Skip to Main Content
In this paper, a low-complexity cooperative protocol that significantly increases the average throughput of multihop upstream transmissions for wireless tree networks is developed and analyzed. A system in which transmissions are assigned to nodes in a collision free, spatial time division fashion is considered. The suggested protocol exploits the broadcast nature of wireless networks where the communication channel is shared between multiple adjacent nodes within interference range. For any upstream end-to-end flow in the tree, each intermediate node receives information from both one-hop and two-hop neighbors and transmits only sufficient information such that the next upstream one-hop neighbor will be able to decode the packet. This approach can be viewed as the generalization of the classical three node relay channel for end-to-end flows in which each intermediate node becomes successively source, relay and destination. The achievable rate for any regular tree network is derived and an optimal schedule that realizes this rate in most cases is proposed. Our protocol is shown to dramatically outperform the conventional scheme where intermediate nodes simply forward the packets hop by hop. At high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), it yields approximately 66% throughput gain for practical scenarios.