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Cooperative communication in wireless local area networks

Abdel Gawad, S.G.; (2010) Cooperative communication in wireless local area networks. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The concept of cooperative communication has been proposed to improve link capacity, transmission reliability and network coverage in multiuser wireless communication networks. Different from conventional point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications, cooperative communication allows multiple users or stations in a wireless network to coordinate their packet transmissions and share each other’s resources, thus achieving high performance gain and better service coverage. According to the IEEE 802.11 standards, Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) can support multiple transmission data rates, depending on the instantaneous channel condition between a source station and an Access Point (AP). In such a multi-rate WLAN, those low data-rate stations will occupy the shared communication channel for a longer period for transmitting a fixed-size packet to the AP, thus reducing the channel efficiency and overall system performance. This thesis addresses this challenging problem in multi-rate WLANs by proposing two cooperative Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols, namely Busy Tone based Cooperative MAC (BTAC) protocol and Cooperative Access with Relay’s Data (CARD) protocol. Under BTAC, a low data-rate sending station tries to identify and use a close-by intermediate station as its relay to forward its data packets at higher data-rate to the AP through a two-hop path. In this way, BTAC can achieve cooperative diversity gain in multi-rate WLANs. Furthermore, the proposed CARD protocol enables a relay station to transmit its own data packets to the AP immediately after forwarding its neighbour’s packets, thus minimising the handshake procedure and overheads for sensing and reserving the common channel. In doing so, CARD can achieve both cooperative diversity gain and cooperative multiplexing gain. Both BTAC and CARD protocols are backward compatible with the existing IEEE 802.11 standards. New cross-layer mathematical models have been developed in this thesis to study the performance of BTAC and CARD under different channel conditions and for saturated and unsaturated traffic loads. Detailed simulation platforms were developed and are discussed in this thesis. Extensive simulation results validate the mathematical models developed and show that BTAC and CARD protocols can significantly improve system throughput, service delay, and energy efficiency for WLANs operating under realistic communication scenarios.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Cooperative communication in wireless local area networks
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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