Skip to Main Content
This work considers two-way relay channels (TWRC), where two terminals transmit simultaneously to each other with the help of a relay node. For single antenna systems, we propose several new transmission schemes for both amplify-and-forward (AF) protocol and decode-and-forward (DF) protocol where the channel state information is not required. These new schemes are the counterpart of the traditional noncoherent detection or differential detection in point-to-point communications. Differential modulation design for TWRC is challenging because the received signal is a mixture of the signals from both source terminals. We derive maximum likelihood (ML) detectors for both AF and DF protocols, where the latter can be considered as performing differential network coding at the physical layer. As the exact ML detector is prohibitively complex, we propose several suboptimal alternatives including decision feedback detectors and prediction-based detectors. All these strategies work well as evidenced by the simulation results. The proposed protocols are especially useful when the required average data rate is high. In addition, we extend the protocols to the multiple-antenna case and provide the design criterion of the differential unitary space time modulation (DUSTM) for TWRC.