Different approaches to design modulation formats have been reviewed to improve granularity and receiver sensitivity. Set-partitioning (SP) quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is found to be better than time-hybrid QAM at the same spectral efficiency. Multi-dimensional QAM optimized by pairwise optimization can outperform SP-QAM by ~ 0.5 dB. The results also suggest that modulation formats have to be designed at a reasonable system margin rather than comparing forward error correction (FEC) limit.
Shaoliang Zhang, "Capacity-approaching transmission based on GMI-optimized modulation formats," Proc. SPIE 10130, Next-Generation Optical Communication: Components, Sub-Systems, and Systems VI, 101300L (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 28 January 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252950.
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