In this paper, we investigate a downlink cooperative non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) network with decode-and-forward relaying, where two scenarios of user relaying with direct link and user relaying without direct link are discussed in detail. More particularly, the performance of cooperative NOMA system under the assumption of imperfect channel state information (ipCSI) is studied over Nakagami-m
fading channels. To evaluate the outage performance of the above discussed two scenarios, the closed-form expressions of outage probability for a pair of users are derived carefully. The diversity orders of users are achieved in the high signal-to-noise region. An error floor appears in the outage probability owing to the existence of channel estimation errors under ipCSI conditions. Simulation results verify the validity of our analysis and show that: (1) NOMA is superior to conventional orthogonal multiple access; (2) The best user relaying location for cooperative NOMA networks should be near to the base station; and (3) The outage performance of distant user with direct link significantly outperforms distant user without direct link by comparing the two scenarios.
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