Buffer-Aided Relaying with Discrete Transmission Rates for the Two-Hop Half-Duplex Relay Network

Wayan Wicke, Nikola Zlatanov, Vahid Jamali, Robert Schober

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the two-hop half-duplex (HD) relay network, where the source-to-relay and relay-to-destination links are impaired by block fading. The relay is equipped with a buffer, which enables the relay to receive or transmit in each time slot independent of previous time slots. As a practical constraint, source and relay can transmit only at rates taken from predefined and finite sets. Thereby, it is assumed that for each time slot, the instantaneous qualities of the two links are available. For this network, we derive the optimal scheduling of reception and transmission at the relay and the optimal rate selection at source and relay, such that the throughput is maximized. Since the optimal protocol introduces unbounded delay, we also propose a buffer-aided protocol, which limits the delay. For this delay-limited protocol, we study the achieved delay and throughput by modeling the queue at the buffer as a Markov chain. Our numerical results show that the throughputs achieved with the proposed buffer-aided protocols for discrete transmission rates are significantly larger than the throughputs achieved with conventional relaying protocols where the HD relay switches between reception and transmission in a strictly alternating manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7765086
Pages (from-to)967-981
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Block fading
  • Buffer-aided relaying
  • Delay
  • Discrete rates
  • Protocols
  • Throughput

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