Space-time signal design for fading relay channels


Rohit U. Nabar and Helmut Bölcskei


Proc. of IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (GLOBECOM), San Francisco, CA, Vol. 4, pp. 1952-1956, Dec. 2003.

DOI: 10.1109/GLOCOM.2003.1258578

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Cooperative diversity is a transmission technique where multiple users pool their resources to form a virtual antenna array that realizes spatial diversity gain in a distributed fashion. In this paper, we examine space-time signal design for a simple amplify-and-forward relay channel. We show that the code design criteria for the relay case consist of the traditional rank and determinant criteria as well as appropriate power control rules. While proper signal design and power control can indeed achieve full spatial diversity gain, the potential benefit of relay-assisted communication over direct communication depends strongly on the channel conditions. In particular, we present a switching criterion based on which the source terminal may opt to forego relay-assisted communication and communicate with the destination terminal directly. The criterion is based on the cut-off rate of the effective channel (physical channel in conjunction with finite constellation and maximum-likelihood (ML) decoding).


Relay channels, cooperative diversity, protocols

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