Throughput Optimal Random Medium Access Control for Relay Networks with Time-Varying Channels

Mehdi Salehi Heydar Abad, Ozgur Ercetin, Eylem Ekici

The use of existing network devices as relays has a potential to improve the overall network performance. In this work, we consider a two-hop wireless relay setting, where the channels between the source and relay nodes to the destination node are time varying. The relay nodes are able to overhear the transmissions of the source node which may have a weak connection to the destination, and they help the source node by forwarding its messages to the destination on its behalf, whenever this is needed. We develop a distributed scheme for relay selection and channel access that is suitable for time-varying channels, and prove that this scheme is throughput optimal. We obtain the achievable rate region of our proposed scheme analytically for a relay network with a single source and a single relay node. Meanwhile, for a more general network with more than one relay nodes, we perform Monte-Carlo simulations to obtain the achievable rate region. In both cases, we demonstrate that the achievable rate region attained with our distributed scheme is the same as the one attained with centralized optimal scheme.

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