Optimization issues for cooperative amplify-and-forward systems over block-fading channels

Ioannis Krikidis, John Thompson, Norbert Goertz, Stephen McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we deal with an amplify-and-forward (AF) cooperative strategy in slot-based, block-fading environments. In contrast with previous schemes, which assume a constant channel during the cooperative frame (several slots), here, we relax this constraint and assume a classical quasi-static block-fading channel (constant for one slot). This additional degree of freedom modifies the behavior of the conventional nonorthogonal AF (NAF) schemes and generates a new block-fading NAF (BFNAF) protocol, where the source can usefully retransmit the same data during the cooperative slot. This new protocol is interesting at low spectral efficiencies, where diversity against fading is more important. To overcome performance degradation, which characterizes cooperative schemes at low signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), an adaptive version of the considered schemes is also proposed, where cooperation is activated according to the outage behavior of the direct link. Moreover, an optimal hybrid protocol that allows intelligent switching between noncooperation, NAF, and BFNAF protocols is also proposed. Another issue that is discussed throughout this paper is the optimal power allocation of the investigated schemes. The proposed power-allocation strategy uses as an optimization criterion the well-defined asymptotic expressions of the outage probabilities, which are averaged over the fading statistics. The minimization (and avoidance for the nonhybrid protocols) of the required data feedback makes it suitable for practical ad hoc networks with crucial power constraints. The enhancement of the proposed schemes and the efficiency of the power allocation policy are shown by theoretical analysis and simulation results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2868-2884
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


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