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This paper considers the two-cell two-hop multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) interference channel, where two source groups consisting of multiple users with a single antenna wish to communicate with two multiantenna destinations by sharing two multiantenna relays. For such a channel, an inner bound on the degrees of freedom is derived for different channel knowledge assumptions and relay operations. Assuming global channel knowledge at the relays and full-duplex relay operation, it is shown that two cascaded interfering links can be decomposed into two independent parallel relay channels while sharing the spectrum. The key to showing this result is a novel amplify-and-forward interference-free relay transmission method, which performs interference-shaping during reception and interference neutralization during transmission. Assuming that the relays have global channel knowledge only for the first hop, a spectrally efficient relaying protocol is proposed that overcomes the loss due to half-duplex relaying constraint. The proposed protocol improves performance compared to a trivial time-division-multiple access method for the two-cell two-hop MIMO interference channel.
Date of Publication: May 2013