Achievable rates in low-power relay links over fading channels

Xiaodong Cai, Yingwei Yao, Georgios B. Giannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Relayed transmissions enable low-power communications among nodes (possibly separated by a large distance) in wireless networks. Since the capacity of general relay channels is unknown, we investigate the achievable rates of relayed transmissions over fading channels for two transmission schemes: the block Markov coded and the time-division multiplexed (TDM) transmissions. The normalized achievable minimum energy per bit required for reliable communications is derived, which also enables optimal power allocation between the source and the relay. The time-sharing factor in TDM transmissions is optimized to improve achievable rates. The region where relayed transmission can provide a lower minimum energy per bit than direct transmission, as well as the optimal relay placement for these two transmission schemes, are also investigated. Numerical results delineate the advantages of relayed, relative to direct, transmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-194
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Paper approved by H. Leib, the Editor for Communication and Information Theory of the IEEE Communication Society. Manuscript received October 7, 2003; revised July 28, 2004. This paper was prepared through collaborative participation in the Communications and Networks Consortium sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory under the Collaborative Technology Alliance Program, Cooperative Agreement DAAD19-01-2-0011. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. This paper was presented in part at the 38th Conference on Information Sciences and Systems, Princeton University, NJ, March 2004.


  • Fading channels
  • Low-power transmissions
  • Minimum energy per bit
  • Relay channels
  • Spectral efficiency


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