Well appreciated at the physical layer, user cooperation is introduced here as a diversity enabler for wireless random access (RA) at the medium access control sublayer. This is accomplished through a two-phase protocol in which active users start with a low power transmission attempting to reach nearby users and follow up with a high power transmission in cooperation with the users recruited in the first phase. We show that such a cooperative protocol yields a significant increase in throughput. Specifically, we prove that for networks with a large number of users, the throughput of a cooperative wireless RA network operating over Rayleigh-fading links approaches the throughput of an RA network operating over additive white Gaussian noise links - thus justifying the title of the paper. The message borne out of this result is that user cooperation offers a viable choice for migrating diversity benefits to the wireless RA regime, thus bridging the gap to wireline RA networks, without incurring a bandwidth or energy penalty.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Manuscript received May 2, 2005; revised September 18, 2006. The material in 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. The work of N. D. Sidiropoulos was supported in part by a bilateral cooperative research grant of the Greek Secretariat for Research and Technology.
- Fading channels
- Random access
- User cooperation