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On the throughput scaling of wireless relay networks

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3 Author(s)
Dousse, O. ; Deutsche Telekom Labs., Germany ; Franceschetti, M. ; Thiran, P.

The throughput of wireless networks is known to scale poorly when the number of users grows. The rate at which an arbitrary pair of nodes can communicate must decrease to zero as the number of users tends to infinity, under various assumptions. One of them is the requirement that the network is fully connected: the computed rate must hold for any pair of nodes of the network. We show that this requirement can be responsible for the lack of throughput scalability. We consider a two-dimensional (2-D) network of extending area with only one active source-destination pair at any given time, and all remaining nodes acting only as possible relays. Allowing an arbitrary small fraction of the nodes to be disconnected, we show that the per-node throughput remains constant as the network size increases. As a converse bound, we show that communications occurring at a fixed nonzero rate imply a fraction of the nodes to be disconnected. Our results are of information theoretic flavor, as they hold without assumptions on the communication strategies employed by the network nodes.

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 6 )