatti (University of Oulu, Finland)
Today, and especially in the future, there is an increasing need for complementary techniques to fulfill the growing capacity requirements of wireless RF-communications. A high data rate connection with power line communication (PLC) is an attractive solution to fulfill this need. One way to improve the data rates obtained in PLC networks is to increase the used bandwidth and operate at higher frequencies. At the same time, however, it should be kept in mind that the power lines have been seen to act as quite good antennas that can detect strong near-by FM and TV signals. In the future, the PLC frequency range can overlap with the broadcasting frequency bands resulting in interference for these transmissions. With the static notching, e.g. the whole FM-frequency band is notched during the PLC communication. This may result in inefficient spectrum utilization as in a given place and at a given time only a part of the FM-frequency band may be occupied. In this paper, a blind spectrum sensing algorithm based on forward consecutive mean excision (FCME) algorithm is proposed to locate the free frequency bands inside the broadcasting frequency range in PLC-network. The performance of this sensing algorithm is analyzed using spectrum analyzer measurement results and calculations in the broadcasting frequency range. The results verify that the proposed method is performing well when detecting free frequency bands in broadcasting frequency band providing means for better spectrum utilization in PLC-network.
16:00 Measurement and Cognitive Detection Method of Broadcast Radio Stations in Distribution Networks
Yang Lu (Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute co., Ltd. (GEIRI), China); Weilin Liu (State Grid Corporation of China, China); Jianqi Li (China Electric Power Research Institute, China); Hongjian Gao (Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute Co., Ltd., China)
Power Line Communication (PLC) plays a major role in smart grid applications. However, when the frequencies of above 500 kHz are used, mutual interferences between the PLC access system and Medium Wave (MW)/Short Wave (SW) broadcast radios may occur. To cope with this issue, one of the promising solutions is cognitive PLC. In this paper, MW/SW broadcast radio frequency allocation and their usage conditions in China are reviewed first, to get experience with their potential frequency collisions with PLC. Then the results of a measurement campaign performed in the typical Low Voltage (LV)/Medium Voltage (MV) distribution networks in China are shown and analyzed in detail. Besides individual measurement snapshots, more statistical results are investigated to reveal the variation of the radio interference level with different measurement places and times. All these efforts contribute to obtaining the Reception Factor (RF) of the measured distribution networks, in conjunction with the narrow-band noise peak level over the power line noise floor. On that basis, a threshold-based cognitive detection method is proposed to identify radio stations on the distribution lines. Finally, the paper ends with brief discussions of the impact on PLC throughput when dynamic notching is employed.
16:20 On Power- Line Defined PLC System
Weilin Liu (State Grid Corporation of China, China); Gerd Bumiller (Hochschule Ruhr West & University of Applied Sciences, Germany); Hongjian Gao (Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute Co., Ltd., China)
This paper discusses a new concept which entails PLC nodes to on-line determine their working frequency that best fits the local conditions. This optimization often is inevitable for PLC to establish reliable link in many situations. For access network a wide frequency range is proposed for this frequency optimization which exceeds current narrow band and broadband frequency separation. As an example a wide band digital front end design combined with equivalent complex base-band technique is presented which is able to cover a frequency range between 150 kHz-10MHz and support OFDM signal with various bandwidths. A possibility to use a short preamble signal for initial frequency selection has been discussed.
16:40 Detection of AM Broadcasting Stations on Low Voltage Power Lines
Oliver Opalko (Rohde & Schwarz, Germany); Martin Sigle (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany); Klaus M. Dostert (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany)
The ability to detect a primary user (PU) of a licensed spectral frequency band is the basic requirement for a cognitive power line communication (PLC) system. This Paper presents an easy to implement and effective method to identify amplitude modulated (AM) signals on power lines, especially in a cyclostationary noise scenario which is typically encountered on low voltage power grids.

Monday, March 31 17:20 - 18:20

M5: Simulators & Emulators

Room: K3.25
Chair: Gerd Bumiller (Hochschule Ruhr West & University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
17:20 Network Simulator, Calibration and Simulation Results
Ievgenii Anatolijovuch Tsokalo, Rico Radeke and Ralf J. Lehnert (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)
Usage of Powerline Communication (PLC) technology in-home for entertainment applications and in access networks for management of smart grid (SG) applications has lately received much interest from customers and manufacturers of communication devices. For the further promotion of this technology on the market a PLC performance study is helpful. This has become a hot topic for many researchers. As far as the experience in wireless communication modeling cannot be directly taken for an accurate analysis of the PLC network, a necessity of a PLC model has arised. There was much work done on the modeling of the PLC protocols' OSI layers separately. This paper describes the simulation model of the ITU standard for a PLC medium. The model contains the detailed implementation of multiple OSI layers. It uses accurate physical layer and channel models. The data link layer is implemented based on ITU specifications. Transport and network layers have become available with the usage of the ns-3 simulation environment. The application layer is based on a traffic measurement tool, which was used in our test field measurements. The communication protocol overhead of the simulation model is compared with laboratory measurement results. The measurements are carried out using our traffic measurement tool. It offers a statistical analysis of important network performance characteristics, which can be used for the simulation model calibration.
17:40 A G3-PLC Simulator for Access Networks
Luca Di Bert (University of Udine, Italy); Salvatore D'Alessandro (WiTiKee srl & University of Udine, Italy); Andrea M Tonello (University of Klagenfurt, Austria)
The paper proposes a cross-platform simulator that allows to realistically simulate G3-PLC systems up to the network layer. The platform consists of two simulators: one for the physical (PHY) layer and one for the data link (DLL)/adaptation(ADP) layer. The former is implemented in MATLAB, while the latter in OMNeT++. To improve the performance and coverage of G3-PLC, a simple adaptive tone mapping algorithm together with a routing algorithm are also presented. The performance of G3-PLC is presented considering different smart grid (SG) applications in the access network scenario, although the simulation platform can be also used in the context of home networks.
18:00 Broadband MIMO Powerline Channel Emulator
Nico Weling (devolo AG, Germany); Stephan Thiel and Andreas Engelen (Devolo AG, Germany)
Testing Broadband powerline modems was challenging in the past but will become much more challenging in the near future. Todays PLC modems mostly use the SISO technology which means that they transmit and receive there data only between live an neutral wires. New PLC standards like HomePlug AV2.0 or ITU-T G9963 allow MIMO transmission by using the protective earth wire as additional transmission path. This paper presents a flexible FGPA based broadband PLC channel emulator which allows 100% reliable and reproducible testing of MIMO PLC modems.

M6: Emerging Systems & Solutions

Room: K3.17
17:20 Contactless Power-Line Communications
Arnold De Beer and Hendrik C Ferreira (University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Han Vinck (University of Duisburg-Essen & University of Johannesburg, Germany)
Power lines that carry communication signals tend to produce radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI). In this paper it is shown how this, usually negative effect, is used for contactless signal transmission. Commercial PLC modems operating in the 150kHz - 30MHz band are used and LAN signals are contactlessly transmitted and received up to 2m.
17:40 Power Line Communication Integrated in a Wireless Power Transfer System: a Feasibility Study
Sami Barmada, Marco Raugi and Mauro Tucci (University of Pisa, Italy)
In this work a characterization of a Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) system as a possible channel for data communication is presented. The frequency response of a real WPT system based on the principle of magnetic resonance coupling is simulated accurately using a lumped equivalent circuit model. The theoretical channel capacity of the channel is calculated as a function of the coupling coefficient of the WPT system, in the presence of additive white Gaussian noise. Furthermore, a general design architecture is presented for embedding a broadband powerline communication, BPLC, system on a WPT system.
18:00 One Wire PLC System for Inter-floor Connectivity
Shinji Tsuzuki, Hiroyuki Utsunomiya and Yoshio Yamada (Ehime University, Japan)
The conventional narrowband power-line communication (NB-PLC) is a two-wire system, that has injected its signal between wires with a capacitive coupler. When communicating between floors at a large-sized building, the signal has to travel over long-distances across a switchboard which supplies electricity to distribution boards. Moreover, the signal is attenuated not only at the switchboard but also at distribution boards. Then signal amplifiers have had to be installed at the boards. In this paper, a single wire PLC solution has been proposed to reduce the communication distance and avoid the attenuation by taking a shortcut. It has been described experimentally that the earth could be used as its signal returning path to the signal source, so that one wire was enough to inject the signal. An inductive coupler suitable to this system has been also proposed. The signal attenuation of the proposed system was 30dB better than that of the conventional two-wire system for our university building. The achieved performances of PLC modems also showed that the proposed method was useful.

Monday, March 31 18:20 - 19:00

R: Recent Results

Room: K3.25
Chair: Riccardo Raheli (University of Parma, Italy)

Tuesday, April 1

Tuesday, April 1 10:00 - 10:50

K3: Keynote

Anomaly Detection in Communication Network Traffic
David Parish
Room: K3.25

Tuesday, April 1 10:50 - 11:50

T1: PLC Systems & Field Trials

Room: K3.25
10:50 Statistical Analysis of Brazilian In-Home PLC Channels: First Results
Juan David Valencia-Payán (Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil); Thiago Oliveira (IFSEMG - Federal Institute of Education, Science and Thechnology of the Southest of Minas Gerais, Brazil); Fernando J. A. Andrade (Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil); Moises Vidal Ribeiro (Federal University of Juiz de Fora & INERGE - INCT de Energia Elétrica, Brazil)
This contribution outlines a statistical characterization of Brazilian in-home and low-voltage electric energy distribution networks as a data communication medium. The discussions are based on estimated channels obtained in a measurement campaign carried out in several apartments whose size ranges from 50 up to 90 square meters. The parameters considered for this analysis is the root-mean square delay spread (RMS-DS), the average channel gain, and the channel capacity. For the sake of comparison with electric networks in US, the frequency band ranging from 1.705 up to 30 MHz was set. The reported analysis shows that the RMS-DS and the average channel gain can be modeled as a lognormal variable in 81 % of the cases, the average channel gain is lower in Brazil than in US and the intersymbol interference might be higher in Brazil.
11:10 Channel Measurements and Field Tests of Narrowband Power Line Communication Over Korean Underground LV Power Lines
Il Han Kim and Wonsoo Kim (Texas Instruments, USA); Byungseok Park (Korea Electric Power Research Institute, Korea (South)); Hyunwoo Yoo (Korea Electric Power Corporation Research Institute, Korea (South))
This paper presents in detail channel and noise characteristics from 50 kHz to roughly 500 kHz based on the field tests over underground low voltage (LV) power lines in residential and industrial areas in Korean electricity grids. We show that the channel characteristics of narrowband signals over underground LV power lines are decent while from the literature, it is known that broadband signals on 2-30 MHz bands over underground power lines experiences some signal attenuations [1-3]. We first describe methodology of channel characteristic measurements including channel magnitude response, noise and line impedance, and obtain channel characteristics over the underground LV lines in the residential and industrial areas. From the channel characteristics results, we show that the narrowband power line communications (PLC) is appropriate over underground LV power lines for automatic meter reading (AMR) applications that cover upto 300 m distance with direct connection without any help of other meters in-between. Also based on the measurement results, we adopt appropriate frequency bands for PLC, and bring up power line communication network.
11:30 Analysis of the Devolo's 500 kHz G3-PLC Access Technology Based on Smart Grid Field Trials
Victor Papilaya (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany); Han Vinck (University of Duisburg-Essen & University of Johannesburg, Germany); Khmaies Ouahada (University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Anil Mengi and Marco Weinand (Devolo AG, Germany); Michael Koch (University Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
In the smart grid, the G3-PLC solution is in direct competition with other IP-based communications technologies such as GPRS or DSL. In this paper, we present the devolo's 500 kHz G3-PLC access technology and it's analysis based on smart grid field trials in Germany. We show with the measurement data analysis that the devolo's 500 kHz G3-PLC technology demonstrates some decisive advantages compared to other technologies, achieving outstandingly good data rates. The focus of the analysis in this paper is concentrated on the following parameters: The influencing factor of near and far transmission throughput, the influence of a repeater on the throughput, and the influence of different UDP packet size on the throughput.

T2: Signal Processing & Detection

Room: K3.17
10:50 Detecting the Zero-Crossing Message to Achieve Low Bit Transmission Over H-Bridge Inverter
Alain Richard Ndjiongue (University of ABC, Canada); Han Vinck (University of Duisburg-Essen & University of Johannesburg, Germany); Khmaies Ouahada, Abraham Snyders and Hendrik C Ferreira (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Home automation and smart grid development is motivated by many advantageous situations that include the demands on renewable energy and the advantages provided by power line communications technology (PLC). The integration of solar energy into conventional grid implies the control of different modules included in the system. Remote control seems to be the control mode by excellence, in which communication is the main point to focus on. The pulse width modulation (PWM) scheme used to control the inverter is also used to modulate the zero-crossing point of the output sine wave of the inverter, to transfer data. The zero-crossing modulation technique is proposed and basic elements to construct the model are proposed. Simulated constellations of the received signal are presented.
11:10 Low-Complexity Sequence Detection Algorithm for FSK-Based Power Line Communications
Matthias Kuba (University of Applied Sciences Kempten, Germany); Matthias Klatt and Andreas Oeder (Fraunhofer IIS, Germany)
This paper presents a novel sequence detection algorithm well-suited for data transmission and wake-up receiver addressing in FSK-based narrowband power line communication applications, where the communication channel is characterized by non-white noise, interferers and frequency-selective signal attenuation. The algorithm is discussed in detail, verified by Monte Carlo simulations and compared to state of the art solutions. Furthermore, it is shown that, in an equivalent noise scenario, the proposed algorithm offers a performance comparable to the state of the art technologies with a significantly lower algorithmic complexity.
11:30 Narrowband PLC Channel Modeling Using USRP and PSK Modulations
Ayokunle Damilola Familua, Kehinde Ogunyanda, Theo G. Swart and Hendrik C Ferreira (University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Rex Van Olst and Ling Cheng (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
The indoor narrowband power line communication (NB-PLC) suffers from noise impairments, which emanate from several end-user electrical devices connected across the PLC channel. These noise impairments result into burst errors, which consequently lead to data corruption. Therefore, in order to implement robust communication techniques that will thrive on the noisy PLC channel, a full knowledge and modeling of the noise that exists on the NB-PLC channel is inevitable. This paper thus reports a First-order Markov modeling of NB-PLC channel noise, based on experimental measurements. For the modeling, BPSK, DBPSK, QPSK and DQPSK modulation schemes were implemented using Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP). The resulting channel models are useful for improving the robustness of the above modulation schemes as well as designing forward error correction techniques for mitigating the effect of noise impairments. The results are also useful in optimizing NB-PLC system design, thereby, enhancing the accuracy and improving the overall PLC system performance.

Tuesday, April 1 12:10 - 13:30

T3: Smart Grid Roll-Out

Room: K3.25
12:10 High Availability Solution for Medium Voltage BPL Communication Networks
Marta Solaz (Iberdrola & Iberdrola Ingeniería Spain, Spain); Javier Simon (Iberdrola SA, Spain); Alberto Sendin (Iberdrola, Spain); Lars Andersson (Ormazabal Current, Switzerland); Michael Maurer (Ormazabal, Switzerland)
Broadband Power Line Communications (BPL) is a technology that has proved to be a very suitable option for the deployment of Smart Grid solutions. It provides a low cost, proprietary, high performance backhaul between Secondary Substations. This paper will focus on the description of the different "Fault Cases" that might occur in medium voltage BPL communication architecture and their consequent High Availability solution, taking advantage of Iberdrola' s experience in the use and maintenance of this technology along its large scale Smart Grid deployment. The description of the functionality High Availability and the results of the tests developed so far are presented in this paper so that utilities might find it useful to provide an added value in their own Smart Grid deployments.
12:30 Narrowband PLC for LV Smart Grid Services, Beyond Smart Metering
Alberto Sendin and Iker Urrutia (Iberdrola, Spain); Mikel Garai (ZIV CG Automation, Spain); Txetxu Arzuaga (CG Automation, Spain); Noelia Uribe Perez (Tecnalia, Spain)
This document studies the possibilities of existing PRIME subnetworks to support new smart grid services, such as telecontrol. Two options are assessed. In the first option, telecontrol traffic will use PRIME subnetwork as any other device that exists in the subnetwork (such as the smart meters). In the second option, a time slot is reserved for telecontrol traffic.
12:50 PLC Deployment and Architecture for Smart Grid Applications in Iberdrola
Alberto Sendin (Iberdrola, Spain); Javier Simon (Iberdrola SA, Spain); Iker Urrutia (Iberdrola, Spain); Inigo Berganza (Iberdrola SA, Spain)
Power Line Communications (PLC) represent a compelling telecommunications technology for two-way management of electric power grids, and as such PLC systems have been used for decades by utilities. This paper presents a novel proposal for Smart Grid communications architecture which focuses on the extensive use of tested PLC technologies, stemming from Iberdrola experience with a real large-scale deployment on its electricity distribution grid. Two main complementary PLC technologies are proposed. Broadband PLC (BPL) systems in MHz bands are considered for telecommunications backbone creation among secondary substations. For this BPL technology, international standardization is only recently available and the number of field ready devices for access grid segment is limited. Narrowband PLC systems are also proposed for Smart Meters access (e.g., PRIME specification as per ITU-T G.9904 recommendation). Network design, planning and results are presented so that utilities find a reference in this paper for their Smart Grid deployments.
13:10 500 kHz G3-PLC Access Technology for the Roll-outs in Germany
Anil Mengi and Markus Wächter (Devolo AG, Germany); Michael Koch (University Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
The development of smart grid triggered more and more demand for high reliable communication technologies. Powerline communication is the only access technology that uses the topology of the power distribution network. Since 2005, OFDM based access PLC technologies have issued different products and standards allowing reliable high data rate communications between transformer substations and meters. This paper evaluates the powerline communication for the deployment in Germany. We conclude that the development of PLC communication network using the 150-500 kHz fulfills the requirements and offers cost advantage solution.

T4: Coding Techniques

Room: K3.17
Chair: Riccardo Raheli (University of Parma, Italy)
12:10 Error Performance of RS Coded Binary FSK in PLC Channels with Nakagami and Impulsive Noise
Anirban Chattopadhyay (B. C. Roy Engineering College, India); Kalyan Sharma (Nit Durgapur, India); Aniruddha Chandra (National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, WB, India)
Power line communication (PLC) systems are being standardized over the globe and many such standards recommended frequency shift keying (FSK) as their modulation choice. Broadband transmission over a PLC channel is mainly affected by the ever-present background noise and the occasional high-amplitude impulses. It has been recently found that the background noise in PLC can be suitably modeled with Nakagami-m distribution while a standard model for characterizing impulses is to assume Gaussian distributed amplitude and Poisson distributed arrivals. Considering such a model, at first, simple analytical bit error rate (BER) expressions of uncoded binary FSK (BFSK) signals are derived in the paper. Next, a unified analytical framework is presented for evaluating BER when a Reed Solomon (RS) code is used to mitigate the noise effects. The results reveal that when the signal to background noise ratio (SNR) is low, the noise parameter m and the demodulation scheme affects the performance of the coded system. On the contrary, at higher SNR, impulsive noise dominates over background noise, and these effects vanish as the BER curve becomes flat. Numerical evaluations dictated that by allowing a lower code rate (0.7) this error floor may be reduced significantly (upto 10^{-15}). The code gain of the system was found to be an inverse function of the code rate and codeword length.
12:30 Experimental Verification of Frequency Mappings with Hadamard Transform for Power Line Communications Channel
Tedy Lukusa and Khmaies Ouahada (University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Alain Richard Ndjiongue (University of ABC, Canada); Hendrik C Ferreira (University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Han Vinck (University of Duisburg-Essen & University of Johannesburg, Germany)
In the recent years, given the prominence of the electrical distribution network, power line communications channel has drawn interests among researchers throughout the globe. M-ary FSK modulation scheme has been extensively used when combined with certain error correcting codes because of its viability and robustness over the power line communications channel. In this paper, we make use of the sign changes property in the Hadamard transform combined together with convolutional codes and M-ary FSK modulation scheme to experimentally use the technique of "frequency mappings" in a real power line environment.
12:50 An OFDM Inter-Subcarrier Permutation Coding Scheme for Power-line Communication
Mpendulo Ndlovu and Ling Cheng (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
Power-line communication offers a networking communication over existing power lines and finds important applications in smart grid, home & business automation and automatic meter reading. However, the power-line channel is one of the harshest known communication channels currently in use and it requires robust forward error correction techniques. Powerful decoding algorithms tend to be complex and increase latency while robust modulation schemes offer lower data rates. The presented work extends the existing narrowband powerline communication forward error correction scheme of concatenated Reed-Solomon - Convolutional codes in OFDM framework by introducing permutation codes as an inter-subcarrier encoding scheme in OFDM to combat narrowband interference and carrier frequency offsets.
13:10 A Comparative Performance Study of LDPC and Turbo Codes for Realistic Powerline Communication Channels
Gautham Prasad (Ofinno, USA); Haniph A. Latchman and Youngjoon Lee (University of Florida, USA); Weiler A. Finamore (ITA - Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Brazil)
Turbo codes are attractive compared with Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) codes for Forward Error Correction (FEC) applications mainly due to their superior performance, especially at low Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) such as are common in Powerline channels. For example, IEEE 1901-FFT PHY used the Turbo coding scheme defined in the HomePlug AV standards. However, patent fees are usually required for each turbo-code enabled manufactured device. The objective of this paper is to examine whether unlicensed LDPC codes, with optimized choices of block lengths, could be a viable alternative for future Powerline Communications (PLC) applications. The paper shows that the performance of the LDPC codes can approximate that of the Turbo codes with higher block lengths, on channels with typical and realistic PLC characteristics. The paper also shows that the additional complexity associated with this increase in block length can be mitigated by the use of Quasi-Cyclic LDPC (QC-LDPC) codes.

Tuesday, April 1 14:50 - 15:40

K4: Keynote

Addressing the Challenges in Delivering the Smart Grid through Model-Based Design
Graham Dudgeon
Room: K3.25

Tuesday, April 1 15:40 - 17:00

T5: Signal Processing & Modulation

Room: K3.25
15:40 Echo Cancellation in a Power Line Modem in the Presence of Abrupt Channel Variations
Carlo Tripodi (ASK Industries S.p.A., Italy); Gianluigi Ferrari (University of Parma, Italy); Riccardo Pighi (Selta Spa, Italy); Riccardo Raheli (University of Parma, Italy)
We discuss the effects of abrupt channel variations on the performance of echo cancellation in a Power Line Communications (PLC) scenario. Our work takes into account field measures of high voltage PLC channels and considers an adaptive Least Mean Square (LMS) echo canceller in a full- duplex communication system. We investigate the LMS convergence speed, also in the presence of the impulse noise, and propose a modified adaptive LMS algorithm in order to improve the performance in the presence of abrupt echo channel variations.
16:00 Adaptive Impedance Matching for Vehicular Power Line Communication Systems
Nima TaheriNejad (TU Wien, Austria); Lutz Lampe and Shahriar Mirabbasi (University of British Columbia, Canada)
The growing number of electronic devices inside vehicles has motivated research and development activities in Vehicular Power Line Communication (VPLC) systems. Advantages of the VPLC approach include reduced complexity and cost of the wiring harness. Among the design challenges of VPLC systems is the problem of impedance matching. The access impedance at the modem port is a time varying quantity which also depends on the location of the VPLC modem. Impedance mismatch degrades the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and thus the signal integrity. Given the variable nature of the access impedance, a fixed matching circuit will be inefficient. A potential solution to cope with the access impedance variability is an adaptive impedance matching system which is the subject of this work. Here we have designed an adaptive impedance matching system. The system is simulated and its performance is evaluated under extreme changes in access impedance.
16:20 OFDM PLC Transmission for Aircraft Flight Control System
Thomas Larhzaoui (Univertsity of Rennes 1 & IETR, France); Fabienne Nouvel (INSA IETR RENNES, France); Jean-Yves Baudais (Univ Rennes, INSA Rennes, CNRS, IETR, France); Virginie Degardin (University of Lille & IEMN, France); Pierre Degauque (University of Lille, France)
In the new civil aircrafts, hydraulic flight control systems are being replaced by electrically powered controls. The main interests are a better flexibility and a decrease in maintenance costs. Though the electrical wiring will replace the hydraulic tubing, it is essential to limit as much as possible the amount of electrical wiring. In order to decrease the total wire length, it is proposed to use power line communications (PLC) technology for data transmission over a high voltage direct current (HVDC) network for flight control system (FCS). However, no standards and no studies have been done on such PLC systems. This paper is the first step of a PLC physical layer development for aircraft FCS. In this paper, a parametric study for an OFDM PLC transmission between the control unit and the electrically powered actuators for FCS is developed. This study takes into account the channel characteristics, the electromagnetic compatibility, the hardware and the aeronautical constraints. The purpose is to define the frequency transmission bandwidth, the number of subcarriers and the maximum constellation size for the OFDM transmission.
16:40 Low-Complexity SOCPBFSK-OOK Interface Between PLC and VLC Channels for Low Data Rate Transmission Applications
Alain Richard Ndjiongue (University of ABC, Canada); Hendrik C Ferreira and Khmaies Ouahada (University of Johannesburg, South Africa); Han Vinck (University of Duisburg-Essen & University of Johannesburg, Germany)
This paper studies and proposes a low cost low complexity interface between power line communications (PLC) and visible light communications (VLC) for low data rate transmission applications. The discussion presents the performance of a spread orthogonal continuous phase binary frequency shift keying (SOCPBFSK) receiver combined with an on-off keying (OOK) modulator to relay low data transmission between PLC and VLC channels. The characteristics of the interface are presented. The results of an experimental test using the proposed interface over the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) bands C and D are presented. The eye diagrams of the combined error are presented as well.

T6: PLC Applications

Room: K3.17
15:40 Applicability of Narrowband Power Line Communication in an LVDC Distribution Network
Antti Pinomaa and Jero Ahola (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland); Antti Kosonen (Lappeenranta University of Technology & Institute of Energy Technology, Finland); Pasi Nuutinen (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland)
It has been shown that high-frequency (HF) band power line communication (PLC) is a feasible data transmission method for a smart grid concept, namely for a low-voltage direct current (LVDC) electricity distribution system. However, because of the signal attenuation, the communication distances in the LVDC grid are limited with the HF band PLC. Hence, the new narrowband (NB) PLC should also be tested for the concept. In this paper, the PLC channel analysis in the LVDC system is carried out for the novel NB PLC technology, that is, the G3-PLC in the frequency band of 150-490 kHz. For the channel analysis, channel gain and noise signals from the terminals of the PLC couplers designed for the NB PLC are measured. The performance of the G3-PLC is analyzed theoretically and by communication tests. The noise voltages are measured, and communication tests are carried out in the LVDC laboratory system and in an LVDC field installation grid. The results show that NB PLC could be suitable for the concept.
16:00 Measurements and Evaluation of PLC Modem with G3 and PRIME Standards for Street Lighting Control
Petr Mlynek, Martin Koutny, Jiri Misurec and Zdenek Kolka (Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic)
The paper surveys narrowband power line communications (PLCs) in the context of Smart Grid and remote Street Lighting Control. The specifications G3-PLC and PRIME are discussed. The field test results and data rate measurements are presented for different scenarios. They demonstrated the problems encountered when the PLC signal is necessary to be sent through the switchgear, complicated topology, noisy topology and topology similar to simple street-light topology.
16:20 Experimental Investigation of Broadband Power Line Communication Modems for Onshore Oil & Gas Industry: A Preliminary Analysis
Jair Adriano Lima Silva (Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil); Leonardo Ribas Martins Castor (Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo & Petroleo Brasileiro S/A, Brazil); Ricardo Natale and Marcelo Segatto (Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil)
A field trial of power line communication (PLC) with 200 Mpbs modems in a low voltage test grid is presented in this paper. Throughput and adaptivity to physical channel characteristics are some of the investigated functionalities in order to evaluate their appliance in medium voltage (MV) levels for onshore oil & gas industries. Experimental results obtained from a 180 m low voltage (LV) test network reveal the modems ability to achieve the secrecy measured bit rates.
16:40 A Comparison of Receiver Topologies for Digital Load-Side Transmission in General LED Lighting
Lukas Lohaus (RWTH Aachen University & Integrated Analog Circuits and RF Systems, Germany); Arne Rossius and Ralf Wunderlich (RWTH Aachen University, Germany); Stefan Heinen (RWTH Aachen, Germany)
Digital Load-Side Transmission (DLT) is a two-wire bound power line communication methodology that has been specifically developed for general lighting applications and transmits data over mains. This paper proposes three DLT receiver concepts and compares them to one other regarding robustness, complexity and power consumption. All of these detectors have been realized and tested in hardware. To evaluate robustness in terms of utility grid variations, 24-hour long term measurements have been taken for each concept, when connected to 50 Hz mains. A telegram error rate (TER) has been measured for all setups, while the power consumption of the implemented receivers has been determined by SPICE simulations. A fully digital approach and an active analog bandpass based structure seem to be the most promising solutions as they feature comparable TERs of less then 44 and 87 ppm, respectively. All presented topologies can be monolithically integrated on a chip to facilitate development of highly integrated, intelligent LED drivers.

Tuesday, April 1 17:20 - 19:00

P: Panel Discussion: What research do we need for PLC 2020?

Lutz Lampe (University of British Columbia), Gerd Bumiller (University Bottrop, Germany), Il Han Kim (Texas Instruments, USA), David Rieken (Aclara, USA), Andrea Tonello (University of Udine & WiTiKee, Italy), Alberto Sendin Escalona (Iberdrola, Spain)
Room: K3.25
Chair: Lutz Lampe (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Wednesday, April 2

Wednesday, April 2 10:30 - 11:50


Room: K3.25
10:30 Influence of Interference in MIMO Power Line Communication Systems
Nhan Vo (Telecom Bretagne, France); Karine Amis (IMT Atlantique, France); Thierry Chonavel (IMT Atlantic & Université Européenne de Bretagne, France); Pierre Siohan (Independent Researcher, France); Pascal Pagani (CEA - CESTA, France)
For a few years, MIMO technique has been considered as the key to increase the data rate in the next generation of power line communications. The HomePlug AV2 and ITUT G.9963 technologies exploit the MIMO scheme to increase both data rate and coverage. In this paper, an improvement of MIMO-PLC modeling is derived and the analytic formula of the interference is developed. Based on the interference analysis, the signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) is calculated and compared to the signal to noise ratio (SNR). Finally, the degradation of system performance in terms of capacity due to the interference is shown.
10:50 Performance of MIMO PLC in Measured Channels Affected by Correlated Noise
Alberto Pittolo (University of Udine, Italy); Andrea M Tonello (University of Klagenfurt, Austria); Fabio Versolatto (University of Udine & WiTiKee Srl, Italy)
We study the performance improvement provided by the use of precoding schemes in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) power line communications (PLC) in the presence of additive colored and correlated Gaussian noise. We assume a power spectral density constraint, according to the HomePlug AV2 standard, and we focus on a 2 x 4 MIMO system, thus exploiting also the common mode at the receiver side. The MIMO channels have been obtained through an experimental measurement campaign across Europe, collected by the ETSI special task force 410. We compare the performance (in terms of capacity) when the power allocation is optimal or uniform. Furthermore, a comparison with the single-input single-output (SISO) and reduced-dimension MIMO configurations is made, showing as the 2 x 4 MIMO scheme outperforms the others.
11:10 MIMO Capacity of Class A Impulsive Noise Channel for Different Levels of Information Availability At Transmitter
Babak Nikfar and Tarik Akbudak (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany); Han Vinck (University of Duisburg-Essen & University of Johannesburg, Germany)
In this paper, we analyze the capacity of a multiple input multiple output (MIMO) channel with impulsive noise interference. The Middleton class A model of electromagnetic interference has been employed to model the power line communication (PLC) channel. PLC can utilize MIMO to increase data rate, reliability and performance gain . However, an expression for the channel capacity of MIMO power line channel with Middleton class A noise has not yet been published. The expression for channel capacity of the MIMO power line channel is derived in two levels of information availability at transmitter. The channel state information is considered to be known at receiver. Numerical results are given for some parameters of the channel as well as a comparison of the capacity with and without channel state information at transmitter.
11:30 Physical Layer Security in MIMO Power Line Communication Networks
Yifei Zhuang and Lutz Lampe (University of British Columbia, Canada)
It has well been established that multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) transmission using multiple conductors can improve the data rate of power line communication (PLC) systems. In this paper, we investigate whether the presence of multiple conductors could also facilitate the communication of confidential messages by means of physical layer security methods. In particular, this paper focuses on the secrecy capacity of MIMO PLC. Numerical experiments show that multi-conductor PLC networks can enable a more secure communication compared to the single conductor case. On the other hand, we demonstrate that the keyhole property of PLC channels generally diminishes the secure communication capability compared to what would be achieved in a similar wireless communications setting.

W2: Network Performance

Room: K3.17
10:30 A Switch Promotion Algorithm for Improving PRIME PLC Network Latency
Eduardo Alonso, Javier Matanza, Carlos Rodriguez-Morcillo and Sadot Alexandres (Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain)
This paper analyses the performance's impact caused by the selection of a node to act as a switch in a PLC network using PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) standard. This performance is measured in terms of application data message roundtrip. Additionally, a decision algorithm is proposed in order to identify the most favorable switch, fulfilling a gap left open in the aforementioned standard. This decision is based on path cost information transmitted by the nodes. Moreover, a modification for the definition of these costs is proposed with the purpose of enhancing the algorithm's accomplishments. In order to replicate the performance of a PRIME's network, a co-simulation framework that combines Matlab and OMNeT++ has been used. This architecture allows for taking into account both physical phenomena and control and application message management. Simulated topologies emulate a general European low-voltage network. Results show that, by using the proposed algorithm and costs definitions, the overall network performance is enhanced.
10:50 Mathematical Modeling and EDA-based Network Planning for Broadband Power Line Communication Access Systems
Jaspreet S Oberoi and Daniel Lee (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
In this paper, we present a mathematical model of power line communication access systems and a technique for an efficient network deployment. We focus on the problem of designing an infrastructure network model which fits the power line communication needs and installing an apt number of base stations and repeaters at adequate locations suited to serve all the subscribers to the required level at a low cost to the utility company. The computational complexity of determining an optimal base station and repeater deployment by using exhaustive search grows exponentially with the number of base stations, repeaters and the users. We propose a heuristic method combined with an Estimation-of-Distribution Algorithm (EDA) for this assignment problem. EDA is a probabilistic evolutionary algorithm which updates its population at each iteration on the basis of the probability densities obtained from the population of superior candidates evaluated and chosen at the previous iteration.
11:10 Performance Evaluation of the Priority Resolution Scheme in PLC Networks
Cristina Cano (NUI Maynooth); David Malone (Maynooth University, Ireland)
Power Line Communications standards, such as Homeplug and IEEE 1901, aim to provide strict channel access prioritisation in CSMA/CA mode. This is achieved by making lower-priority access categories postpone contention when packets belonging to categories with higher priority are pending for transmission. For this purpose, specific slots in which stations advertise the priority of the current packets to be transmitted are allocated. However, they are only present after the occurrence of successful frame exchanges. Thus, in lightly loaded conditions as well as after channel errors or collisions, the priority resolution mechanism is not employed. In this work, we evaluate the implications of these features on the QoS experienced by each access category. Results show the network provides a complex performance behaviour caused by the interdependence of higher-priority traffic contention and lower-priority traffic preemption.
11:30 Performance Evaluation of the PLC PHY Layer
Stanislav Mudriievskyi and Ralf J. Lehnert (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)
Simulation of the IP end-to-end communication system requires accurate models which include the layers 4 to 1 of the OSI/ISO model. Usually these models are an abstraction of the real system. In this paper we focus on the PHY layer of a system and its corresponding connection to the MAC and channel simulator. Results show how important is efficient scheduling in terms of effective use of the transmission capacity.

Wednesday, April 2 12:10 - 13:30

W3: Cooperation & Network Coding

Room: K3.25
12:10 Cooperative Power Line Communication: Analysis of Brazilian In-Home Channels
Juan David Valencia-Payán (Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil); Thiago Oliveira (IFSEMG - Federal Institute of Education, Science and Thechnology of the Southest of Minas Gerais, Brazil); Moises Vidal Ribeiro (Federal University of Juiz de Fora & INERGE - INCT de Energia Elétrica, Brazil)
This contribution aims at analyzing the suitability of cooperation concepts for improving the performance of power line communication (PLC) systems, more specifically in Brazilian In-Home (IH) electric power grids. For this purpose, the performance of the amplify-and-forward (AF) and decode-and-forward (DF) protocols, together with the equal gain (EGC), selection (SC), and maximal-ratio (MRC) combining techniques were analyzed. The analysis is carried out on measured data covering a frequency band from 1.705 up to 100 MHz. The measured data addresses four scenarios for possible locations of the relay node. The attained results show that the AF is of limited applicability in the PLC context and the opposite is valid to the DF protocol, mainly if the error probability of detecting symbols at the relay is zero. Additionally, it is shown that the EGC can in some cases reduce the system performance.
12:30 Cooperative Relaying in Narrow-band PLC Networks Using Fountain Codes
Wendyida Abraham Kabore, Vahid Meghdadi and Jean Pierre Cances (University of Limoges, France)
Low voltage narrow band (NB) power-line communications (PLC) for future smart grid networks are considered in this paper. We investigate a cooperative communication scheme, where both transmissions from the source to the relays and from the relays to the destination use fountain codes. Because of the broadcast property of the PLC channel, intermediate nodes between the source and the destination can overhear any encoded packets. The key idea is to permit intermediate nodes to assist the source in the transmission. In agreement with the earlier investigations on NB PLC, the channel between each node on the PLC bus is modeled based on the bottom-up approach. The channel is modeled as a packet erasure channel (the standard PRIME is used as an example of NB-PLC). We provide analytical evaluation of the detection probability at the destination as a function of the channel usage and for different number of relays. We show and quantify the advantage of using relay combined with fountain codes in PLC networks.
12:50 Joint Network Coding and OFDMA Based MAC-layer in PLC Networks
Sana Ezzine (ENIT, Tunisia); Fatma Abdelkefi (High School of Communications of Tunis (SUPCOM), Tunisia); Jean Pierre Cances and Vahid Meghdadi (University of Limoges, France); Ammar Bouallegue (National School of Engineers of Tunis, Tunisia)
Due to the existing frequency-selectivity in PLC channels, data transmission over long distance can exhibit serious difficulties in PLC systems. In order to reduce the attenuation effect for long transmission distances between two nodes (a transmitter and a receiver), we use a relay in PLC systems. Many considerations are taken into account in this system such as the variation of the distances between the transmitter and the relay and between the relay and the receiver. We highlight in this paper how the use of network coding makes it possible to increase the transmitted data rate in an OFDMA based MAC layer. In order to maximize the total data rate, we propose low-complexity subcarrier assignment algorithms for the uplink and downlink of OFDMA based PLC networks. Simulation results are given to support our claims and highlight the performance gain that can be obtained for PLC systems in terms in enhancement of the transmission rate.
13:10 Reliable Communications with Network Coding in Narrowband Powerline Channel
Josu Bilbao (IKERLAN Technological Research Center, Spain); Aitor Calvo (Ikerlan, Spain); Igor Armendariz (Ikerlan Technological Research Center, Spain); Pedro M. Crespo (CEIT and TECNUN (University of Navarra), Spain); Muriel Médard (MIT, USA)
Due to its wide availability narrowband powerline networks provide an interesting no-new-wires communication channel. Nevertheless, as powerline was not designed or data communication, its electrical characteristics make it a harsh environment for data transmission and prevents the deployment of services with high reliability requirements. This paper presents 3 main outcomes: (i)Characterization of the transmission error correlation among different nodes in a narrowband powerline network, that acts in favour of the cooperative schemes. (ii) From the real measurements obtained, we propose a new OSI-Layer2 scheme based on Network Coding to achieve reliable communications in narrowband powerline. (iii) We demonstrate the benefits of the proposed scheme by the validation of its real implementation in a embedded system, and a performance improvement measurement campaign compared with different legacy ARQ schemes.

W4: Noise & Interference Mitigation

Room: K3.17
12:10 A Study on Channel Estimation Using Pilot Symbols Under Impulsive PLC Channel
Hirotomo Yasui (Tokyo University of Science, Japan); Kohei Ohno (Meiji University, Japan); Makoto Itami (Tokyo University of Science, Japan)
In order to improve performance of high-speed power line communication(PLC) using OFDM(Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), compensation of the influence of additive impulsive noise is required. In this paper, the scheme to make precise channel estimation under impulsive power line channel is proposed. Although many schemes to improve influence of the additive impulsive noise are proposed, they usually require precise estimation of the PLC channel transfer function. We have already proposed the scheme for channel estimation under these situations using the pilot symbols inserted in two successive OFDM symbols. However, data transmission performance slightly degrades because two successive pilot symbols are inserted. In this paper, the scheme to estimate channel transfer function using only one OFDM symbol is proposed. As the result of computer simulation, possibility of precise channel estimation was confirmed under existence of class A impulsive noise.
12:30 Robust Timing Synchronization Against Narrowband Interference for PLC Systems
Hongjian Gao (Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute Co., Ltd., China); Gerd Bumiller (Hochschule Ruhr West & University of Applied Sciences, Germany); Weilin Liu (State Grid Corporation of China, China)
Timing synchronization is a challenging task in the power line channel, in which exists narrowband interference. In this paper, a timing synchronization approach robust against the narrowband interference is proposed. A narrowband interference detection module is employed to first detect the narrowband disturbance and provide prior knowledge for a digital adaptive filter. An adaptive filter can be configured flexibly according to the prior knowledge and enables to suppress the in-band interference. Besides, a digital front end with equivalent complex baseband structure is applied so that the out-of-band interference can also be attenuated to a large extent. Simulation results show that the influence of narrowband interference on the proposed timing synchronization approach is mitigated a lot.
12:50 On Enhancing the Performance of the DPTE-Based Noise Cancellation Method Utilizing the PTS PAPR Reduction Scheme in PLC Systems
Khaled M. Rabie (Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom (Great Britain)); Emad Alsusa (Manchester University, United Kingdom (Great Britain))
Several methods have been proposed in the literature for impulsive noise (IN) blanking and the most efficient of which is the dynamic peak-based threshold estimation (DPTE). In this method only estimates of the signal peaks are required in order to optimally blank the noise. In this paper we propose to enhance the capability of the conventional DPTE technique by pre-processing the OFDM signal at the transmitter. This is simply done by applying the partial transmit sequence (PTS) scheme. To evaluate system performance we consider the probability of blanking error (Pb), probability of missed blanking (Pm), probability of successful detection (Ps) and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at the output of the blanking device. The results reveal that DPTE-PTS technique can significantly minimize both Pb and Pm and maximize Ps. Furthermore, it will be shown that the proposed system can achieve up to 1.5 dB SNR enhancement over the conventional DPTE scheme.
13:10 Single-Carrier FDMA with Blanking/Clipping for Mitigating Impulsive Noise Over PLC Channels
Khaled M. Rabie (Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom (Great Britain)); Emad Alsusa (Manchester University, United Kingdom (Great Britain))
Communication signals over power-line channels can be affected greatly by impulsive noise (IN). The effect of this noise is commonly reduced with the application of a nonlinear preprocessor at the receiver such as blanking, clipping or hybrid (combined blanking and clipping) that blanks and/or clips the received signal when it exceeds a certain threshold. Erroneous blanking/clipping of the unaffected signals can lead to significant performance degradations. It is found that determining the optimal blanking/clipping threshold is the key for achieving best performance. In contract to these studies, we show in this paper that the performance of the nonlinear preprocessing-based method is not only impacted by the blanking/clipping threshold but also by the transmitted signal's peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR). In light of this and for more efficient IN cancellation we, therefore, propose to implement single-carrier FDMA (SCFDMA), which inherently has low PAPR properties, combined with a nonlinear preprocessor at the receiver. The results reveal that the proposed system can provide significant enhancements in terms of minimizing the probability of IN detection error as well as achieving up to 4dB gain in the output signal-to-noise ratio relative to the conventional OFDM case.