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This paper studies the precoder design for a 3-node non-generative MIMO relay channel, taking the direct link transmission into consideration. We first look into the scenario where precoding is only performed at the relay. Our analytical approach enables a relay precoding design to achieve better ergodic capacity than the precoding design to achieve a lower bound of the capacity reported in earlier works. We next propose an iterative algorithm to perform joint precoding design at both the source and the relay. To reduce the computation complexity of the iterative algorithm, a two-step algorithm is then developed. Our numerical results show that under some circumstances, capacity gain can be achieved by performing precoding at both the source and the relay compared to the case where precoding is performed at the relay only. The efficiency of the proposed two-step algorithm is verified since it achieves roughly identical capacity as the iterative joint precoding scheme.
Date of Publication: October 2009