Effect of Degradation in Molecular Communication: Impairment or Enhancement?

Akif Cem Heren, H. Birkan Yilmaz, Chan Byoung Chae, Tuna Tugcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


In the nanonetworking literature, many solutions have been suggested to enable the nanomachine-to-nanomachine communication. Among these solutions, this paper focuses on what constitutes the basis for molecular communication paradigms - molecular communication via diffusion. In this paper, the channel for a spherical absorbing receiver under messenger molecule degradation is analytically modeled and the formulations are shown to be in agreement with the simulation results of the same topology. Next, the paper identifies how signal characteristics such as pulse peak time and pulse amplitude are affected by degradation. Indeed, it is analytically shown how signal shaping is achieved through degradation. This paper also compares communication under messenger molecule degradation with the case of no-degradation and electromagnetic communication in terms of channel characteristics. Lastly, the paper evaluates the communication performance of the scenarios having various degradation rates. Here, the system performance is assessed according to the traditional network metrics such as the level of intersymbol interference, detection performance, bit error rate, and symbol rate. The results indicate that introducing degradation significantly improves the system performance when the rate of degradation is appropriately selected. The analysis is done by taking different detection thresholds, symbol durations, and communication distances into account.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7335632
Pages (from-to)217-229
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological, and Multi-Scale Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation


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