Lending a Hand: Enhancing the Performance of Wireless Communication Networks Through Cooperation

Lending a Hand: Enhancing the Performance of Wireless Communication Networks Through Cooperation

George T. Karetsos (TEI of Larissa, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4189-1.ch001
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Cooperative networking is considered one of the main enablers for achieving enhanced data rates in wireless communications. This is due to the fact that through cooperation the adverse effects of fading can be alleviated significantly. Thus, more reliable communication systems deployments can be devised, and performance enhancements can be achieved. In this chapter, the authors discuss the main aspects of cooperative networking starting from the main historical milestones that shaped the idea. Then they focus on the main mechanisms and techniques that foster cooperation and continue by studying performance metrics for various possible deployments, such as capacity bounds and outage probabilities. Finally, the authors take a more practical viewpoint and discuss aspects related to medium access control design and implementation that can serve as a stepping stone for the widespread deployment of cooperative networking.
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The history of cooperative communications started with the work of Edward C. Van Der Meulen who introduced the relay communication channel and analyzed their information theoretic aspects (Van Der Meulen, 1971). It has been also studied by Sato who also provided insights regarding the achievable capacity (Sato, 1976). Then Cover and Gamal provided an extensive study and closed form expressions regarding the achievable capacity of the relay channel with various options regarding the presence of noise and feedback information availability (Cover and Gamal, 1979). The proposed channel model is made of a source node, a relay node and a destination node as shown in Figure 1. In this model the channel consists of a broadcast and a multiple access part since the source’s transmission is received by both the relay and the destination and the destination receives from both the relay and the source.

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