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This paper considers and analyzes the performance of semiblind, training, and data-aided channel estimation schemes for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) filter bank multicarrier (FBMC) systems with offset quadrature amplitude modulation. A semiblind MIMO-FBMC (SB-MF) channel estimator is developed that exploits both the training symbols and second-order statistical properties of the data symbols, which leads to a significant decrease in the mean squared error (MSE) with respect to its conventional training-based counterpart. Its performance is compared with that of the interference approximation method-based least squares MIMO-FBMC (LS-MF) channel estimator, wherein the channel is estimated using exclusively training symbols. The Cramér–Rao lower bounds are derived to characterize the MSE of the proposed and LS-MF estimators, which interestingly demonstrate that while the MSE per parameter of the proposed scheme decreases with the number of receive antennas, it remains constant for the training-based scheme. The resulting bit error rates are derived for the proposed SB-MF and LS-MF channel estimators. An expectation maximization-based data-aided MIMO-FBMC channel estimator is also investigated that performs iterative maximum a posteriori channel estimation in the E-step followed by data detection in the M-step. A comparative analysis is presented for the computational complexities of the various schemes. Simulation results with practical channel models demonstrate that the proposed semiblind scheme significantly outperforms the training-based and data-aided schemes.
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