Multirate systems are building blocks commonly used in digital signal processing (DSP). Their function is to alter the rate of the discrete-time signals, by adding or deleting a portion of the signal samples. They are essential in various standard signal processing techniques such as signal analysis, denoising, compression and so forth. During the last decade, however, they have increasingly found applications in new and emerging areas of signal processing, as well as in several neighboring disciplines such as digital communications. The main contribution of this thesis is aimed towards a better understanding of multirate systems and their use in modern communication systems. To this end, we first study a property of linear systems appearing in certain multirate structures. This property is called biorthogonal partnership and represents a terminology introduced recently to address a need for a descriptive term for such class of filters. In the thesis we especially focus on the extensions of this simple idea to the case of vector signals (MIMO biorthogonal partners) and to accommodate for nonintegral decimation ratios (fractional biorthogonal partners). The main results developed here study the properties of biorthogonal partners, e.g., the conditions for the existence of stable and of finite impulse response (FIR) partners. In this context we develop the parameterization of FIR solutions, which makes the search for the best partner in a given application analytically tractable. This proves very useful in their central application, namely, channel equalization in digital communications with signal oversampling at the receiver. A good channel equalizer in this context is one that helps neutralize the distortion on the signal introduced by the channel propagation but not at the expense of amplifying the channel noise. In the second part of the thesis, we focus on another class of multirate systems, used at the transmitter side in order to introduce redundancy in the data stream. This redundancy generally serves to facilitate the equalization process by forcing certain structure on the transmitted signal. We first consider the transmission systems that introduce the redundancy in the form of a cyclic prefix. The examples of such systems include the discrete multitone (DMT) and the orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) systems. We study the signal precoding in such systems, aimed at improving the performance by minimizing the noise power at the receiver. We also consider a different class of communication systems with signal redundancy, namely, the multiuser systems based on code division multiple access (CDMA). We specifically focus on the special class of CDMA systems called `a mutually orthogonal usercode receiver' (AMOUR). We show how to find the best equalizer from the class of zero-forcing solutions in such systems, and then increase the size of this class by employing alternative sampling strategies at the receiver.
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