Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Nicola Elia


The emerging study of integrating information theory and control systems theory has attracted tremendous attention, mainly motivated by the problems of control under communication constraints, feedback information theory, and networked systems. An often overlooked element is the estimation aspect; however, estimation cannot be studied isolatedly in those problems. Therefore, it is natural to investigate systems from the perspective of unifying communication, estimation, and control;This thesis is the first work to advocate such a perspective. To make Matters concrete, we focus on communication systems over Gaussian channels with feedback. For some of these channels, their fundamental limits for communication have been studied using information theoretic methods and control-oriented methods but remain open. In this thesis, we address the problems of characterizing and achieving the fundamental limits for these Gaussian channels with feedback by applying the unifying perspective;We establish a general equivalence among feedback communication, estimation, and feedback stabilization over the same Gaussian channels. As a consequence, we see that the information transmission (communication), information processing (estimation), and information utilization (control), seemingly different and usually separately treated, are in fact three sides of the same entity. We then reveal that the fundamental limitations in feedback communication, estimation, and control coincide: The achievable communication rates in the feedback communication problems can be alternatively given by the decay rates of the Cramer-Rao bounds (CRB) in the associated estimation problems or by the Bode sensitivity integrals in the associated control problems. Utilizing the general equivalence, we design optimal feedback communication schemes based on the celebrated Kalman filtering algorithm; these are the first deterministic, optimal communication schemes for these channels with feedback (except for the degenerated AWGN case). These schemes also extend the Schalkwijk-Kailath (SK) coding scheme and inherit its useful features, such as reduced coding complexity and improved performance. Hence, this thesis demonstrates that the new perspective plays a significant role in gaining new insights and new results in studying Gaussian feedback communication systems. We anticipate that the perspective could be extended to more general problems and helpful in building a theoretically and practically sound paradigm that unifies information, estimation, and control.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Jialing Liu



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

182 pages