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In this paper, we propose a new Distributed Cooperation and Diversity Combining framework. Our focus is on heterogeneous networks with devices equipped with two types of radio frequency (RF) interfaces: short-range high-rate interface (e.g., IEEE802.11), and a long-range low-rate interface (e.g., cellular) communicating over urban Rayleigh fading channels. Within this framework, we propose and evaluate a set of distributed cooperation techniques operating at different hierarchical levels with resource constraints such as short-range RF bandwidth. We propose a Priority Maximum-Ratio Combining (PMRC) technique, and a Post Soft-Demodulation Combining (PSDC) technique. We show that the proposed techniques achieve significant improvements on Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Bit Error Rate (BER) and throughput through analysis, simulation, and experimentation on our software radio testbed. Our results also indicate that, under several communication scenarios, PMRC and PSDC can improve the throughput performance by over an order of magnitude.
Date of Publication: March 2013