STiCMAC: A MAC protocol for robust space-time coding in cooperative wireless LANs

Pei Liu, Chun Nie, Thanasis Korakis, Elza Erkip, Shivendra S. Panwar, Francesco Verde, Anna Scaglione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relay-assisted cooperative wireless communication has been shown to have significant performance gains over the legacy direct transmission scheme. Compared with single relay based cooperation schemes, utilizing multiple relays further improves the reliability and rate of transmissions. Distributed space-time coding (DSTC), as one of the schemes to utilize multiple relays, requires tight coordination between relays and does not perform well in a distributed environment with mobility. In this paper, a cooperative medium access control (MAC) layer protocol, called STiCMAC, is designed to allow multiple relays to transmit at the same time in an IEEE 802.11 network. The transmission is based on a novel DSTC scheme called randomized distributed space-time coding (R-DSTC), which requires minimum coordination. Unlike conventional cooperation schemes that pick nodes with good links, STiCMAC picks a transmission mode that could most improve the end-to-end data rate. Any station that correctly receives from the source can act as a relay and participate in forwarding. The MAC protocol is implemented in a fully decentralized manner and is able to opportunistically recruit relays on the fly, thus making it robust to channel variations and user mobility. Simulation results show that the network capacity and delay performance are greatly improved, especially in a mobile environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6151783
Pages (from-to)1358-1369
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • IEEE 802.11
  • Space-time code MAC (STiCMAC)
  • cooperative communications
  • medium access control
  • protocol design
  • randomized distributed space-time coding (R-DSTC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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