Transmission strategies for wireless multiple-antenna relay-assisted networks



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Global mobile data traffic has more than doubled in the past four years, and will only increase throughout the upcoming years. Modern cellular systems are striving to enable communications at high data rates over wide geographical areas to meet the surge in data demand. This requires advanced technologies to mitigate fundamental effects of wireless communications like path-loss, shadowing, small-scale fading, and interference. Two of such technologies are: i) deploying multiple antennas at the transmitter and receiver, and ii) employing an extra radio, called the relay, to forward messages from the transmitter to the receiver. The advantages of both technologies can be leveraged by using multiple antennas at the relay, transmitter, and receiver. Multiple-antenna relay-assisted communication is emerging as one promising technique for expanding the overall capacity of cellular networks.

Taking full advantage of multiple-antenna relay-assisted cellular systems requires transmission strategies for jointly configuring the transmitters and receivers based on knowledge of the wireless propagation medium. This dissertation proposes such transmission strategies for wireless multiple-antenna relay-assisted systems. Two popular types of relays are considered: i) amplify-and-forward relays (the relays simply apply linear signal processing to their observed signals before retransmitting) and ii) decode-and-forward relays (the relays decode their observed signals and then re-encode before retransmitting). The first part of this dissertation considers the three-node multiple-antenna amplify-and-forward relay channel. Algorithms for adaptively selecting the number of data streams and subsets of transmit antennas at the transmitter and relay to provide reliable transmission at a guaranteed rate are proposed. Expressions for extracting spatial characteristics of the end-to-end multiple-antenna relay channel are derived. The second part of the dissertation presents interference management strategies that are developed specifically for two models of multiple-antenna relay interference channels where a number of relays assist multiple transmitters to communicate with multiple receivers. One model uses amplify-and-forward relays while the other uses decode-and-forward relays. Based on the idea of interference alignment, these strategies aim at maximizing the sum of achievable end-to-end rates. Simulation results show that the proposed transmission strategies with multiple-antenna relays achieve higher capacity and reliability than both those without relays and those with single-antenna relays.