This paper presents a relay selection algorithm based on fair battery power utilization for extending mobile network coverage and capacity by using a cooperative communication strategy where mobile devices can be utilized as relays. Cooperation improves the network performance for mobile terminals, either by providing access to out-of-range devices or by facilitating multi-path network access to connected devices. In this work, we assume that all mobile devices can benefit from using other mobile devices as relays and investigate the fairness of relay selection algorithms. We point out that signal strength based relay selection inevitably leads to unfair relay selection and devise a new algorithm that is based on fair utilization of power resources on mobile devices. We call this algorithm Credit based Fair Relay Selection (CF-RS) and in this paper show through simulation that the algorithm results in fair battery power utilization, while providing similar data rates compared with traditional approaches. We then extend the solution to demonstrate that adding incentives for relay operation adds clear value for mobile devices in the case they require relay service. Typically, mobile devices represent self-interested users who are reluctant to cooperate with other network users, mainly due to the cost in terms of power and network capacity. In this paper, we present an incentive based solution which provides clear mutual benefit for mobile devices and demonstrate this benefit in the simulation of symmetric and asymmetric network topologies. The CF-RS algorithm achieves the same performance in terms of achievable data rate, Jain’s fairness index and utility of end devices in both symmetric and asymmetric network configurations.
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