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A fundamental problem in large scale wireless networks is the energy efficient broadcast of source messages to the whole network. The energy consumption increases as the network size grows, and the optimization of broadcast efficiency becomes more important. In this paper, we study the optimal power allocation problem for cooperative broadcast in dense large-scale networks. In the considered cooperation protocol, a single source initiates the transmission and the rest of the nodes retransmit the source message if they have decoded it reliably. Each node is allocated an-orthogonal channel and the nodes improve their receive signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), hence the energy efficiency, by maximal-ratio combining the receptions of the same packet from different transmitters. We assume that the decoding of the source message is correct as long as the receive SNR exceeds a predetermined threshold. Under the optimal cooperative broadcasting, the transmission order (i.e., the schedule) and the transmission powers of the source and the relays are designed so that every node receives the source message reliably and the total power consumption is minimized. In general, finding the best scheduling in cooperative broadcast is known to be an NP-complete problem. In this paper, we show that the optimal scheduling problem can be solved for dense networks, which we approximate as a continuum of nodes. Under the continuum model, we derive the optimal scheduling and the optimal power density. Furthermore, we propose low-complexity, distributed and power efficient broadcasting schemes and compare their power consumptions with those-of-a traditional noncooperative multihop transmission.
Date of Publication: February 2007