Faculty Advisor

Dennis L. Goeckel

Faculty Advisor

D. Richard Brown III

Faculty Advisor

Andrew G. Klein


"Fading is one of the most fundamental impairments to wireless communications. The standard approach to combating fading is by adding redundancy - or diversity - to help increase coverage and transmission speed. Motivated by the results in multiple-input multiple-output technologies, which are usually used at base stations or access points, cooperation commutation has been proposed to improve the performance of wireless networks which consist of low-cost single antenna devices. While the majority of the research in cooperative communication focuses on flat fading for its simplicity and easy analysis, in practice the underlying channels in broadband wireless communication systems such as cellular systems (UMTS/LTE) are more likely to exhibit frequency selective fading. In this dissertation, we consider a frequency selective fading channel model and explore distributed diversity techniques in broadband wireless relay networks, with consideration to practical issues such as channel estimation and complexity-performance tradeoffs.

We first study a system model with one source, one destination and multiple decode-and-forward (DF) relays which share a single channel orthogonal to the source. We derive the diversity-multiplexing tradeoff (DMT) for several relaying strategies: best relay selection, random relay selection, and the case when all decoding relays participate. The best relay selection method selects the relay in the decoding set with the largest sum-squared relay-to-destination channel coefficients. This scheme can achieve the optimal DMT of the system at the expense of higher complexity, compared to the other two relaying strategies which do not always exploit the spatial diversity offered by the relays. Different from flat fading, we find special cases when the three relaying strategies have the same DMT. We further present a transceiver design and prove it can achieve the optimal DMT asymptotically. Monte Carlo simulations are presented to corroborate the theoretical analysis. We provide a detailed performance comparison of the three relaying strategies in channels encountered in practice. The work has been extended to systems with multiple amplify-and-forward relays. We propose two relay selection schemes with maximum likelihood sequential estimator and linear zero- forcing equalization at the destination respectively and both schemes can asymptotically achieve the optimal DMT.

We next extend the results in the two-hop network, as previously studied, to multi-hop networks. In particular, we consider the routing problem in clustered multi-hop DF relay networks since clustered multi-hop wireless networks have attracted significant attention for their robustness to fading, hierarchical structure, and ability to exploit the broadcast nature of the wireless channel. We propose an opportunistic routing (or relay selection) algorithm for such networks. In contrast to the majority of existing approaches to routing in clustered networks, our algorithm only requires channel state information in the final hop, which is shown to be essential for reaping the diversity offered by the channel. In addition to exploiting the available diversity, our simple cross-layer algorithm has the flexibility to satisfy an additional routing objective such as maximization of network lifetime. We demonstrate through analysis and simulation that our proposed routing algorithm attains full diversity under certain conditions on the cluster sizes, and its diversity is equal to the diversity of more complicated approaches that require full channel state information.

The final part of this dissertation considers channel estimation in relay networks. Channel state information is vital for exploiting diversity in cooperative networks. The existing literature on cooperative channel estimation assumes that block lengths are long and that channel estimation takes place within a fading block. However, if the forwarding delay needs to be reduced, short block lengths are preferred, and adaptive estimation through multiple blocks is required. In particular, we consider estimating the relay-to-destination channel in DF relay systems for which the presence of forwarded information is probabilistic since it is unknown whether the relay participates in the forwarding phase. A detector is used so that the update of the least mean square channel estimate is made only when the detector decides the presence of training data. We use the generalized likelihood ratio test and focus on the detector threshold for deciding whether the training sequence is present. We also propose a heuristic objective function which leads to a proper threshold to improve the convergence speed and reduce the estimation error. Extensive numerical results show the superior performance of using this threshold as opposed to fixed thresholds."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





cooperative communication, relay selection, multi-hop relaying, adaptive channel estimation