Cooperative Communication In Store And Forward Wireless Networks Using Rateless Codes
In this thesis, we consider a cooperative relay-assisted communication system that uses rateless codes. When multiple relays are present, the relay with the highest channel gain to the source is the first to successfully decode a message from the source and forward it to the destination. Thus, the unique properties of rateless codes ensure that both rate adaptation and relay selection occur without the transmitting source or relays acquiring instantaneous channel knowledge. We show that in such cooperative systems, buffering messages at relays significantly increases throughput. We develop a novel analysis of these systems that combines the communication-theoretic aspects of cooperation over fading channels with the queuing-theoretic aspects associated with buffering. Closed-form expressions are derived for the throughput and end-to-end delay for the general case in which the channels between various nodes are not statistically identical. Results are also shown for the benchmark system that does not buffer messages. Though relay selection combined with buffering of messages at the relays substantially increases the throughput of a cooperative network, it also increases the end-to-end delays due to the additional queuing delays at the relay nodes. In order to overcome this, we propose a novel method that exploits a unique property of rateless codes that enables a receiver to decode a message from non-contiguous and unordered portions of the received signal. In it, each relay, depending on its queue length, ignores its received coded bits with a given probability. We show that this substantially reduces the end-to-end delays while retaining almost all of the throughput gain achieved by buffering. In effect, the method increases the odds that the message is first decoded by a relay with a smaller queue. Thus, the queuing load is balanced across the relays and traded off with transmission times. We derive conditions for the stability of this system when the various channels undergo fading. Despite encountering analytically intractable G/GI/1 queues in our system, we also gain insights about the method by analyzing a similar system with a simpler model for the relay-to-destination transmission times. Next we combine the single relay selection scheme at the source with physical layer power control at the relays (due to the diversity provided by the rateless codes, power control at the source is not needed). We derive an optimal power control policy that minimizes the relay to destination transmission time. Due to its computational and implementation complexity, we develop another heuristic easily implementable near optimal policy. In this policy, power allocated turns out to be inversely proportional to the square root of channel gain. We also see that this policy performs better than the channel inversion policy. Our power control solution substantially decreases the mean end-to-end delays with a marginal increase in throughput also. Finally, we combine bit dropping with power control at the relays which further improves the system performance.
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