I have a simple question: in the research literature on wireless communications I often see the term "Ergodic Capacity" of a channel. What does it mean?

  • $\begingroup$ See also ergodicity. This looks like it may be a somewhat complex concept to understand; what is your background, so we know how much detail to provide? $\endgroup$
    – Air
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ I am a PhD stuent in electrical engineering working in a subarea of communication systems theory, specifically information theory for wireless systems and distributed signal compression in wireless sensor networks. I picked the term from the research literature in IEEE journals. I have many more questions but I guess they need specliazed tags, like WSNs, Digital Communication, Signal Processing etc. $\endgroup$
    – Iconoclast
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Iconoclast: There is also a Signal Processing Stack Exchange that you might consult as well. $\endgroup$
    – Jason R
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ I would not think that they would consider this question as related to signal processing. Its very much focus on an intersection of information theory and wireless systems. But thank you for this piece of information, I did not know that signal processing SE existed. $\endgroup$
    – Iconoclast
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


Please have a look at the details in the book "Elements of information theory" by A. Thomas et al.

The ergodic capacity is Shannon capacity, i.e. the maximum mutual information over all input probability distributions.


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