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Relay-aided communication is considered one of the key techniques to achieve high throughput at low cost in future wireless systems. However, when transmitting signals via a relay, additional time slots, antennas, or frequency slots are required, which may erode the potential gain of relay-aided systems. In this article various approaches to creating relay-aided systems are reviewed. The advantages and disadvantages of various relaying schemes are compared in terms of their slot efficiency, error rate performance, and feasibility. Our detailed comparisons and the numerical results indicate that the specific family of network coding aided relaying protocols constitutes one of the most promising solutions. We conclude this article by listing a number of open problems.
Date of Publication: April 2010