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The multiuser communication channel, in which multiple users exchange information with the help of a relay terminal, termed the multiway relay channel (mRC), is introduced. In this model, multiple interfering clusters of users communicate simultaneously, such that the users within the same cluster wish to exchange messages among themselves, i.e., each user multicasts its message to all the other users in its own cluster. It is assumed that the users cannot receive each other's signals directly. Hence, the relay terminal in this model is the enabler of communication. In particular, restricted encoders are considered, such that the encoding function of each user depends only on its own message and the received signal is used only for decoding the messages of the other users in the cluster. Achievable rate regions and an outer bound are characterized for the Gaussian mRC, and their comparison is presented in terms of the exchange rate, the symmetric rate point in the capacity region in a symmetric Gaussian mRC scenario. It is shown that the compress-and-forward (CF) protocol achieves exchange rates within a constant bit offset of the optimal exchange rate, independent of the power constraints of the terminals in the network. A finite bit gap between the exchange rates achieved by the CF and the amplify-and-forward protocols is also shown. The two special cases of the mRC, the full data exchange model, in which every user wants to receive messages of all other users, and the pairwise data exchange model which consists of multiple two-way relay channels, are investigated in detail. In particular for the pairwise data exchange model, in addition to the proposed random coding-based achievable schemes, a nested lattice coding-based scheme is also presented and is shown to achieve exchange rates within a constant bit gap of the exchange capacity.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2013