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Theory and Practice of Cooperative Wireless Networks

This research aims to enable significant improvements in the performance of wireless systems to help overcome spectrum scarcity led by Haenggi and a NSF grant for $470,000.

Investigator(s):  Martin Haenggi

Sponsor:  National Science Foundation

Funding:  $470,000

Timeframe:  7/10 to 6/13

Abstract:  Although theoretical results predict that significant gains can be achieved from node cooperation, current wireless systems are exclusively built on point-to-point communication, where transmissions are separated in time, frequency, or space. Before cooperative techniques can be implemented, two key questions need to be addressed: How do they perform in the context of a larger network, and how do they perform in actual
experiments?

This project aims at providing answers to both these questions by combining theory and experimental work. On the theory side, the investigators use a rigorous analytic approach that combines tools from stochastic geometry and information theory. The stochastic geometry approach permits statements about ensembles of networks, rather than just a single fixed network geometry, which is often more tractable and leads to more general results. On the experimental side, performance measurements are taken on small cooperative networks of software radio devices. They are used to derive analytical models that can be used at higher layers in the protocol stack and to determine the overhead and control traffic required to set up the cooperation.

Based on the insight gained from both theory and experiments, novel cooperative protocols for wireless networks are derived. It is expected that the project will enable significant improvements in the performance of wireless systems, thereby helping to overcome the spectrum scarcity. The results are be disseminated in form of conference and journal articles, tutorials, and short courses, and some ideas will hopefully lead to patents.