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We consider a two-hop wireless network where a transmitter communicates with a receiver via M relays with an amplify-and-forward (AF) protocol. Recent works have shown that the sophisticated linear processing such as beamforming and distributed space-time coding (DSTC) at relays enables to improve the AF performance. However, the relative utility of these strategies depends on the available channel state information at transmitter (CSIT), which in turn depends on the system parameters such as the speed of the underlying fading channel and that of training and feedback procedures. Moreover, it is of practical interest to have a single transmit scheme that handles different CSIT scenarios. This motivates us to consider a unified approach based on DSTC that potentially provides diversity gain with statistical CSIT and exploits some additional side information if available. Under individual power constraints at the relays, we optimize the amplifier power allocation such that pairwise error probability conditioned on the available CSIT is minimized. Under perfect CSIT, we propose an on-off gradient algorithm that efficiently finds a set of relays to switch on. Under partial and statistical CSIT, we propose a simple waterfilling algorithm that yields a non-trivial solution between maximum power allocation and a generalized STC that equalizes the averaged amplified noise for all relays. Moreover, we derive the closed-form solutions for M = 2 and in certain asymptotic regimes that enable an easy interpretation of the proposed algorithms. It is found that an appropriate amplifier power allocation is mandatory for DSTC to offer sufficient diversity and power gain in a general network topology.
Date of Publication: May 2009