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In recent years, cooperative communication has been developed as a new communication strategy that incorporates a relay node to assist direct point-to-point transmission. By exploiting cooperative diversity, different types of techniques have been proposed to improve transmission reliability from the physical layer perspective. However, owing to the longer transmission time resulting from the cooperative schemes, there is no guarantee to enhance network throughput in view of the medium access control (MAC) performance. In this paper, system throughput of combined direct/cooperative communication is evaluated by exploiting the proposed analytical model based on the IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol. The feasibility of adopting either cooperative or direct communication is also studied in the analytical model. In terms of network throughput, whether to adopt cooperative schemes depends on the tradeoff between cooperative transmission delay and channel quality of direct communication. Moreover, two cooperative MAC protocols are proposed to determine the circumstances to activate cooperative communication according to the channel quality. The full-channel quality indicator based cooperative (FCC) MAC protocol is introduced to choose both the transmission scheme and the relay node according to the full channel quality information. However, the overhead caused by the FCC scheme can degrade the throughput performance as the number of available relays is significantly increased. Therefore, the bitwise competition based cooperative (BCC) MAC protocol is utilized to efficiently determine a feasible relay node for data transmission. Simulations are performed to validate the effectiveness of proposed analytical models and cooperative MAC protocols. It is observed that the proposed BCC scheme can outperform both the FCC protocol and conventional direct transmission with enhanced system throughput.
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- Analysis and determination of cooperative MAC strategies from throughput perspectives
- Springer US