Exploiting Reconfigurable Antennas in Communication Systems with Delay-Sensitive Applications
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Wireless communication systems continue to face the challenge of time varying quality of the underlying communication channel. When a slow fading channel goes into a deep fade, the corresponding communication system might face successive decoding failures at the destination, and for delay-sensitive communication systems, this amounts to delays that are not desired. In such situations, it becomes a priority to get out of the deep fades. Many techniques and approaches are already available in the literature to counteract fading effects. This work is motivated by recent advances in fast reconfigurable antennas, which provide new means to change the statistical profile of fading channels, and hence reduce the probability of prolonged fades. Fast reconfigurable antennas are poised to improve overall performance, especially for delay-sensitive traffic in slow-fading environments. This potential enhanced performance motivates this study of the queueing behavior of point-to-point communication systems with reconfigurable antennas. We focus on finite-state channels with memory, and we analyze the queueing behavior of the wireless communication system over erasure channels, for a traditional system versus a reconfigurable antenna implementation. We provide numerical results for situations where using reconfigurable antennas yield substantial performance gains in terms of throughput, delay and buffer overflow.