Skip to Main Content
With the popularity of wireless devices and the increase of computing and storage resources, there are increasing interests in supporting mobile computing techniques. Particularly, ad hoc networks can potentially connect different wireless devices to enable more powerful wireless applications and mobile computing capabilities. To meet the ever increasing communication need, it is important to improve the network throughput while guaranteeing transmission reliability. Multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) technology can provide significantly higher data rate in ad hoc networks where nodes are equipped with multi-antenna arrays. Although MIMO technique itself can support diversity transmission when channel condition degrades, the use of diversity transmission often compromises the multiplexing gain and is also not enough to deal with extremely weak channel. Instead, in this work, we exploit the use of cooperative relay transmission (which is often used in a single antenna environment to improve reliability) in a MIMO-based ad hoc network to cope with harsh channel condition. We design both centralized and distributed scheduling algorithms to support adaptive use of cooperative relay transmission. Our algorithm effectively exploits the cooperative multiplexing gain and cooperative diversity gain to achieve higher data rate and higher reliability under various channel conditions. Our scheduling scheme can efficiently invoke relay transmission without introducing significant signaling overhead as conventional relay schemes, and seamlessly integrate relay transmission with multiplexed MIMO transmission. We also design a MAC protocol to implement the distributed algorithm. Our performance results demonstrate that the use of cooperative relay in a MIMO framework could bring in a significant throughput improvement in all the scenarios studied, with the variation of node density, link failure ratio, packet arrival rate and retransmission threshold.