Cooperative diversity (CD) networks have been receiving a lot of attention recently as a distributed means of improving error performance and capacity. For sufficiently large signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), this paper derives the average symbol error probability (SEP) for analog forwarding CD links. The resulting expressions are general as they hold for an arbitrary number of cooperating branches, arbitrary number of cooperating hops per branch, and various channel fading models. Their simplicity provides valuable insights to the performance of CD networks and suggests means of optimizing them. Besides revealing the diversity, they clearly show from where this advantage comes from and prove that presence of diversity does not depend on the specific (e.g., Rayleigh) fading distribution. Finally, they explain how diversity is improved in multihop CD networks.
- Cooperative diversity
- Performance analysis