Normal Approximations for Fading Channels
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Capacity and outage capacity characterize the maximum coding rate at which reliable communication is feasible when there are no constraints on the packet length. Evaluated for fading channels, they are important performance benchmarks for wireless communication systems. However, the latency of a communication system is proportional to the length of the packets it exchanges, so assuming that there are no constraints on the packet length may be overly optimistic for communication systems with stringent latency constraints. Recently, there has been great interest within the information theory community in characterizing the maximum coding rate for short packet lengths. Research on this topic is often concerned with asymptotic expansions of the coding rate with respect to the packet length, which then give rise to normal approximations. In this paper, we review existing normal approximations for single-antenna Rayleigh block-fading channels and compare them with the highSNR normal approximation we presented at the 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (Lancho, Koch, and Durisi, 2017). We further discuss how these normal approximations may help to assess the performance of communication protocols.